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Eagles Evaluation: Eagles Drop A Clunker Against Cowboys

By Gia Lanci, Sports Talk Philly Staff

The Eagles had a divisional game against the Cowboys coming off a bye week, at home on a Sunday night. All the odds were in their favor. Going into this game, the Eagles had four wins and four loses. If they beat the Cowboys, they will be one spot behind the Washington Redskins in the division.This was a crucial game for the entire division.

Below are my drive by drive analyses:

First Quarter

Drive One (Offense)

  • After a touchback, Wentz started off with a short pass to Zach Ertz that ended in a gain of one yard.They attempted to let Golden Tate get involved and it resulted in a gain of seven yards. Not bad for his first play for the Birds.
  • They were unable to get past the 26-yard line, which forced a punt. There was a penalty on the play that pushed back the Cowboys nine more yards, giving them a starting position at their own nine-yard line. Cameron Johnston had a good punt for 46 yards.

Drive Two (Defense)

  • The first play by the defense was a sack by Brandon Graham. Dak Prescott was scrambling and was forced to step up and got sacked. Tremendous start for the defense.
  • The Dallas offense attempted to run the ball, but was shut down quickly by the Eagles defensive line. They don’t have a great throwing quarterback, so the defense needs to continue to shutdown the run game, especially Ezekiel Elliott.
  • With third down and nine yards to go,. Dak had way too much time to throw the ball. He was able to get rid of it, but the receiver caught the ball while jumping and Corey Graham pushed him out of bounds while he was in the air. It was an excellent read on the play by Graham. This forced the punt.

Drive Three (Offense)

  • Golden Tate was in the backfield to return the ball. It was a bad punt by the Cowboys special teams and he ran it 12 yards. Hopefully, he is able to give the offense better starting positions throughout the season since that is something the team has been lacking this season and it is something he is known for.
  • Carson Wentz threw an interception that was intended for Ertz. The defender did come out of nowhere. However, no one was able to block the man who intercepted it and he had a good run after the interception for 28 yards. Isaac Seumalo let the player run right through him. Ertz, Kelce, and Vaati could not get to him in time. Jordan Matthews ended up getting the tackle.

Drive Four (Defense)

  • Their quarterback had another easy pass. He had way too much time to throw the ball. He does get shaken up easily, and that’s what the defense needs to do early on.
  • The defense started to give Dak pressure, but he was able to scramble and gain some yards.
  • A pass was completed giving them a good position to score. He then threw an incomplete pass. No matter what his throwing ability is like, when they are this close to the end zone, the defense needs to blitz.
  • A pass was incomplete and thrown away. The pressure by the defense was coming on strong to Prescott, forcing the throw away. This forced them to attempt a field goal. It was barely made by the kicker.

Drive Five (Offense)

  • After a touchback, Corey Clement attempted to run the ball and gained a few yards. He is not as great as he was expected to be this season. He may still be banged up from his injuries.
  • A quickly released pass was thrown to his good friend, Jordan Matthews. This gained a well-executed first down.
  • Carson Wentz was sacked by Gregory because he took too long and was unable to scramble away. Wentz needs to be quicker just like in the game against the Jaguars. In that game, he threw quickly, which is what he needs to continue to do.
  • Carson had a lot of pressure coming onto him. He was taking way too long to throw the ball. He can not have this issue again. He threw it away to Agholor, for a nicely caught pass that gained 14 yards.
  • They punted to the Cowboys and there was an illegal block in the back, pushing the Cowboys deeper into their own territory. The Cowboys have been hurting themselves with penalties.

Drive Six (Defense)

  • Grugier-Hill almost had a pick six, but dropped the ball. The team overall needs to take advantage of the mistakes by the other teams and turn them into positive plays.
  • Ronald Darby pushed the running back, but did not tackle him. He needs to be able to hold his man and tackle him. It is unbelievable the yards he has allowed this season.
  • The Cowboys got pushed back because of a holding call. It made them have to get 20 yards for the first down. They were stopped by the defense. Barely stopped, but they were. Jordan Hicks stepped up and did others’ jobs, to get the tackle.

Second Quarter

Drive Six Continued (Defense)

  • The Cowboys decide to go for it, but then got a false start. This forced them to punt.

Drive Seven (Offense)

  • The first play of the drive was a run by Josh Adams for 29 yards. He was able to shake someone off of him and continue to run. This was also helped by Zach Ertz, who was able to block for Smallwood.
  • Wentz was able to complete a nice pass to Jeffery. This was because he had a quick release. He needs to continue that. He then had a pass to Zach Ertz, while he was being blitzed.
  • It was fourth down with one yard to go and they handed the ball off to Josh Adams. He was stopped quickly by the defense. This forced the punt.

