ARLINGTON, Tx – The Philadelphia Eagles currently hold the fourth-best passing defense in the NFL – giving up 162.5 passing yards per game. They neutralized the Atlanta Falcon’s offense in week one – holding them to six points – before holding Jimmy Garoppolo to 189 yards passing and zero touchdowns. It marked the second consecutive week of them holding the opposing passer to less than 200 yards in the air.
Opposingly, Dallas holds the fifth-best offense in terms of passing yards at 306 yards per game. A significant increase from the 260 yards/game they averaged when Dallas played Philadelphia last year. The most important factor is that being a healthy Dak Prescott. It’s been 50 weeks since Prescott played on the field of AT&T Stadium.
“Knowing that when I run out there, once again whether it’s pregame or if it’s in a moment within the game, to see up there and with COVID and knowing what we all went through last year, to have them all back, it will be exciting,” Prescott said. “I’ll take that moment, I’ll be thankful for it, but then flip my mind right back again to the Eagles defense and what I have to do to win the game.”
The Cowboys lost their first four games without Prescott last year before improbably keeping their playoff hopes in the weak NFC East alive until the final week of the season, eventually missing the postseason at 6-10. They split their division games against the Eagles and even came away with a 20-point victory in the two sides’ final meeting of the year.
Quarterback Andy Dalton lit the Eagles’ secondary up for 377 yards and three touchdowns. Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup both went for 121 yards, while Ezekiel Elliott ran for 105 yards.
It was perhaps the most complete offensive performance of the season for a Dallas team who struggled for the most part without Prescott. However, that game has served as a blueprint for how the Dallas offense chooses to function in 2021.
The Cowboys rushed 34 times and passed another 30. Elliott led the group with 19 carries, while Tony Pollard added another nine. CeeDee Lamb also had a carry he took for 19 yards.
Gallup had six receptions, Cooper and Elliott four, Lamb and Dalton Shultz three with Pollard and Blake Bell each adding one reception.
Dallas also had a scoring drive every quarter and scored on eight of their 12 possessions, The offensive game plan centered around taking as much pressure off their quarterback as they could and letting the surrounding talent showcase their skills.
Didn’t need Dalton to carry the load, or Elliott to tote the ball 30 times. Allow what’s in front of you to dictate the game.
This year, we’ve seen Prescott throw the ball 50 times and the next week the running game accounts for nearly 200 yards of offense. It’s not entering the ball game with a predetermined notion of what must work for you to be successful.
Dallas has the talent to adapt to whatever the opposing defense is trying to stop. And if they continue to do so then they’ll be walking away with their first division win of the season Monday night.
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