Know Your Eagles Enemy: The Dallas Cowboys

NFL: DEC 22 Cowboys at Eagles
PHILADELPHIA, PA – DECEMBER 22: Dallas Cowboys Wide Receiver Michael Gallup (13) looks for a pass defended by Philadelphia Eagles Cornerback Jalen Mills (31) in the second half during the game between the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles on December 22, 2019 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

Happy Dallas Hate Week, Eagles fans!

Let’s just get the stats over with before going into this dumpster fire of an organization.

2019 Ranks:

  • Yards per game: 431.5 (1st)
  • Passing yards per game: 296.9 (2nd)
  • Rushing yards per game: 134.6 (5th)
  • Points per game: 27.1 (6th)
  • Yards allowed per game: 327.0 (9th)
  • Passing yards allowed per game: 223.5 (10th)
  • Rushing yards allowed per game: 103.5 (11th)
  • Turnover differential: 20.1 (11th)
Key additions:

K Greg Zuerlein (free agency), DT Dontari Poe (free agency), LB Aldon Smith (reinstatement from suspension), CB Daryl Worley (free agency), QB Andy Dalton (free agency), DE Randy Gregory (reinstatement from suspension), WR CeeDee Lamb (draft), DE Everson Griffen (free agency), DT Dontari Poe (free agency), HC Mike McCarthy

Key departures:

WR Randall Cobb (free agency), TE Jason Witten (free agency), C Travis Frederick (retirement), G Xavier Su’a-Filo (free agency), T Cam Fleming (free agency), DT Maliek Collins (free agency), DT Christian Covington (free agency), CB Byron Jones (free agency), DE Robert Quinn (free agency), S Jeff Heath (free agency), QB Dak Prescott (injury), QB Andy Dalton (concussion – will miss this game), T La’el Collins (injury), T Tyron Smith (injury), TE Blake Jarwin (injury), DE Everson Griffen (trade), DT Dontari Poe (released), CB Daryl Worley (released)

2020 Ranks:

  • Yards per game: 418.8 (2nd)
  • Passing yards per game: 316.1 (1st)
  • Rushing yards per game: 101.9 (24th)
  • Points per game: 25.1 (T-18th)
  • Yards allowed per game: 408.1 (27th)
  • Passing yards allowed per game: 229.9 (21st)
  • Rushing yards allowed per game: 178.3 (32nd)
  • Turnover differential: -13 (32nd)

The additions and departures section almost needed a page on its own, whew.

The Dallas Cowboys are an absolute dumpster fire. The new addition of Mike McCarthy was supposed to bring a much-needed spark to a team that has underachieved with Jason Garrett. However, the 2-5 Cowboys sit third in the division with the 2-5 Washington team in second (Washington is 2-1 in division). The 2-4-1 Eagles are in prime position to take a “commanding” 1.5 game lead in the division heading into the bye.

Eagles fans know this feeling all too well

Injuries aren’t so funny now, huh Cowboys fans? Ok so Cowboys fans are more likely to admit 1995 was a long time ago before reading my article, but still.

As you saw in the departures, there’s a whole lot of names on that injury report in Dallas.

But next man up, right?

Injuries have decimated this team. The offensive line has gone from one of the best in the league to one of the worst, leading to Ezekiel Elliot averaging a career-low 65.4 rushing yards and is already one fumble away from tying his career-high of 6.

Their running backs are being stuffed at the line 18% of the time, which is 18th in the league (Football Outsiders).

This defensive line needs to take advantage of this and cause havoc for the running back who is averaging 103.5 rushing yards versus the Eagles in his career.

Eagles QB Carson Wentz is heating up

Over the past few weeks, Carson Wentz has been feeling frisky with the deep ball:

Week 1 6.3 12
Week 2 4.9 6.1
Week 3 3.4 6.7
Week 4 3.4 5.2
Week 5 10.3 13.6
Week 6 7.3 10.3
Week 7 9.3 9.8

CAY = Completed Air Yards

IAY = Intended Air Yards

Via Next Gen Stats:

Average Completed Air Yards (CAY) and Average Intended Air Yards (IAY):

Air Yards is the vertical yards on a pass attempt at the moment the ball is caught in relation to the line of scrimmage. CAY shows the average Air Yards a passer throws on completions, and IAY shows the average Air Yards a passer throws on all attempts. This metric shows how far the ball is being thrown ‘downfield’. Air Yards is recorded as a negative value when the pass is behind the Line of Scrimmage. Additionally Air Yards is calculated into the back of the end zone to better evaluate the true depth of the pass.

So yeah, Wentz has been trusting his receivers downfield way more in the last three weeks.

Big reason for that? The emergence of Travis Fulgham.

Fulgham has the third-most receiving yards, 11th most receptions, and highest YPR (among WRs with 20+ receptions) since week 4.

John Hightower leads all wide receivers in targeted air yards with 22.2 yards per target.

Oh, and Jalen Reagor will be back Sunday.

Wentz, with this supporting cast (but without Sanders), should have a career day versus a Cowboys secondary and LB corps struggling to stop a nosebleed.

For history and predictions, check out the next page.

Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire