To get ready for tonight's showdown between the Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys, NFL Films senior producer offers four things to watch on each side of the ball.
Cowboys On Offense
1. The more I watch Ezekiel Elliott, the more I see similarities to Terrell Davis when he was in Denver. Both are naturally smooth and fluid rather than shifty and elusive. Elliott has an easy change of direction that's similar to Todd Gurley, even though the body types are different and Gurley is a better overall runner. There have been times Elliott's running style conjures images of Pittsburgh's DeAngelo Williams.
2. Tight end Jason Witten continues to be the red zone focus of the Cowboys' passing game, especially working between the numbers. It has been this way for years.
3. In the Cowboys' last win over Green Bay, quarterback Dak Prescott was not as sharp mentally early in the game as he has been. A number of times he got stuck on his initial read even when it was taken away. He did not do as good a job eliminating and isolating. Therefore, he left some throws on the field.
4. Dallas continues to incorporate read-option concepts in its shotgun run game to take advantage of Prescott's mobility.
Cowboys On Defense
1. The Cowboys are predominantly a nickel subpackage defense. Safety Byron Jones is utilized in multiple ways as a deep defender, a box defender, man to man on the tight end and running backs.
2. Cowboys did play some dime at times in third-and-long situations against the Packers. It's a three-safety dime package with J.J. Wilcox as the third safety.
3. Linebacker Sean Lee and Jones give the Cowboys tremendous versatility in their man coverage schemes. Lee can match up on the tight end as well as Jones.
4. Against the 49ers, the Cowboys were aggressive in crunch time, with blitz and man coverage. They challenged quarterback Blaine Gabbert and the 49ers' receivers to execute at a high level. Could the Cowboys try that approach with quarterback Carson Wentz and the Eagles?