Dallas Goedert’s second NFL season has been filled with ups and downs, but when the Eagles needed it most, the tight end delivered a career game against the Cowboys on Sunday.
With Zach Ertz hurting and presumably slowed by a rib injury, Goedert set new single-game highs with nine receptions for 91 yards. He also hauled in his fifth touchdown, eclipsing his scoring total from last season, and leading the Eagles in all three receiving categories in a 17-9 win over the Cowboys (see Roob's observations).
The last time the NFC East rivals clashed, Goedert finished with four catches for 69 yards and a touchdown. However, he fumbled on the game’s opening possession, putting the Eagles in an early hole in an eventual blowout loss in October.
Until Sunday, moments such as that turnover were more emblematic of Goedert’s season.
Goedert lost a fumble in a close loss to the Seahawks in November as well, while dropped passes have reared their ugly head in some pivotal situations.
But with the Eagles low on wide receivers thanks to injuries, and even lower on receivers who are actually effective, the ball continued to come Goedert’s way. He even became the focal point of the offense against the Cowboys with 12 targets.
“When Zach went down, it was tough,” said Goedert. “We don’t have a whole lot of bodies, but we did everything we could. I might have gotten a few of his routes and stuff like that, but it was fun.”
A second-round draft pick, Goedert flashed the ability to be a No. 1 tight end going back to his rookie year. This season, he’s quietly ranked among the best players at his position with 54 receptions (ninth), 542 yards (12th) and five touchdowns (tied for seventh).
He’s really come on since October in particular, racking up 49 catches for 489 yards and four scores in the Eagles’ last 10 games.
And finally, during the Eagles’ ongoing three-game winning streak, Goedert has continued to produce while simultaneously cutting out the costly mistakes. It was instrumental in snapping the club’s losing streak against the Cowboys.
“The last three games we played them, we were down at halftime every game,” said Goedert. “So just to get that early jump, put them in the bind of playing from behind and we were able to do that — go score on the first possession, score on the second possession and we just kept rolling from there.”
After going up 3-0, the Eagles marched right back down the field, with Carson Wentz finding Goedert for a six-yard score. The 6-foot-5, 256-pound tight end skied over the coverage to pluck the ball out of the air, then shrugged off a hit from another defender.
“He's so tough, not only in the run game, but made some big catches tonight and extended some drives for us,” Doug Pederson said. “Got a great rapport with Carson being on the same page.”
It was the game critics have been waiting to see from Goedert, who clearly has the potential to be a Pro Bowl tight end in this league but now is starting to play like it, too.
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