Eagles

5 storylines to watch as Eagles face Cowboys in Week 3

Eagles

The Eagles (1-1) are coming off a loss to the 49ers and will travel to North Texas to face the Cowboys (1-1), who are coming off a win over the Chargers.

Monday Night Football in Arlington, Texas, should be a fun one.

Here are five storylines to watch:

Will Nick Sirianni and Jalen Hurts rebound?

In the first game of the season, head coach and quarterback got off to a fantastic start together. The second game of the season wasn’t as good. Sure, there were good moments in the loss to the 49ers bu the Eagles’ offense put up just 11 points in the 17-11 loss.

Sirianni struggled as a play caller, specifically on the goal line series, against the 49ers. He’s a young head coach and a young play caller but he needs to be better and he admitted as much. It seemed like he took his first loss hard, so he needs to regroup and rebound.

As for Hurts, he had good moments in Week 2 as well but missed on a couple shot plays and saw his completion percentage plummet.

These guys are linked together because they can help each other look good (or bad) in Week 3. It’s imperative that they have a good feel for one another if this offense is going to succeed.

Can defense keep it up?

Through two games, the Eagles’ defense has looked pretty good, giving up a total of just 23 points — 6 to the Falcons and 17 to the 49ers. They did give up two 90+ yard drives against the Niners, which is not ideal, but holding a team to 17 points ought to be good enough to win.

 

But now they’re about to go on a stretch against some really good offenses over the next month and that starts with the Cowboys and Dak Prescott. Here’s a look at their next five opponents and where they rank in offensive yards and points:

Week 3: at Cowboys: 4th/15th

Week 4: vs. Chiefs: 9th/3rd

Week 5: at Panthers: 14th/19th

Week 6: vs. Buccaneers: 13th/1st

Week 7: at Raiders: 1st/7th

How much will injuries hurt?

Through one week of the season, the Eagles were looking like they put their injuries woes in the past. But then in Week 2, the Eagles lost two of their best and most important players. Brandon Graham is done for the season with an Achilles tear and Brandon Brooks will miss some time with a pec strain the team doesn’t believe to be season-ending.

So now the Eagles have to replace them.

With Graham, it’ll most likely be a committee approach and that approach might change week-to-week. But you can probably assume the combination of Josh Sweat, Derek Barnett, Ryan Kerrigan and Milton Williams (and maybe even Tarron Jackson) will need to pick up the slack.

With Brooks, the answer is much simpler. The Eagles used the No. 37 draft pick on Landon Dickerson and now it’s time to see what he can do. Dickerson was thrust into action against the 49ers and it wasn’t a great NFL debut. But it was his first NFL action and he missed all of training camp so maybe that’s to be expected. The next month or so will tell us a lot about Dickerson.

NFC East showdown

The Eagles play the Cowboys on Monday night and then won’t have another NFC East game for two months. It makes sense to backload the division games for the stretch run but this is pretty extreme. Five of the Eagles' last six games are division games. Who knows what the NFC East will look like by then.

Because of that, there is some obvious added pressure to this game against the Cowboys. Not only is it a rivalry, not only is it one of just two primetime games on the schedule, but it’s the only chance for a while to pick up a game on a division opponent.

Struggles at AT&T Stadium

The Eagles haven’t had much recent success at AT&T Stadium. They’ve lost their last three games there and the last two haven’t been pretty. The Cowboys won last year 37-17 and won two years ago 37-10.

But it could be fun on Monday. Because before those two games, three of the previous four games between these two teams in North Texas went into overtime. The Cowboys won two, the Eagles won in 2015.

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