Cowboys-Eagles SNF clash promises NFC East fireworks – Philadelphia Eagles Blog

The NFC East, after years within the doldrums, is again.

No department has extra wins thru 5 weeks (14). The Philadelphia Eagles (5-0), Dallas Cowboys (4-1) and New York Giants (4-1) have simply two losses between them thus far. The Washington Commanders? Well, they’re 1-4.

The NFC East renaissance takes middle degree when the undefeated Eagles host the Cowboys on Sunday night time (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC), with implications now not only for the divisional race however in early jockeying for playoff positioning within the NFC. It includes a pair of most sensible-10 defenses, two quarterbacks in Jalen Hurts and Cooper Rush — assuming Dak Prescott stays sidelined following thumb surgical procedure — who’ve exceeded expectancies, and a bunch of emerging stars that incorporates Dallas defenders Micah Parsons and Trevon Diggs and Eagles receivers A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith.

It’s excellent on excellent within the East, in the end. ESPN Eagles reporter Tim McManus and Cowboys reporter Todd Archer take a more in-depth have a look at the matchup:

Which protection is healthier? State your case for the workforce you quilt.

Archer: The Cowboys are doing issues defensively that Dallas has now not observed since 1972. They have now not allowed greater than 19 issues of their first 5 video games. The unique Doomsday pulled that off in 1972. They have now not allowed multiple landing in a recreation all season both. And they have got performed in opposition to Tom Brady, Joe Burrow and Matthew Stafford in 3 of the ones 5 video games.

They have 20 sacks, tied for the fourth-maximum the Cowboys have had thru 5 video games. Parsons is tied for the league lead with six sacks and Dallas has 9 gamers with a minimum of one sack. They may well be just a little at risk of the run, which is a huge factor this week in opposition to the Eagles, however it has progressed every week.

McManus: The Eagles have the extra entire protection from entrance to again. Dallas’ edge rushers are elite, however Philadelphia’ cross rush is extra flexible, attacking from the interior (defensive take on Fletcher Cox has 3 sacks) and out (linebacker Haason Reddick leads the best way with 4.5 sacks and 3 pressured fumbles).

And whilst Dallas has the brink in general sacks (20 to the Eagles’ 17), Philadelphia is tied for first in takeaways with 11 in comparison to seven for the Cowboys, which is extra center of the pack. Like Parsons up entrance, Diggs (9 PBU, 2 INT) is the principle appeal, while corners Darius Slay and James Bradberry percentage the weight for the Eagles with two interceptions and 5 cross destroy-ups apiece.

It’s all very a lot on logo: if you need flash, the workforce with the megastar on its helmets is for you. If you are larger on substance, it is the workmanlike Eagles, who’ve the second one-best protection within the NFL in line with ESPN’s metrics (75.50). The Cowboys rank 6th in that class (66.70).

Describe your quarterback’s play in 3 phrases or much less

Archer: Efficient, mistake-unfastened.

Rush has been wonderful as Prescott’s alternative. Hard to argue with a 4-0 file, however for the ones short of him to proceed because the starter even if Prescott is wholesome, this is not 2016. As a rookie, the Cowboys stored Prescott within the lineup over Tony Romo on account of an 11-recreation win streak, however the offense post 24 or extra issues in 10 of the ones 11 wins. The Cowboys have crowned 24 issues as soon as underneath Rush.

Dallas has received with no top-scoring offense as a result of Rush has now not had an interception and the workforce is not turning the ball over. It’s virtually like they’re harkening again to another generation of soccer with this managed offense and hellacious protection. But ultimately, they’ll have to attain greater than 25 issues to win a recreation.

McManus: Dynamic.

Hurts stays a pressure at the floor — he’s tied for 2nd within the NFL in speeding touchdowns (six) and is 2nd amongst quarterbacks in speeding yards (266) — however it is his growth as a passer that has him within the league MVP dialog. He ranks 5th in crowning glory fee (67.9%) after completing twenty sixth in that class a yr in the past (61.3%) and is averaging 8.5 yards in line with cross try, 2nd-maximum within the league. While the addition of Brown has indisputably made his existence more uncomplicated, Hurts merits lots of the credit score. He has diligently labored to easy out his mechanics and has sturdy command of this offensive device. He is aware of the place to head with the soccer and has been getting it there as it should be.

The one fear is the selection of hits he is been taking. Hurts is a long way and away the chief in QB contacts (84) thru 5 video games. That quantity may shoot up additional this week with left take on Jordan Mailata (shoulder), guards Landon Dickerson (leg) and Isaac Seumalo (ankle) and middle Jason Kelce (ankle) all banged as much as various levels.

Key Cowboys-Eagles matchup to look at

Archer: Cowboys cross rush vs. Eagles offensive line

For the soccer nerds, this might be heaven. Strength vs. energy. The Cowboys are 2nd within the league in sacks. The Eagles’ offensive line is thought of as one of the vital absolute best — if now not the most productive — within the NFL, even though, as Tim discussed, they input this one banged up virtually around the board. While Parsons will get a large number of nationwide consideration, the cross rush is going past him.

Eagles lovers know DeMarcus Lawrence rather neatly. He has simply 3 sacks in 14 video games in opposition to the Eagles however he has 9 tackles for loss and 10 quarterback hits. He will see proper take on Lane Johnson a host, and Johnson hasn’t allowed a sack since Week 11 of the 2020 season. Dorance Armstrong has 4 sacks, one off the profession-top he set ultimate yr. The Cowboys love to play a large number of video games up entrance with twists and stunts that give linemen bother. Hurts’ talent to run would possibly mitigate a few of that on Sunday, however no one has actually bogged down the Dallas cross rush but. If the Eagles do not, then the Cowboys usually are in first position within the NFC East on Sunday night time.

McManus: A.J. Brown vs. Trevon Diggs

Diggs’ 9 cross destroy-ups lead the league. He’s a large play ready to occur, as evidenced by way of his two interception returns for touchdowns ultimate yr. But his consistency as a defender has dipped, a minimum of within the early going of the season. Quarterbacks are finishing 63% in their passes in opposition to him, in comparison to 52% in 2021. And he is already given up a couple of touchdowns, as opposed to 4 all of ultimate yr.

If the ones traits proceed, it’s going to be increase-or-bust in opposition to Brown, who has tailored to Philadelphia’s device neatly since being bought from the Tennessee Titans this offseason. He ranks 5th in receiving yards (436) and is 6th amongst receivers in yards after the catch (168). Diggs and Co. do not have to only fear about masking the 6-foot-1, 226-pound Brown downfield, however getting him to the bottom after quick crossers and slants over the center.

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