10 unbelievable Eagles stats as we head into Dallas week

10 unbelievable Eagles stats as we head into Dallas week

Stats are a lot more fun when the Eagles are winning. So with the Eagles on their first two-game winning streak of the season, here's a fun look at the Eagles from a statistical perspective:
A running back rarity
Sunday’s game was the first NFL game in 54 years where both teams had a running back 33 or older with a rushing touchdown. The last time it happened was Oct. 18, 1964, when the Eagles beat the Giants 23-17 at Yankee Stadium. Alex Webster, who was 33, had a 1-yard TD run for the Giants and Ollie Matson, 34, had TD runs of 4 and 54 yards for the Eagles.
Peterson makes the wrong kind of history
Adrian Peterson on Monday night became the second player in NFL history with a 90-yard TD who didn’t rush for 100 yards. The only other one was Herschel Walker of the Eagles in 1994. Walker had a 91-yard TD but finished 3 for 98 in a 28-21 loss to the Falcons at the Georgia Dome.

Sproles still going strong
At 35 years, 167 days, Darren Sproles on Monday night became the oldest Eagle with a touchdown since tight end Mike Bartrum — 35 years, 178 days — on a three-yard TD catch from Mike McMahon vs. the Rams in 2005. Sproles is the oldest Eagle with a rushing touchdown since Matson vs. the Redskins in 1966 at 36 years, 231 days old.

Money from 40-and-out
Jake Elliott made two more field goals from 40 yards Sunday — both in the fourth quarter — and he’s now 23 for 28 in his career beyond 40 yards for 82.1 percent. Among kickers with at least 20 attempts, that’s third-highest in NFL history, behind only Harrison Butker of the Chiefs (84.0 percent) and Justin Tucker of the Ravens (82.5 percent). Fourth on that list is Will Lutz of the Saints (81.3 percent). Interesting that all four kick for current or former Eagles coaches.
More Elliott
Elliott is now 18 for 19 in his career in the fourth quarter, which makes him the third-most accurate fourth-quarter kicker in NFL history.

Here’s what that list looks like:

95.1 percent … Stephen Gostkowski [116-122]
94.9 percent … Matt Prater [93-98]
94.7 percent … Jake Elliott [18-19]
93.8 percent … Harrison Butker [15-16]
93.1 percent … Justin Tucker [81-87]

Rookie wonder
Since Week 8, when he started playing regularly, Josh Adams has the fourth-most runs of 18 yards or more in the NFL with five. Only Lamar Miller, Saquon Barkley and Rashaad Penny — all with six — have more. Adams has at least one 18-yard run in five straight games. The last Eagle with a longer streak of games with an 18-yard run is LeSean McCoy with eight straight from Week 5 through 12 of the 2011 season.

Lots of yards, not lots of points
The Redskins game was the Eagles’ ninth this year in which they’ve netted over 340 yards but scored fewer than 30 points. The most such games by any team in NFL history is 10, done most recently by the 2015 Saints and Ravens.

Shutting down the 'Skins
The Eagles held the Redskins to 10 first downs, their fewest in their last 84 meetings with Washington. The last time they allowed fewer was in 1976, when they allowed eight in a game the Redskins actually won, 24-0, at RFK Stadium.

Wentz moving up the list
Carson Wentz passed for 306 yards against the Redskins, his 13th career 300-yard game. Only Andrew Luck (19), Kurt Warner (17) and Dan Marino (16) have had more in their first three seasons.

The race to 10,000 yards
Wentz needs just 86 yards Sunday in Dallas to reach 10,000 passing yards for his career in his 40th career game. That would make him the seventh-fastest quarterback in NFL history to 10,000 yards.

Here are the fastest:

36 games … Kurt Warner
37 games … Matt Stafford
38 games … Marc Bulger
38 games … Andrew Luck
38 games … Dan Marino
39 games … Peyton Manning
40 games … Kirk Cousins
40 games … Jameis Winston
41 games … Blake Bortles
42 games … Jay Cutler
42 games … Cam Newton
42 games … Drew Bledsoe
42 games … Derek Carr
43 games … Carson Palmer
43 games … Andy Dalton
43 games … Daunte Culpepper
43 games … Joe Namath
More Ertz insanity
We outlined some of Zach Ertz’s crazy records earlier this week (see story), but here’s one leftover Ertz stat: In just 5 1/2 years, Ertz already has the third-most games with nine or more catches by an NFL tight end with 14. Tony Gonzalez (25) and Jason Witten (20) are the only tight ends ahead of him.

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Let the Cowboys have their little Thanksgiving game

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Let the Cowboys have their little Thanksgiving game

The Eagles proposed a rule change that would have stripped the Cowboys or Lions of their annual Thanksgiving home games, only to withdraw the proposal presumably because it received about as much support as Donovan McNabb for the Hall of Fame.

The proposal, which would’ve allowed the Cowboys and Lions to continue playing in their holiday slots as long as one of them goes on the road, wasn’t intended as an inconsequential dig at a loathsome NFC East rival and a conference foe. Each year, the NFL gifts a legitimate scheduling advantage to the Cowboys and Lions, forcing their opponents to travel to Dallas or Detroit on a short week — a hardship they are almost never asked to endure themselves — all because tradition.

