Head Coach Doug Pederson announced on Monday afternoon that Jalen Hurts will start at quarterback this Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys.
"He led the team. He played mentally and physically tough. He obviously extended plays with his legs. He had to throw more from the pocket yesterday because of the nature of the game and getting behind early in the football game," Pederson said of Hurts' performance in Sunday's 33-26 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
"He is an extremely hard worker. He's diligent. He wants to improve. He took the loss yesterday very personally. He wants to get back out there and keep going."
Pederson intimated that he wants to see how Hurts and the team respond after Sunday's loss, a game in which the Cardinals opened up a 16-0 lead in the first quarter. Philadelphia tied the game at 26-26 entering the final quarter, but Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins' 20-yard touchdown reception with 7:17 left in the game provided the game-winning points.
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The Eagles are 4-9-1 with a chance to still take the NFC East. They need to win their final two games and get some help in the form of a Washington loss this weekend to Carolina and one Giants loss over the next two weeks. In his two starts, both against playoff contenders, Hurts completed 55 percent of his pass attempts for 505 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions for a 94.7 passer rating. He's also churned out 169 yards and a touchdown on the ground. He's only turned the ball over once.
Down double digits in the first quarter on Sunday, Hurts was forced to throw in order to get the Eagles back in the ballgame. He responded with 338 yards passing and three touchdowns for a 102.3 QB rating. He also had 63 rushing yards and a touchdown.
"I look back on this game and I think about it's simply not being enough," Hurts said immediately following the game. "I could care less to hear any of the young stuff, second start stuff, rookie stuff. We have a standard we want to play to. I personally have a standard I want to play to and you got to find a way to get it done. It's definitely a learning experience, it's something that we can definitely learn from.
"I think I hate losing more than I love to win. It's not a great feeling. It's a learning lesson. Everything can be better moving forward."
Other than the result, the big difference between Hurts' first start against New Orleans and Sunday's matchup against the Cardinals was the pass protection. Hurts was sacked six times by the Cardinals after not going down once vs. the Saints. Pederson noted that not all of the sacks were on the offensive line and it's a perfect example of where Hurts can improve moving forward.
"It all comes down to that e word, execution," Hurts said. "That's something we didn't do consistently enough to win this game."