It’s clear the potential-filled Eagles have the Dallas Cowboys’ ecosystem in a red-flag level of concern.
Dallas fans talk with less optimism than their normal bluster. Jalen Hurts gets trashed at every opportunity in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Buddy Ryan still isn’t liked in the Lone Star State.
Cowboys blogs are trying to keep their fans pumped up with stories that not only boost their team, but step on the Eagles.
The Landry Hat, a Cowboys blog, came out swinging recently. The blog lists three areas where the Cowboys have a “distinct advantage” over the Eagles.
(Looking objectively at both teams — because we’re honest brokers — here are three areas where the Eagles are “distinctly better” than Dallas: offensive line; defensive line; head coach. For kicks, you could throw in the Eagles’ running game, kicking game, new corps of linebackers and revamped secondary.)
For now, we’ll give The Landry Hat the floor. Here are the three reasons TLH lists why Dallas is better than the Eagles:
- “While Jalen Hurts has shown flashes of potential, he has not been what the Eagles wanted him to be. The reality is that you want Dak Prescott on your team way more than Hurts.
- “Even though Hurts is labeled as a dual-threat quarterback, his throwing accuracy was subpar last year and his inconsistencies were clear in the team’s embarrassing loss to Tampa Bay in the playoffs. …
- “Plus, there have been some rumors that he is struggling in offseason programming which is not a good sign for Philly.
- “Even though the Eagles made some excellent additions to their roster, it’s likely this team can only go far if Hurts performs.
- “The question marks in the air surrounding how good or bad Hurts will be in 2022 is a massive advantage for Dallas.”
Yes, Hurts is uncertain and unfinished. But, he’s not exactly Matt Barkley now, is he? Or course, the Eagles’ ultimate success depends on Hurts. Every NFL team relies on its quarterback, right?
If Hurts is simply average-to-good, the Eagles could be 9-8 again. If he is great, and with their perceived weak schedule, they could be 11-5.
Another thing — Dak is good, very good, but he’s not Troy Aikman or Roger Staubach. Not yet. Win something before you elevate him to that status.
2. COORDINATOR MISMATCH
- Kellen Moore may not have had the best year in 2021, but the Cowboys have two amazing coordinators on this coaching staff. That was clearly proven by the fact that both Moore and Dan Quinn got numerous interviews for the nine vacant head coaching positions this offseason. …
- Quinn can likely come up with some kind of scheme or plan for any possible thing that Eagles OC Shane Steichen tries to do. Also, keep in mind that Steichen has a quarterback who isn’t the best or most accurate passer.
- Defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon is seriously benefitting from [Howie] Roseman’s offseason haul. He now has Jordan Davis, Nakobe Dean, Haason Reddick, James Bradberry and Kyzir White at his disposal.
- However … the Eagles allowed an incredibly high completion percentage … and the DC didn’t seem to have a plan for the more elite passers in the NFL. (Narrator: Does anyone?)
- No matter how good of a roster you have, a team must have a proper game plan in place in order to win games. Moore and Quinn do that better than Steichen and Gannon.
If Quinn and Moore are so gosh-darn great, why didn’t they get any of the *nine* head-coaching vacancies? Speaking of interviews, Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon was on the fine dining and interview circuit himself this offseason.
This seems like a reach — the coordinators are better? — from a blog trying to allay a fan base thinking way too much about the Eagles.
3. DEPTH AT CORNERBACK
- While Darius Slay and James Bradberry will certainly help the Eagles defend the Cowboys’ air game, they are only two people. In theory, the Cowboys will have three strong wide receivers to send out against Philly.
- If CeeDee Lamb plays in the slot, which he’s expected to for at least some snaps, Avonte Maddox will likely have a hard time containing him. The Eagles cornerback is decent but has limited experience and hasn’t thrived in any of his four years in the league. Maddox may have his moments, but it’s unlikely he will be able to shut down Lamb for a full four quarters.
- Maddox is also only 5-9 and 184 pounds. Lamb is 6-2. The size mismatch alone will cause problems for the cornerback. The problem is that if Maddox can’t get it done, the depth behind him isn’t very helpful. Zech McPhearson started one game in 2021 and Josiah Scott hasn’t started a single game in two years.
- The hope is that the Cowboys have figured out their wide receiver trio well before Week 6 when they play the Eagles for the first time. Plus, the hope is that Michael Gallup will be healthy and back in the lineup by then.
Well, the Eagles’ starting cornerbacks are potentially their strongest in years. Maddox is a solid nickel back.
Plus, the Eagles’ safeties might be a strength this season, as well, which will help defend the pass. The Eagles are looking for a much improved pass rush to pressure the quarterback, which should help the secondary.
We agree that the back-up cornerbacks could be a problem, unless someone steps up in training camp.
The Eagles play Dallas at home on Sunday, Oct. 16, and are at Dallas on Christmas Eve. Happy holidays!