Blue Chips

Blue Chips: Eagles Roster Loaded With Elite Talent


If you ask old school scouts what is required to field a championship contender, they will quickly tell you that it takes eight to twelve blue-chip players to compete for a title. This premise has been the standard for general managers around the league and I rely on it to help me identify the players to watch on game day.

With that in mind, let's identify the players to watch on the Cowboys' next opponent. Here's a quick report on the current blue-chip players for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Jalen Hurts, QB: The Eagles' QB1 is playing at an MVP level while showcasing impressive skills as a dual-threat playmaker. As a rugged runner with 19 career rushing touchdowns in two-plus Hurts has added an explosive dimension to the Eagles' offense while displaying improved passing skills from the pocket. The third-year pro is completing nearly 68 percent of his passes while averaging over 270 passing yards per game. With a multi-faceted game that will force defenders to pay attention to his ability to run or throw on the perimeter, Hurts has emerged as one of the most dangerous offensive weapons in the game.

Miles Sanders, RB: The shifty runner has become the centerpiece of a running game that has been unstoppable to this point. Sanders' stop-start quickness, wiggle, and burst make him the perfect complement to Hurts in the backfield. With the Eagles utilizing a variety of misdirection, read options and traditional powers to bludgeon opponents between the tackles, the four-year pro is a problem for opponents ill-equipped to deal with a dynamic running game.

AJ Brown, WR: The Pro Bowl wideout is a monster on the perimeter as a big-bodied pass catcher with sticky hands and outstanding hand-eye coordinator. Brown excels at winning 50-50 balls but is at his best running the ball after the catch. As a 6-foot-1, a 225-pound playmaker with a hard-nosed running style, the veteran turns short passes into big gains as a dangerous open-field runner. With Hurts looking for No.11 early and often in the passing game, the Cowboys must be aware of Brown's whereabouts at all times.

DeVonta Smith, WR: The slender pass catcher has settled in as the Eagles' WR1b on the perimeter. Smith's spectacular route-running skills and exceptional ball skills have made him a nightmare to defend as a young receiver. Whether he is running vertical routes on the backside of the formation or crossing the field on an underneath route, Smith's speed, athleticism, and skill make him a scoring threat from anywhere on the field.

Dallas Goedert, TE: There is nothing like having a playmaking tight end in the middle of the field. Goedert is a sticky-fingered pass catcher with outstanding route-running ability and run-after-catch skills. The fifth-year pro is a dependable "chain mover" with a knack for picking up first downs in key moments.

Lane Johnson, OT: The five-star offensive tackle is still playing at a high level after a decade in the league. Johnson's athleticism, balance, and body control enable him to snuff out explosive pass rushers on the edges. With the Eagles looking to run and throw on the edges, the veteran is a big part of the team's offensive success.

Fletcher Cox, DT: The veteran defender is no longer a premier player, but he still flashes disruptive skills as a key member of a dominant frontline. Cox's strength, power, and skills enable him to produce enough "splash" plays to keep opposing offenses behind the chains.

Brandon Graham, DE: The pass-rushing specialist is a crafty sack master with a knack for getting to the quarterback. As a non-stop pursuer with a relentless motor, Graham wears down blockers and racks up sacks on effort and hustle. The veteran has 62 career sacks, including three this season as a situational pass rusher on a deep and talented frontline.

Josh Sweat, DE: The energetic defender has emerged as one of the most disruptive players on the Eagles' defense. Sweat has wreaked havoc on opponents with his speed, quickness, and burst from the edges as a run-and-pass defender. The fifth-year pro has 2.5 sacks and six tackles for loss this season as one of the key contributors to a dynamic rotation.

Haason Reddick, OLB: The Eagles' prized free agent has been as good as advertised as a dynamic pass rusher. Reddick's speed, quickness, and burst create problems for slow-footed blockers on the edges. The veteran has 28 sacks in his last 37 games, including 4.5 sacks in five contests with the Eagles. Given his production and penchant for splash plays, the Cowboys need to pay close attention to No.7.

Darius Slay, CB: The Eagles' CB1 is playing like the best cover corner in football. Slay has displayed outstanding instincts and cover skills in his one-on-one battles with some of the top receivers in football. Given that the veteran has held his own in a role that requires exceptional skill, instincts, and confidence, Slay warrants consideration as the NFL's CB1.

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