To compensate for the loss of all of the key players, offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg has modified the approach. As rookie
When Foles replaced
It was a fine opportunity for him to get used to the speed of the regular season, but the Eagles still lost the game.
A week later, in his first start, Foles was asked to drop back and throw the football, but he was given a safer approach: More screens and hitches and slants. An early interception put the Eagles in a hole and they continued to fall deeper into the ditch, so the balanced approach was difficult to accomplish. It was an ugly effort all around in the 31-6 loss at FedEx Field.
Monday night's game against Carolina was more indicative of the desired approach. A steady diet of running back
So here we are, preparing for a division game against the hated Cowboys. Dallas' defense loves to play downhill and linebacker DeMarcus Ware is an offense-wrecking machine. What will the offensive approach be?
Somehow, the Eagles have to be aggressive and push the ball down the field, even though Jackson will remain at home recovering from fractured ribs.
As you look at the wide receivers and project into the future, Maclin is an interesting case study. He's due to be an unrestricted free agent after the 2013 season and is one of those players often discussed in terms of a long-term contract. Is he worth the investment? Is he that kind of receiver?
Maybe playing the role of go-to receiver in the final five games of this season will give Maclin that featured role he's craved.
But it's going to take more than Maclin to put points on the scoreboard. The Eagles lose a lot of explosiveness with Jackson sidelined. Dallas may now choose to bring their safeties closer to the line of scrimmage to take Brown out of the equation, recognizing his 178-yard effort on Monday night. Who takes advantage of some gaps down the field in the passing game?
How are the Eagles going to score points on Sunday night?
It's hard to drive 15 plays and 75 yards for touchdowns. We know the problems the Eagles have had in the red zone. Explosive plays are the key to successful offenses, in addition to being efficient in the red zone. Tight ends
This is going to be a tough chore, no doubt about it. Can the Eagles grind their way to a win at Dallas? Can the defense take a few footballs away and set up the offense for an easy score or two? How about a special teams return?
There are just three players expected to start against the Cowboys who were starters when this whole thing began in training camp -- Maclin, Celek and fullback
The Eagles have to manufacture points against a Dallas defense that is going to go after Foles full bore. They need to be physical, efficient and creative. At the same time, they have to give Foles an opportunity to make some big plays to ease away from the pressure of a move-the-sticks mentality.
The Eagles are what the Eagles are offensively. They are challenge from a personnel standpoint, and nobody debates that. Somehow, they have to counterpunch what Dallas does and take the fight to the Cowboys to win a rivalry game on the road.