Eagles

If they're healthy enough to play, Jalen Mills and Ronald Darby will be Eagles' starting corners against Cowboys

If they're healthy enough to play, Jalen Mills and Ronald Darby will be Eagles' starting corners against Cowboys

After cobbling together their cornerback position for the first six games of the 2019 season, the Eagles are hoping to get reinforcements this weekend in Dallas. 

Jalen Mills and Ronald Darby have been practicing and it looks like they’re trending toward returns against the Cowboys on Sunday night. And it looks like they’re going to return as starters. 

On Friday morning, head coach Doug Pederson was asked if he still views Mills and Darby as starters.

“I think so,” Pederson said. “I think those two would just kind of assume their roles moving forward, yeah.” 

Since the start of the 2017 season, including playoffs, the Eagles are 13-5 when Mills and Darby start. (They were 9-1 in 2017 and 4-4 in 2018.) 

Mills and Darby haven’t started a game together since Oct. 28 last season. That was also the last time Mills played in a game. Mills began this season on the PUP list with that same foot injury, but began practicing this week. If he is able to play and start on Sunday, expect there to be a rotation. 

Darby (hamstring) came back from an ACL tear from last season, but injured his hamstring against Detroit and missed the last three games. He’s been limited in practice this week, but hasn’t missed nearly as much time as Mills. 

Pederson said both have “been doing extremely well” this week in practice. 

“I think you still would rotate,” Pederson said. “It just depends on how both of those guys feel with coming off their injury and working themselves back into game shape, I guess. But I would anticipate that both of them would get a lot more time moving forward.”

If Mills and Darby start this week, Orlando Scandrick will likely be the nickel cornerback because Avonte Maddox (concussion, neck) still hasn’t returned. Rasul Douglas and Sidney Jones would be the next two corners to rotate in. 

The Cowboys’ top receiver, Amari Cooper, is banged up and might not play. But either way, the Cowboys might try to test both cornerbacks coming back from injuries. 



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2019 NFL playoff picture: The entire NFC East really, really, really sucks

2019 NFL playoff picture: The entire NFC East really, really, really sucks

The Eagles have won one game since the first week of November, and they’ve lost exactly half a game to the first-place Cowboys in the NFC East standings.

The Cowboys lost their third straight game Thursday night, falling to the Bears, 31-24, in Chicago.

This definitely helps the Eagles although not quite as much as you might think.

Here's why:

The Cowboys fell to 6-7 after a 3-0 start. The Eagles are 5-7 with a game Monday night against the 2-10 Giants at the Linc.

But even with Dallas losing Thursday night, the Eagles still have to beat the Cowboys head-to-head and win their three other games to guarantee that they win the NFC East.

That’s because the Cowboys can still lose to the Eagles and finish 8-8 overall and 5-1 in the NFC East if they beat the Rams next Sunday and the Redskins on the final day of the season.

But even with a win over the Cowboys, a loss in any of their other games — to the Giants home and away or the Redskins — would leave the Eagles 8-8 overall and 4-2 in the division.

The Eagles easily win the common opponents tiebreaker with the Cowboys, but that doesn't come into play unless the teams are tied overall, head-to-head and in division record.

But the Cowboys' latest loss does help the Eagles in that if the Cowboys lose to either the Rams a week from Sunday or the Redskins on Dec. 29, the Eagles could afford to lose one of their remaining games and still win the division at 8-8 if they beat the Cowboys head-to-head, since in that scenario the Cowboys would finish 7-9.

The website fivethirtyeight.com, which provides percentages for teams to reach the playoffs based on changeable variables, had the Eagles with a 34 percent chance of winning the NFC East before the Cowboys-Bears game. That would have gone down to 26 percent if the Cowboys won. Instead it increased to 41 percent. 

If the Eagles beat the Giants Monday night, their chances increase to 47 percent. 

It's been so long since either of these teams won a game it seems silly to even talk about the playoff picture. 

But somebody has to win the NFC East. 

We think?

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Eagle Eye podcast: Which coaches are on the hot seat?

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Eagle Eye podcast: Which coaches are on the hot seat?

On the latest Eagle Eye podcast presented by Nissan, Reuben Frank and Dave Zangaro react to Doug Pederson’s comments about coaching staff accountability and go through his roster of coaches. 

Kamu Grugier-Hill has a concussion. Mack Hollins is gone. Jordan Howard still isn’t cleared for contact and the team hasn’t been the same without him.

And the Eagles do have a game this week! 

• Marken Michel is back and Dave is happy 
• Kamu Grugier-Hill has a concussion 
• Doug says he’ll hold coaches accountable 
• Which coaches might not be back?
• Mack Hollins gets cut 
• A lot of big contributors have gotten cut
• Eagles really miss Jordan Howard 
• Miles Sanders and Saquon Barkley 
• At least one more game vs. Eli 

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