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Eagles Film Analysis: All-22 offense takeaways from the Cowboys game

Dallas Cowboys v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

The Eagles beat the Cowboys and the offense was (mostly) good. What more can you want? Let’s break it all down.

Offense

I can’t say enough good things about the performance of Jalen Hurts in this game. Considering he doesn’t have great mobility right now, he played like this like a truly elite pocket quarterback. Some of the throws and processing in this game were really high-level. This is another rep of Crash (a short in and deep out) that the Eagles love running right now, and it’s a fantastic throw to Dallas Goedert who does a really good job creating a throwing window and just enough separation by using his body to lean into the defender.

I have a lot of thoughts about the Eagles run game and I am a little concerned about it. If Hurts is not a part of the running game, I just don’t think this zone running game is good enough against great defenses to trouble them that much. This is my favorite run concept in the zone run world because Jason Kelce is just so good on the move. Hopefully, Hurts is back to full health after the bye week and he can be a bigger part of the Eagles’ run game. Last year, the best concepts in the run game were QB draw and QB Counter Bash and the Eagles just can’t run them right now. If Hurts isn’t fully healthy all year, then I think we might need to see something else. More on that later...

This is one of my favorite throws of the year. The processing speed on this throw is elite. The Cowboys are showing single-high pre-snap, which means that Hurts is probably looking to go to AJ Brown outside the numbers one-on-one. The Cowboys run a really cool rotation into two-high which takes AJ Brown out of the read. That means Hurts has to read that rotation, and process that he now needs to look towards the drive concept (or insert any name for a Hi-Low concept), and in a perfect world on 3rd down, he wants to hit DeVonta Smith on the deep over route. The issue with this throw is that the Cowboys play it well, and the window to make this throw is really small. Hurts makes it anyway, and throws a laser to DeVonta Smith to over the middle of the field. This is beautiful.

I am really enjoying the Eagles’ use of Pony personnel (2 backs) this past few weeks. Every time I see 2 backs on the field the Eagles seem to run a cool play that I know I’m excited to break down on the all22. This is a great play at creating angles in the run game without the use of a mobile quarterback and it’s the kind of play I would like to see more of if Hurts isn’t too involved in the running game. Kenny Gainwell isn’t a fullback, but he’s a decent blocker and he does enough here to create a lane for D’Andre Swift. This looks like a play I expect to see a Kyle Shanahan offense run as it stretches the defense horizontally really quickly. And it looks cool, which is always a bonus!

Another way the Eagles can improve the run game without relying on Jalen Hurts' mobility is by going under center a bit more after the bye. I find it very interesting that the Eagles came out after half-time and this was the first play. I would like to see the Eagles give Penny a chance moving forward, because he’s an extremely talented runner who could help this run game run some more gap scheme concepts and get downhill quickly. I really hope the Eagles’ coaching staff take a look at the running game and try to make some changes after the bye week and consider how the run game can succeed without the mobility of Jalen Hurts.

I spoke earlier about how good the processing was from Hurts. This is not a tricky throw from a processing point of view. It’s quite simple... ‘Single-high, let it fly’. But in terms of ball location and velocity, this is an incredibly tough throw, and it is an absolute dime. It’s a bit of a cliche, but you could not hand the ball to him any better. Hurts is as good as it gets at throwing the deep ball, and this is just another example. I remember some complaints about the Eagles’ offense being too aggressive down the field last year but the Eagles consistently hit these plays because Hurts is a fantastic deep ball thrower, and they have great receivers. It’s no fluke!

The Eagles’ split-zone flow RPO feels like it never fails. The Eagles are going to struggle to run this as effectively without Goedert in the lineup because the reason why it works so well is because Goedert can block really well when asked to on split-zone.

Tyler Steen struggled but I would expect that against a good Cowboys’ defense and his first-ever start playing guard (he only ever played tackle in college). Overall, though, I thought he played OK and he grew into the game. He didn’t hold back the offense, which is all you can ask from a rookie making his first-ever start. I think he (as opposed to Sua Opeta) should be the backup to Cam Jurgens for the rest of the year.

The Cowboys’ defense plays this absolutely perfectly and the Eagles still score. The call actually doesn’t work and the Cowboys cornerback plays it really well. Luckily for the Eagles, AJ Brown is a fantastic athlete and the Cowboys 26 completely overplays it and allows AJ Brown to walk into the end zone.

I don’t like the call to take a shot on 3rd and 3, but you will never hear me complain about the Eagles being too aggressive. I just want an aggressive coach and an aggressive quarterback, so I won’t complain about things like this. However, I think it’s a rare bad throw by Hurts and a poor route by AJ Brown, and it feels like the timing is just off. I actually didn’t post this play to talk about the pass though... I posted this play so we could all take a look at Albert Okwuegbunam running this route. I am fascinated by Albert O due to his athletic profile. He just looks extremely big and fast and I can’t help but feel like there should be a role for him moving forward without Dallas Goedert. If you want to read more about Albert O, I wrote about him when the Eagles traded for him and you can read that here.

This was a really good offensive performance against a good defense. The performance of Jalen Hurts in particular, was extremely fun to break down. As always, I hope you enjoyed it and I’ll be back next week, with a different type of article as there is no Week 10 Eagles game.

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