Drive Eight (Defense)

  • Elliott got shut down by Malcolm Jenkins and Rasul Douglas. This was one of the biggest issues, since they were not able to shut him down right away every time.
  • Dak quickly threw a bad pass, which forced the punt.
  • The Cowboys faked the punt and got the first down.
  • Elliot ran right through some defenders. The defense is unable to stop him.
  • Another screen pass was completed. They need to come up and put pressure on them there so that is prevented.
  • Ezekiel Elliott hurtled Tre Sullivan to get down the field. It was totally embarrassing. He almost allowed the touchdown if it wasn’t for Elliott tripping completely by himself.
  • Dak Prescott went to run it in on third down and goal, when he was stopped by Fletcher Cox. It was a great read on the play and was executed well by Cox.
  • Michael Bennett was able to sack their quarterback and force them to attempt a field goal. This was a big play by Bennett that made sure they did not get into the end zone.

Drive Nine (Offense)

  • Corey Clement attempted to run the ball and gained five yards. It is not like his performance last season, but better than he has been doing.
  • Wentz scrambled and threw a pass on the run to Agholor for the first down. It seems like Wentz needs to run in order pass the ball accurately.
  • A pass to Ertz where he was almost on the ground but surprisingly caught it. Amazing athletic ability on both parts by Ertz and Wentz to be able to execute that play. Another pass was completed to Ertz when he ran for some extra yards to gain the first down. He was well covered and still able to get the yards. If only Wentz could pass the ball to Ertz every play...
  • They were unable to execute, which made them attempt a field goal. There was booing coming from the stadium. Jake Elliott attempted a 56-yard field goal, that was good.They need to go into the locker room and make a big change on the offense.

Drive 10 (Defense)

  • Brandon Graham and Chris Long sacked Prescott.
  • A long pass was thrown for 21 yards. Avonte Maddox was able to get to him and push him out of bounds, but it was obvious the secondary wasn’t going to stop the pass.
  • They then attempt another long pass for 17 yards that was completed and Corey Graham got the tackle. Even an offense that does not have a good throwing quarterback knows to throw against us because the secondary gets beat out every time.
  • The Cowboys ran it in one yard for a touchdown. It was a quarterback sneak by Dak. The extra point was good, as well. The defense just could not stop it.

Third Quarter

Drive 11 (Defense)

  • As soon the half started, Dallas started with the ball. Michael Bennett came out immediately, totally untouched, and got a huge sack on Dak. The Cowboys lost nine yards from the sack. This is the momentum they need the entire game.
  • The defense did not allow the Cowboys to get anywhere, this forced them to punt.

Drive 12 (Offense)

  • The offense started with a long pass to Golden Tate down field. He was well covered, so the pass was incomplete. They should try to get Golden Tate a little more action and use him for what he came here for.
  • Jason Peters had an excellent block to stop the defender.
  • Zach Ertz was able to stretch and make a spectacular catch, gaining some extra yards. He was well covered and was still able to execute the play. Wentz also had a lot of pressure on him and still was able to complete the pass.
  • A pass was incomplete intended for Jeffrey in the endzone. That was their opportunity. They had great momentum moving upfield, but they could not finish. This forced them to attempt only a field goal.

Drive 13 (Defense)

  • After a touchback, Elliott was able to find the gap and run straight through for 14 yards. It took three defenders to tackle him.
  • Elliott was able to find the gap again and ran for 35 yards. Rasul Douglas was unable to close the gap and it was left wide open for Elliott. Malcolm Jenkins ran him down and knocked the ball out of his hands, however it went out of bounds.
  • Nigel Braham and Corey Graham did an excellent job of putting pressure on Dak. As soon as he saw them going after him, he immediately threw away the ball. He needs to get pressure on him consistently. He will psych himself out.
  • Dak Prescott scrambles away from Brandon Graham and Chris Long. As they were putting pressure on him, he was running away and the ball slipped out of his hands and he fumbled the ball with a loss of 17 yards. This forced a 42-yard field goal attempt that was no good.

Drive 14 (Offense)

  • A quick pass was thrown to Jeffery to gain just a few yards for the first down. They are only throwing it for no more than 10 yards. They need to take some risks with some bigger passes.
  • Wentz held it way too long and got sacked. He then threw to Jeffery, who was well covered and could not catch it. Wentz really needs to think about whose he’s passing it to and see who is well covered or not.
  • A pass was complete to Jordan Matthews for a big first down to keep it moving. The offensive line did a great job of giving Wentz the time he needed and the time it took for Matthews to get where he needed since he was wide open.
  • A big back to back pass was thrown to Jordan Matthews. It was a quickly released pass with a wide open target.
  • Agholor caught a short pass where he was able to run after the catch and gain a few yards, but still was short of the first down. He did a good job of still gaining extra yards with two defenders on him.
  • Since they had one yard to go to get the first down, they attempted a quarterback sneak that worked in their advantage to gain the first down.
  • Carson attempted to fake the handoff to Corey Clement, That seemed to have worked against the defensive line. Wentz then fired a 15-yard completed pass to Zach Ertz and he ran it in for their first touchdown of the game. Zach Ertz ran a good route and was wide open to catch the pass from Wentz. They tied the game.

Drive 15 (Defense)

  • A short pass was completed and he tried to run a little, but was stopped. However, Nigel Bradham missed the first tackle on him and Malcolm Jenkins stepped up and got the tackle.
  • There was a high snap that disoriented the offense. Dak quickly got rid of it to Elliott, who then found the gap between the defenders occupied. Corey Graham missed the tackle and Nigel Brahem was able to get it this time. Apparently Elliott is unstoppable to this defense.
  • Ezekiel Elliott is able to run through some more defenders. If they give him any space at all, he took advantage of it and is unattainable by the defense. He broke a tackle by Tre Sullivan and Jordan Hicks was able to get to him for the tackle. He has gained 139 yards thus far.

Fourth Quarter

Drive 15 Continued

  • A pass was thrown to Beasley for 15 yards. Jordan Hicks was able to get on him right away. The quarterback had way too much time to throw the ball. The defensive line could not get to him to put pressure on him since they are forced to play zone because of the injuries, resulting in another first down for the Cowboys.
  • Ezekiel Elliott ran right through the middle. Finally someone was able to stop him immediately and it was Brandon Graham. If only he ran up the middle every time...
  • A touchdown pass is thrown to Elliott to take the lead. Jordan Hicks got picked off and ran right into Corey Graham resulting in Elliott being wide open and able to catch the pass.

Drive 16 (Offense)

  • Corey Clement returned the ball for 21 yards. One of the better returns of the season, even though it was not great.
  • Josh Adams got a decent run for five yards. Then a pass was thrown to Jeffery for 10 yards and gained the first down. He jumped and caught a hard ball that he needed to stretch out for. They need to keep it going here if they plan to get on top.
  • Carson Wentz was given plenty of time by the offensive line to execute a beautiful pass to Agholor for 51 yards. This is a perfect example of everyone doing their jobs. The O-line protecting the QB, Wentz looking in the field and Agholor running a perfect route to catch the ball.
  • Josh Adams carried the ball and was able to shrug off a defender and gain more yards before he got tackled. He gained six yards.
  • Carson Wentz passed to Zach Ertz for a touchdown. It was a short pass for only one yard. Zach Ertz was able to catch the ball while he was well-covered. It was also a quick release for Wentz, which seems to work for him. The extra point was good and tied the game.

Drive 17 (Defense)

  • The ball was carried and almost halted by Rasul Douglas, but he was unable to stop him. Jordan Hicks stepped up and did the defender’s job again and got the tackle. The runner still gained 17 yards.
  • A pass was thrown to a wide open Amari Cooper for 24 yards. Maddox and Grugier-Hill get the tackle. The secondary was unable to stop him because of the backups in due to injuries. The pressure put on Dak was good by Brandon Graham and Malcolm Jenkins.
  • A pass was thrown to Hurns and he ran to gain yards after the catch. The defense could not stop him. Corey Graham dove to tackle him, but could not stop him until he was eventually taken down by Douglas and Hicks.
  • Elliott ran it in for a touchdown and the Cowboys took the lead as the clock was winding down in the fourth quarter.

Drive 18 (Offense)

  • A short pass was thrown to Jeffery, who ran and gained 17 yards.
  • There were a few short runs that only gained a few yards for the offense, which did not help them in this case. They have to get points on the board in a short amount of time. They need to make bigger plays in this case.
  • A short pass was thrown to Corey Clement and had a loss of five yards on the play.
  • Then on fourth down, they went for it and passed the ball to, surprise, Zach Ertz. It was reviewed but remained short of the first down marker, resulting in a turnover on downs.

Drive 19 (Defense)

  • The Cowboys got a three and out for their last drive of the game. On the first play, Brandon Graham pushed back Elliott. Then Rasul Douglas pushed the receiver back for negative four yards, making it third with 15 yards to go. The defense was able to hold them.

Drive 20 (Offense)

  • The first play of their last drive to redeem themselves is a pass to Ertz for 13 yards.
  • The clock was winding down and a pass deep to Agholor was incomplete. It was a deep pass that Agholor just could not catch.
  • It was third down with three yards to go. Wentz threw a 14-yard pass to Zach Ertz that was completed for a first down.
  • They tried to give it to Ertz again but he was pushed out of bounds and was unable to execute.
  • A pass was thrown deep middle to Ertz for 23 yards. Then he tried to lateral it to Golden Tate, but he had no gain on the play. This is when the clock ran out. The Eagles did not end up on top in week 10.

Game Notes

  • They should’ve won this game. They came into it too confident and it ended up coming back to bite them. There needs to be a big change going into the game against the Saints.
  • On the offense, it seems like the only people to make any plays are Carson Wentz and Zach Ertz. I understand that he is the most reliable player for Carson, however there are other offensive weapons that need to be played, like Josh Adams, Jordan Matthews, Dallas Goedert, Wendell Smallwood, Golden Tate and Corey Clement.
  • This game was a replay of Ezekiel Elliott against the defense like Saquon Barkley against our defense when we played the Giants. If they got to our secondary, there was no stopping them. Not even close. He ran all over our defense and that is one of the main reasons the Eagles lost the game.
  • They need to come out and score on their first or second drive of each game. They need to get on top early so they aren’t trailing in the end. In this game, they did not even score until the second quarter. That is unacceptable. Also, the Cowboys had so many penalties in the first half, and they were digging their own grave. This should’ve given the Eagles an advantage and they should have taken that advantage and put some points on the board.
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