Both the Cowboys and the Eagles made injury report changes ahead of Sunday night's game.
The Cowboys ruled quarterback Andy Dalton out on Saturday before the team's trip to Philadelphia. Dalton suffered a concussion last Sunday against Washington, meaning that Ben DiNucci will make his first career start.
The Eagles announced on Sunday morning that tackle Lane Johnson is now questionable with knee and ankle injuries. He was not listed on the game status report on Friday.
Inactives will be announced at 6:50 PM this evening.
For the Eagles to beat the Cowboys they must win in the trenches. They'll have two of their best linemen back in the lineup Sunday night as defensive tackle Malik Jackson and right tackle Lane Johnson are good to go after fully practicing on Friday.
Jackson (quadricep) missed the Thursday night win over the Giants, while Johnson exited early with a knee injury to go along with a previous ankle injury. Jackson's return is important because Hassan Ridgeway suffered a season-ending bicep injury against the Giants. Johnson stabilizes the tackle position against one of the best pass rushers in the league in DeMarcus Lawrence.
The Eagles placed defensive end Genard Avery (elbow) and linebacker Nathan Gerry (ankle) on Injured Reserve on Friday, plus ruled out the following players due to injury – tackle Jack Driscoll (ankle), cornerback Craig James (hamstring), wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (calf), cornerback Cre'Von LeBlanc (quadricep), and running back Miles Sanders (knee). Boston Scott will start again at running back. Avonte Maddox will be able to start after playing in an emergency role against the Giants to help the cornerback depth.
The Eagles have four open spots on the active roster after placing Avery and Gerry on Injured Reserve, so they can activate several players on Injured Reserve who are currently in the 21-day practice window – linebacker T.J. Edwards, safety Rudy Ford, tight end Dallas Goedert, tackle Jason Peters, and wide receiver Jalen Reagor. The Eagles can also elevate two players from the practice squad for Sunday's game.
Meanwhile in Dallas, all signs point to rookie Ben DiNucci making his first career start on Sunday night. Starting quarterback Andy Dalton is doubtful with a concussion and did not practice all week. Head Coach Mike McCarthy said that Dalton is "currently not scheduled to practice Saturday" before the team leaves for Philadelphia.
All-Pro guard Zack Martin is set to return after missing last Sunday's loss to Washington due to a concussion. Punter Chris Jones was added to the report Friday with an abdomen injury, but is expected to play.
Thursday's injury update
The next 48 hours will be interesting for the Eagles from a roster standpoint.
First, here's a look at the changes from Wednesday's injury report:
• T Lane Johnson – Johnson was a limited participant after sitting out Wednesday's practice. Johnson is battling an ankle injury as well as a knee injury that he incurred against the Giants. Johnson does not want to miss the Cowboys game.
• DE Vinny Curry – Curry was added to the injury report with an illness. He did not practice on Thursday.
• CB Cre'Von LeBlanc – The Eagles added LeBlanc to the injury report as a limited participant with a quadricep injury.
• DE Genard Avery – The defensive end was downgraded from a limited participant on Wednesday to a non-participant on Thursday with an elbow injury.
Next, here are the players who missed Thursday's practice, in addition to Avery and Curry.
• T Jack Driscoll – Jordan Mailata has worked at both tackle spots this week. Jason Peters is practicing, but has to be activated from Injured Reserve.
"I just try and prepare the best I can at any position, whatever the team needs," said Mailata. "As for this week, I don't really know yet. Nothing is set in stone."
• LB Nathan Gerry – Gerry is battling an ankle injury. Good thing that T.J. Edwards could be ready to come off Injured Reserve.
"He looked good. He's ready to go. He's been ready to go," linebacker Alex Singleton said of Edwards. "He's been running, you know, with the trainers and stuff. I'm excited to see what he's gonna do this week."
• CB Craig James – James is sidelined with a hamstring injury, but Avonte Maddox is ready to resume his starting role. Maddox was an emergency fill-in on Thursday against the Giants. Makes sense with the Cowboys' three- and four-receiver packages.
• WR Alshon Jeffery – Jeffery's 2019 foot injury isn't even a part of the injury report. It's a recent calf injury keeping him on the sidelines.
• RB Miles Sanders – Sanders suffered a knee injury in the Ravens game. He missed the Thursday night win over the Giants.
The Eagles have five players who are currently on Injured Reserve in the 21-day practice window and can return to the active roster – Edwards, safety Rudy Ford, tight end Dallas Goedert, Peters, and wide receiver Jalen Reagor.
The Eagles currently have two open roster spots after placing wide receiver DeSean Jackson and defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway on Injured Reserve.
Goedert said on Thursday that he's "feeling good," but that "we're still taking it slow, making sure everything's the way it's supposed to be."
He added that in addition to sustaining a block on the injured ankle, he must "be able to run good routes. I can't go out there 75 percent and just get covered. I'm just a waste."
Quarterback Carson Wentz spoke on Wednesday about the potential return of Goedert, Peters, and Reagor to the lineup.
"I think it energizes the offense. Guys are excited because of what we've been able to do and we've been in a lot of these ballgames," Wentz said. "And we just keep adding some pieces back. We are as confident as ever."
QB Ben DiNucci takes the first-team reps in Dallas again
The Cowboys only have three players on their injury report, but one of them is quarterback Andy Dalton who missed a second straight practice after suffering a concussion last Sunday against Washington on a brutal, dirty hit by Football Team linebacker Jon Bostic. Rookie seventh-round pick Ben DiNucci is on the verge of making his first career start unless Dalton clears the concussion protocol.
The protection will be better for whoever the quarterback is. All-Pro guard Zack Martin is back in the lineup after missing the Washington game with a concussion. It's possible that Martin slides out to tackle to replace rookie Terence Steele on the right side. With both starting tackles (Tyron Smith, La'el Collins) on Injured Reserve, the Cowboys moved Martin out to right tackle when Steele struggled earlier this season against Seattle.