Eagles Stock Watch: Who’s rising and falling after the Week 16 loss to Dallas?

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ARLINGTON, TX – DECEMBER 24: Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Gardner Minshew (10) looks downfield for an open receiver during the game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles on December 24, 2022 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire)

The Philadelphia Eagles let a golden opportunity slip away to acquire the top seed in the NFC playoffs on Christmas Eve following their 40-34 loss to their arch-rival Dallas Cowboys.

Adding insult to injury, the Eagles also lost two key starters on both offense and defense with Lane Johnson and Avonte Maddox out indefinitely. Even with their injuries, Philadelphia controls its own destiny. A win on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints would clinch the NFC East and the top seed in the NFC playoffs.

But before we turn the page fully from Saturday’s loss, let’s take a look at who looked good, and who looked bad.

Stock Up: Gardner Minshew

Fans and analysts will be critiquing the final drive at the half and game, but Gardner Minshew played well enough to win on Saturday. Minshew threw for over 300 yards and two scores. His two interceptions came from poor receiving play from Quez Watkins more than him (we’ll get to Quez later).

Minshew was accurate and effective in his first start to 2022. If Jalen Hurts can’t go next week against New Orleans, Eagle fans should feel some semblance of confidence with how Minshew played against a good Dallas defense.

Stock Down: Jonathan Gannon

The mark of a good coach is being able to adjust when an opposing team is being successful. Gannon did not do that Saturday. First, there was CeeDee Lamb torching Josiah Scott in the first half soo much without any sense of help from safeties.

Then there was the team giving up a 3rd and 30 in a key moment of the ballgame up by just seven. Or how about Dak Prescott going 24-24 for over 300 yards against the Eagles zone? It was the third time the Eagles have given up a 90+ completion percentage against the zone since 2020.

No other team has given up more than one.

Just an awful Saturday from Jonathan Gannon.

Stock Up: DeVonta Smith

I think the one thing that many Eagle fans were pissed off about, outside of losing to Dallas of course, is the team wasted one of DeVonta Smith’s best games as a pro on Saturday.

Smitty caught eight passes for 113 yards and two scores. He had, at least, three highlight-reel catches and was a big reason for Minshew’s success on Saturday. Smith tallied over 1,000 yards receiving in the loss. It marked the first time the Eagles have ever had two 1,000-yard receivers in the same season.

Stock Down: Quez Watkins

It’s crazy to think, but Quez Watkins might be playing along the same lines of Jalen Reagor where every time he is targeted, bad things happen. Watkins had just one catch for 19 yards but was targeted five times.

Two of those targets resulted in interceptions that weren’t on the QB either. In the first quarter, Quez was beaten to his spot and the intended pass was picked off. The second pick came late in the fourth quarter when Watkins was outmuscled by DaRon Bland because he didn’t complete his route.

It was a poor display of effort and showed just how poorly the last few weeks have been for the former sixth-round pick.

Stock Up: Haason Reddick

Reddick has been the best defensive player on the Eagles this season and I don’t think it’s really been close either. The free-agent acquisition tallied two more sacks on Saturday and forced a fumble late in the fourth quarter that could have been the game…except Dallas ended up recovering it.

Reddick’s pass-rushing prowess has been important all season and helped Philly tally six sacks on Saturday. If they get consistent pressure like they have all year, the Eagles will be a hard out in the playoffs no matter who plays.

Stock Down: Josiah Scott

A few weeks ago Josiah Scott was credited with playing just well enough to circumvent the loss of Avonte Maddox’s original injury.

Since then though, it’s gone downhill very fast for Scott and the Eagles’ secondary.

Scott was outmatched against Lamb for the entire first half and seemed out of position for most of the game. Of course, the worst was yet to come after a bad first half. With the Eagles’ defense forcing a 3rd and 30 against Dallas, Scott was required to be the last man in a Cover 3 zone.

Instead, Scott was out of position and directly gave up a 52-yard completion to TY Hilton. It was unacceptable from Jonathan Gannon but even more so from Scott. He needs to be a lot better.

Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire