Five Eagles to watch in divisional clash with Cowboys

ATLANTA, GA – SEPTEMBER 12: Jalen Hurts #1 of the Philadelphia Eagles scrambles during the 2021 Week 1 NFL game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Philadelphia Eagles on September 12, 2021 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire)

The Eagles are just a few days away from a Monday Night showdown with the Dallas Cowboys. Here are five players to watch in the matchup.

Jalen Reagor

The second-year wideout caught a lot of flack after negating a touchdown pass by stepping out of bounds, but it’s safe to say that he’s taken a huge stride in his development in comparison to what we saw last year.

This week, Reagor will face a top-heavy secondary that will likely see Trevon Diggs lined up on DeVonta Smith. This should leave the TCU product to devour Anthony Brown, who has allowed 13 receptions on 17 targets this season.

If Jalen Hurts can get back to picking apart what the defense gives him, we could see a big redemption game for Reagor, who should be riding a two-game touchdown streak.

Javon Hargrave

The ‘gravedigger’ has had an explosive start to the season and has been a large reason why the Eagles have had so much success up front. Against a strong Dallas offensive line that has long been able to force the issue in the run-game, the Birds will need him to be at his best.

Tony Pollard had a huge outing in week 2 and actually leads the entire Cowboys backfield in rushing…that’s right, beating out Zeke Elliott, who doesn’t hit the hole like he used to. The offense is still averaging 129 rushing yards per game and we all know how quick Dak Prescott is to get the ball out of his hands successfully. The interior pressure Hargrave can provide may be able to slow the offence down and give the defense a chance of generating some much needed turnovers.

Avonte Maddox

We all know that the Cowboys have a plethora of top receivers, but we also know that both Darius Slay and Steven Nelson will have their hands full with CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper. This leaves Michael Gallup lined up over Avonte Maddox, who has had a pretty quiet year up to this point.

If both of the team’s top wideouts are removed from the equation early, then Maddox, who may have to deal with Dalton Schultz in zonal-looks, as well as blitzes and playing in run support, will have to be on his a-game when Dak Prescott comes knocking for Gallup down the seam. If there’s ever a time to make an impact and prove that he deserves a contract after his rookie deal expires, this is it.

Eric Wilson

Eric Wilson hasn’t exactly set the league on fire since joining the Eagles and despite his coverage prowess, he’s looked poor against the run and tackled sporadically. He cannot afford those lapses in his game against a Cowboys offense that has become vert adaptable under Kellen Moore. We’ve seen them go from being pass-heavy against the vaunted Bucs run-defense (58 attempts!!) to a rushing masterclass against a strong Chargers secondary. There’s no doubting that there will be red circles around Eric Wilson’s number and Jonathan Gannon has to ensure he’s prepared.

Jalen Hurts

We’ve seen two sides to Jalen Hurts. A very efficient and patient game-manager with the upside of being someone who can extend plays with his legs and wait for the perfect moment to pounce, and a player who has all the upside of a franchise QB but is focusing on his weaknesses rather than his strengths.

With players like Micah Parsons roaming the field, there’s no doubting that Hurts will be forced to make quick decisions on Monday night. He’s survived two weeks without turning the ball over, but after seeing some near-misses in week 2, he’ll have to revert back to the blueprint that worked if this offense is to pick apart a weak secondary and capitalize on a wobbly defensive front.

Photo by David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire