Ladies and gentlemen, it is Dallas week! The Eagles will hit the road for a Monday Night showdown against their archrivals, the Dallas Cowboys. The Eagles and Cowboys both stand atop the NFC East at 1-1, while Washington fell to 1-2 after a disastrous loss in Buffalo, and the Giants lost in spectacular fashion to the Falcons at MetLife Stadium. So that means not only will this Monday Night game be another installment of the best rivalry in the NFL, but whoever wins tonight will have sole possession of first place in the NFC East.
Dallas is already without their star receiver, Michael Gallup, and Pro Bowl defensive, end Demarcus Lawrence, both of which landed on short term IR. The Cowboys will also be without one of the best tackles in the game, La'el Collins, who is suspended after bribing an NFL drug testing official. Two rotational defense ends, Ty Nsekhe and Carlos Watkins, are out with an illness and knee injury. The Cowboys will also most likely be without starting safety Donovan Wilson, who was listed as doubtful after not playing last week. Another key injury to monitor is that of Pro Bowl wideout Amari Cooper, who is dealing with a rib injury. Cooper is not at full strength, but he will likely try to play through the pain in a rivalry game.
After the Week 2 loss to the 49ers, the two Pro Bowl veterans Brandon Graham and Brandon Brooks ended up on IR, and the starting safety Rodney McLeod is still out recovering from an achilles injury. The Eagles young star tackle Jordan Mailata sustained a knee sprain in practice this week, and he is also out for Monday night. Boston Scott and Davion Taylor are both questionable with an illness and calf injury.
Darius Slay and Steven Nelson vs Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb
Josh Sweat vs Terence Steele
Javon Hargrave vs Tyler Biadasz
The Eagles defense going up against the Cowboys offense will be a fun matchup to watch, as both units have been as good as any in the NFL this season. In Philly's last several meetings against the Cowboys, Dallas' stacked receiving core has been able to take advantage of an inexperienced Eagles secondary, but with the offseason addition of Steven Nelson, the Eagles corners can go blow for blow against the Cowboys wideouts. As noted earlier, Amari Cooper is dealing with a rib injury and he is not at full health, so we could expect to see Darius Slay draw the matchup of CeeDee Lamb, leaving Steven Nelson to cover the boundary against either Amari Cooper or Cedrick Wilson. The Cowboys have one of the best backfield duos with Ezekiel Elliot and Tony Pollard, so they will try and take the pressure off Dak by establishing the run game. If the Eagles can take away the Dallas run game and force the Cowboys to become one dimensional, the birds have a great shot to steal one on primetime.
Devonta Smith vs Trevon Diggs
Andre Dillard vs Micah Parsons
Dallas Goedert vs Damontae Kazee
The loss of Demarcus Lawrence is a detrimental one to the Cowboys, as Lawrence is the heart and soul of that defense. With Lawrence out, that forced the rookie linebacker Micah Parsons into a full time edge rushing roll, and he had a phenomenal game last week against the Chargers. With Andre Dillard starting in the place of the injured Jordan Mailata, Micah Parsons will have a phenomenal matchup against a young tackle in Dillard who has struggled throughout his career. Something we have seen more and more of throughout the NFL is matchups against former Alabama teammates, and we are in for a treat tonight between two former Crimson Tide stars as Trevon Diggs will be shadowing Devonta Smith all night long. Diggs has gotten off to a solid start to the 2021 campaign coming away with two interceptions in two games, and Diggs also had three interceptions against the Eagles last year as a rookie, but he will have his hands full with DeVonta Smith. The Cowboys linebackers love to crash down in the run game, which leaves the middle of the field open on play action and misdirection plays. Hurts has struggled throwing inside the numbers this year, but he will need to hit on the opportunities that present themselves tonight.