Grayson’s Grades: Eagles at Cowboys
The Philadelphia Eagles went to Dallas looking to keep their playoff hopes alive. After jumping out to a 14-3 lead, they were outscored 34-3 the rest of the way and lost 37-17 to the Cowboys. With that loss, they were officially eliminated from playoff contention.
The game seemed to turn when Fletcher Cox went out of the game with the Eagles leading 14-3. After he left the game with a stinger, the Cowboys started to go down the field and picked on Corner Michael Jacquet frequently.
The defense failed to get stops and the offense failed to score. Those are two key ingredients that usually lead to losses.
The Eagles will close out their season against the Washington Football Team next week. At this point, they are looking at potentially having a top five pick in the NFL Draft.
Here is the latest edition of Grayson's Grades:
DeSean Jackson - Jackson made a huge play when he got behind the defense and hauled in an 81-yard touchdown reception. However, that was his only target and his only reception. Doug Pederson said he got tight on the sidelines after that and that is why he was not back on the field. Jackson can make some huge plays. But that production is not worth the injury risk that has become such a nagging part of his game this season.
Darius Slay - Slay does not get many opportunities because teams tend to stay away from his side of the field. In this game, there was no reason to throw to his side because the Eagles essentially had a revolving door playing corner on the opposite side of the field. When Andy Dalton tried to throw a ball on Slay's half of the field, he broke on it quickly and picked it off. It should have set the Eagles up for some points, but a bad possession dropped them out of field goal range and it resulted in nothing.
Miles Sanders - Sanders started the game well and capped off the opening drive with a four-yard touchdown run. He had five carries on the opening drive. However, his touches started to dwindle and become few and far between. Sure, it is not Sanders fault if his number is not called. However, he was dropped for a loss on a bad decision to give up yards before turning it up the field. His production was not to the level expected out of him. In my opinion, Sanders should be the focal point of the offense. He produces a solid yards per carry average and is effective as a receiver. He carried the ball 15 times for 57 yards and a touchdown. Sanders also caught four passes for 27 yards.
Jalen Hurts - Hurts started out this game well and I believe a large part of that was due to the success of the running game. When the Eagles got away from that and fell behind in the second half, they became predictable and the Cowboys started dropping guys back in coverage. Eventually it led to a couple of interceptions by Hurts. I believe the fumble that he had which was recovered by Dallas was not really a fumble and was surprised it was not overturned. The Cowboys did a good job of adjusting to what the Eagles were doing and the Eagles never adjusted on their end to counter that. Hurts completed 21 of 39 passes for 342 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
Linebackers - The Eagles linebackers did not have a good game. They typically fill in nicely to help stop the run. However, they were late getting into the holes and failed to fill them in time resulting in a successful ground game for the Cowboys. Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 105 yards and the Cowboys tallied a total of 151 rushing yards in the game. Alex Singleton was not around the ball quite as much as he has been the past few weeks. He finished tied for first on the team with eight tackles. He also added one Quarterback hit. T.J. Edwards added six tackles.
Michael Jacquet - If there was one player who looked like he did not belong on an NFL field in this game, it was clearly Michael Jacquet. He was picked on frequently and taken advantage of by the Cowboys. Jacquet was thrown at nine times and gave up seven catches for 182 yards. He fell down more than once and was owned repeatedly by Cowboys receivers.
Jim Schwartz - Schwartz must be the most stubborn coach in the NFL or at least one of the most stubborn coaches in the league. He fails to make changes or adjustments in the game. I understand he has dealt with an impressive number of injuries to his side of the ball. I also understand he has seen most of his secondary go down. However, the obvious move as the Cowboys started to abuse Jacquet was to get him out of the game and move Jalen Mills to corner. He did not make that move until the second half and that was way too late. Frankly, the Eagles made Andy Dalton look like a top Quarterback in the league. The Cowboys racked up 513 yards of total offense and scored 37 points. That is totally unacceptable in what amounted to a playoff game.
Doug Pederson - Pederson started out with a solid offensive game plan. He let the run game set the tone and used the passing game as a compliment to it. However, he got away from that late in the first half and once again relied heavily on the passing attack. The offense has scored 37 points in the first half in its last two games, but only scored six points in the second half of those two games. Clearly there are little to no adjustments being made by Pederson to counter what the opposing defense is doing. Then there is the game management side of things. I do not understand going for it on fourth and 15 in the third quarter. Yes, it would have been a long field goal attempt, but had it been made would have cut the deficit to 10. After holding the Cowboys, the Eagles got back into field goal range and could have cut it to a one possession game had they kicked the field goal before. It seems reckless. Pederson said he has to evaluate everything about his performance this season after it is over. Clearly his game management needs to be included in that.
Matt Pryor - Pryor could not stop making mistakes and they were the kind of mistakes that should not happen. Sure, getting called for a holding penalty happens in the context of trying to make a play. However, Pryor was called for three false start penalties. Those are pre-snap penalties and unforced errors. Just wait until the ball is snapped!
Nickell Robey-Coleman - Robey-Coleman got burned badly by CeeDee Lamb for a 52 yard touchdown. He also got beat and committed a 34-yard pass interference penalty. This secondary needs to be reworked after being exposed as badly as it was in this game.
Dallas Cowboys v Philadelphia Eagles, November 01, 2020 in Philadelphia