Behind The Line

Behind The Line: Hurts, Sanders Providing A Spark


Here's a look at the other side of the ball and how the Eagles are a different team with a different leader heading into this second matchup with the Cowboys.

Who is the guy? Jalen Hurts

The rookie quarterback has energized the Eagles with his playmaking skills. Hurts has added a dimension to the offense with his rugged running skills while displaying surprising efficiency as a passer from the pocket. With the rookie taking pretty good care of the football from a turnover standpoint, the Eagles' offense is more balanced and diverse than the version the Cowboys faced earlier in the season.

Know his name… Miles Sanders

The second-year pro is thriving as the focal point of the Eagles' offensive game since Jalen Hurts' insertion into the lineup. Sanders is averaging 5.77 yards per rush attempt and 113 scrimmage yards per game as the team's designated RB1. He has enough juice to take it the distance from anywhere on the field and his explosiveness could be the difference in a close game.

Don't sleep on… Brandon Graham and Derrick Barnett

Fletcher Cox is the marquee player on the Eagles' defensive line but Graham and Barnett are capable game wreckers with the potential to harass Andy Dalton for 60 minutes. The duo has combined for 12.5 sacks as energetic pass rushers with non-stop motors and jiu-jitsu hand skills. If the Cowboys' edge blockers are unable to handle No.55 and No.96 in pass protection, it could lead to miserable performance from an offense that needs to light up the scoreboard in a "win or go home" matchup.

Under pressure… Doug Pederson

The Super Bowl winner is fighting for his coaching life down the stitch with the team reeling this season. Although Jalen Hurts' breakout performance might've staved off the critics for a few weeks, Pederson needs to chalk up a few more Ws in the win column to earn another year as the leader of the Birds.

Matchup to watch… DeMarcus Lawrence vs. Matt Pryor

The Eagles' inexperienced right tackle could have his hands full facing an energized Lawrence in a pivotal divisional game. The veteran pass rusher has started to flex on opponents with 4.5 sacks and a pair of forced fumbles in the last eight games. Moreover, Lawrence has been a disruptive force off the edge with the Cowboys playing better defense over the last month.

Offensive Strategy

The Eagles have completely revamped their offensive approach with Jalen Hurts inserted into the lineup as the starter. The rookie's athleticism and playmaking ability has added a dimension to the offense as the Eagles have leaned on the running game to alleviate the pressure on the young quarterback. With the running game creating problems for opponents forced to respect the quarterback, the Eagles have been able to generate some explosive plays through the air on aggressive throws on early downs. If Hurts is able to dictate the terms to the Cowboys as a dual-threat playmaker, the Eagles could exploit a defense that's been inconsistent for most of the year.

Defensive Strategy

Jim Schwartz will utilize a mix of pressure and coverage tactics to disrupt the rhythm of Cowboys. The Eagles' defensive coordinator will attempt to clog up the running lanes to put the onus on Andy Dalton to make pinpoint throws from the pocket. Despite the veteran's solid play of late, the best way for the Eagles to knock off their division rivals is to make it a seven-on-seven game with the Cowboys forced to throw 40-plus times. Considering the Cowboys' turnover woes, the aggressive run-stopping tactics could give the Eagles the opportunity to play the game on their terms.


The Cowboys will take on the Philadelphia Eagles in their last home game of the regular season on Sunday, Dec. 27 at 3:25 p.m. A limited number of tickets are on sale now. Get yours now before they sell out!

Details on all of the health and safety procedures you can expect at AT&T Stadium can be viewed at

Related Content