It’s not fair. Since 2006, the Eagles have played five Thursday away games on short rest, while the Cowboys have played zero. Nobody cares about the Lions.

Based on the Eagles’ withdrawal, nobody really cares about this inequity, either — mildly surprising given the sometimes painstaking lengths the NFL continually goes to balance the schedule.

Then again, I also don’t care. In fact, I’m actively hoping it never changes.

Has anybody truly considered the can of worms this rule would open? As the tradition stands now, the league cycles different teams through Dallas and Detroit to maintain some semblance of fairness. The Eagles have played only two Thanksgiving afternoon games since 1989, which for any human being with responsibilities beyond watching football, is kind of nice. But if any team can suddenly host an afternoon game on Thanksgiving, the Eagles’ chances of interrupting dinner skyrockets.

The Eagles, as an organization, love playing on holidays because of the extra attention. I, on the other hand, personally appreciate the fact that the Cowboys and Lions play on Thanksgiving because, frankly, they’re usually irrelevant teams and I don’t feel the need to catch every second of the games. Football is great, and I watch as much as I can, just in between stuffing my face and spending time with loved ones.

For many Cowboys fans — and maybe Lions fans, too, I guess — Thanksgiving has become their Super Bowl, since the team doesn’t play in the actual big game anymore. They plan their entire get-togethers around watching Dallas with that insufferable grandpop who’s responsible for the family’s misplaced fandom.

It’s a tradition I’m all too happy not to share in on a regular basis. (And won’t somebody please think of the sportswriters who have to work that day?!)

As I get older, I’ve increasingly learned to accept the rules of the game are whatever they are at a given time. They’re constantly changing, and maybe they don’t always make the most sense or aren’t the most just, but teams must find a way to win within the parameters — and they do, all the time.

There’s no doubt the rules are tilted ever-so-slightly in favor of the Cowboys and the Lions in this case, and the Eagles aren’t wrong to mention it. But I’m glad they lost this battle and I hope they continue to do so, because I don’t need any more Eagles games on the holidays than there already are.

Besides, it’s not like the Thanksgiving games have really been hugely beneficial to the Cowboys in recent years, or the Lions ever.

Eagles mailbag: Sidney Jones, Jay Ajayi, early-round RBs

USA Today Images

Eagles mailbag: Sidney Jones, Jay Ajayi, early-round RBs

I’ll be in Phoenix next week for the owners meetings, where we’ll hear from the Eagles’ brass for the first time after all of their moves this offseason. 

But until then, you guys had plenty of questions. 

As always, we got too many for one mailbag, so we split them up. Here’s the first batch: 

I don’t think so. I understand the the cornerback room is crowded, especially after the Eagles brought back Ronald Darby. They have Darby, Jones, Jalen Mills, Rasul Douglas, Avonte Maddox and Cre’Von LeBlanc. But Jones is the one I definitely wouldn’t trade. I know his first real season in the NFL didn’t go as planned, but he was pretty much a rookie last year and he got hurt. I’m nowhere near ready to give up on Jones. There’s a reason he was a first-round talent, there’s a reason the Eagles still drafted him in the second round in 2017 despite the Achilles tear. 

And you have to remember this: Jones is entering his third NFL season but he’s still just 22 and he has a modest cap hit of $1.67 million in 2019. Even next year, he still counts less than $2 million toward the cap. The Eagles owe it to themselves and Jones to find out if he can live up to his potential.  

Good question, but one that’s hard to answer until we actually have a better sense of who will be on the roster. The Eagles are in better shape when it comes to kick returners. They can have Wendell Smallwood or Corey Clement do it. Even Nelson Agholor can be an emergency kick returner. 

Punt returner? That’s a little trickier. The only guy on the team who returned last year with any regularity was Clement and he wasn’t very good at it. In big moments, DeSean Jackson can be the punt returner, but he hasn’t been an every-time returner in a few years. Maybe Nelly can do it; maybe Braxton Miller if he’s on the roster. There’s also a chance the Eagles’ 2019 punt returner isn’t on the roster yet. 

He’s rehabbing from that ACL injury. He reportedly had a visit set up with the Colts and head coach Frank Reich. But I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Eagles bring him back on a cheap deal. I don’t think teams are going to line up to break the bank for him. There were already serious concerns about Ajayi’s knees before the ACL injury. He is a good fit in the locker room and the Eagles should have inside knowledge of his recovery. If the Eagles want to bring him back and then draft a running back to complement him, that’s not a terrible option. Which brings us to this … 

I do. I really do. The Eagles haven’t drafted a running back in the first or second round since LeSean McCoy since 2009, so their recent history says they won’t. But I think this is the year to buck that trend. I’m not sold on the idea of them taking one at 25, but with two second-round picks (53 and 57), things are lining up nicely for them to take one of the running backs who will be second-round picks. I have my eye on Miles Sanders from Penn State or David Montgomery from Iowa State. I think either one would be exactly what the Eagles need. 

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