Eagles Healthier Heading to Sunday, Roddy Piles On
PHILADELPHIA - The Eagles will be the far healthier team heading into Sunday's important division encounter against the Dallas Cowboys.
Special teams stalwart Seyi Ajirotutu was ruled out as he continues to deal with the concussion he suffered during the Week 1 game in Atlanta. Ajirotutu, who is also struggling with an elbow issue, rotated as one of Philadelphia's gunners on punt coverage against the Falcons and is a key part of that package.
The only other Philadelphia player listed on the injury report is second-year outside linebacker Marcus Smith, who was listed as probable after practicing all week. Smith missed the Atlanta game with a strained hamstring suffered against Baltimore during joint practice sessions in training camp. If Smith doesn't suit up against Dallas, it will be a coach's decision.
The Cowboys, on the other hand, are down a number of starters, most notably star receiver Dez Bryant, who broke his foot against the Giants last weekend. The All-Pro wideout will be joined on the sidelines by rookie pass rusher Randy Gregory, who suffered an ankle injury against Big Blue and is set to sit for four to six weeks.
Also, left guard Ronald Leary has been listed as doubtful with a groin injury and backup tight end James Hanna is questionable with a knee injury. veteran quarterback Tony Romo is being given Wednesdays off all year by Dallas coach Jason Garrett this due to his balky back but will play.
Dallas' injury woes are only compounded by the fact that two defensive starters remain on the sidelines because of NFL discipline, defensive end Greg Hardy and middle linebacker Rolando McClain.
Also the Cowboys' best cornerback, Orlando Scandrick, was lost for the season in training camp to a torn ACL.
Roddy White took yet another shot at the embattled Eagles cornerbacks this week when discussing Atlanta’s upcoming game with the New York Giants.
“This is a different week, this is a different team,” the veteran receiver told ESPN. “To me, (the Giants have) got better corners than the guys we played last week. So, it will be different."
It's hard to argue with White because the corner position is probably New York's best defensive unit with ex-Eagle Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Prince Amukamara leading the way.
"They're good players and they can run," White continued. "Rogers-Cromartie has been in the league a long time. He understands stuff. Prince is kind of following behind him. They're going to try and put their hands on you and try to disrupt timings of routes. To me, they're just a better bunch than the guys we just played. So, we'll have to be on our A game."
Jones explained that Philadelphia's corners also wanted to disrupt the timing of routes at the line of scrimmage by pressing last Monday but that does not play to the strengths of Byron Maxwell and Nolan Carroll.
"We know they're not tough at the line of scrimmage," White assessed of the Eagles CBs. "They're not put-your-hands-on-you guys. They just kind of want to shadow you and run with you."
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @JFMcMullen.