How 'bout them ... Eagles? The last undefeated team in the league, the Philadelphia Eagles look to stay hot against the division rival Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.
Cowboys Scouting Report
QB: Dak Prescott is questionable for Sunday night. This means the Cowboys have spent the week preparing Cooper Rush to start for the fifth week in a row. The first four of these starts have been Dallas victories, and including one start last season, Rush has yet to lose a game as a starter in the NFL. Rush is a good QB and cannot be taken lightly.
RB: Ezekiel Elliott is the big name for the Dallas Cowboys, but Tony Pollard is also making a name for himself. In the Week 5, 22-10 victory over the Los Angeles Rams, Pollard scampered for a 57-yard touchdown to put the game away. With Ezekiel having 305 yards on 81 carries and Pollard with 248 yards on 44 carries, the Cowboys have a dual-threat running attack. It was sorely needed early in the season as the team adjusted to life with Amari Cooper in Cleveland and Michael Gallup still recovering from a torn ACL suffered late last season.
WR: CeeDee Lamb did not practice on Friday and is questionable for Sunday night with a hip injury. He has 28 receptions and 341 yards in five games in 2022. While he has great chemistry with Dak Prescott, his numbers have not dropped with Cooper Rush behind center. One of the top receivers in the NFL in 2022, his talent can overcome the change at the QB position. Along with Lamb, the Cowboys also have Noah Brown, and with the return of Gallup with a TD in Week 4, the receivers group is coming into shape for Dallas.
TE: Dalton Schultz has only nine receptions for 80 yards while playing in four of the Cowboys' first five games. His presence on the field will do a lot to help the run game and the other pass catchers, although he's been limited in practice this week with a knee injury.
Defensive Line: With Randy Gregory now in Denver, the key to the Dallas defensive line largely resides on the shoulders of DeMarcus Lawrence at defensive end. The two-time Pro Bowl defensive end can still make plays against opposing tackles to get to the quarterback.
Linebackers: The discussion with the Dallas Cowboys starts and finishes with one name – Micah Parsons. From the time he stepped on the field as a rookie in 2021, Parsons showed why he was drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft from Penn State. Whether being used as a linebacker or edge rusher, he was unstoppable as a rookie with 13 sacks. The Eagles' ability to find and contain Parsons will likely have a significant impact on the outcome of the game.
Secondary: Malik Hooker and Anthony Brown are both solid members of the secondary for Dallas. As the man opposite Trevon Diggs, Brown sees many of the pass plays coming to the Dallas secondary. With the help of Hooker and strong safety Jayron Kearse, the defensive backfield surrounding Diggs plays a significant role in what the rest of the team can do on defense and getting to the quarterback.
19 – Jalen Hurts has 19 rushing touchdowns in his first 24 NFL starts, the most by any NFL quarterback in their first 25 starts.
7 – Hurts has seven games of two or more touchdown runs in his career. This is second all time, trailing only Cam Newton, who has 10.
8 – Philadelphia has won 8 consecutive regular-season games started by Jalen Hurts, which is the longest active streak among quarterbacks.
+9 – The Eagles lead the NFL in turnover differential, which includes a league-high-tying 11 takeaways (also Baltimore and Buffalo) along with a league-low-tying 2 giveaways (also Dallas). Philadelphia's +9 margin marks the team's best figure through 5 games since 1970.
1 – Nick Sirianni is the first head coach to lead the Eagles to a 5-0 start within their first two years with the team.
2 – The Eagles own the second-ranked total offense (419.8 ypg) in the NFL, trailing only Buffalo (440.4 ypg).
This week's matchup to watch isn't between individual players. Instead, it's a competition between the Eagles' offensive line and the Cowboys' pass rush.
Right tackle Lane Johnson has played in 620 pass-blocking snaps since the beginning of the 2021 season and he has only let up one quarterback hit throughout that entire span. That makes him the league's leader with a 0.2% knockdown percentage, and PFF says he's the highest-graded pass blocker in 2022.
Even still, he's well aware that containing the Cowboys' pass rush will be a tall task.
"They have tremendous pass rushers. DeMarcus Lawrence, Micah Parsons, those guys," said Johnson. "We've got a tremendous amount of respect for those guys, and it's going to be a tough challenge for us."
The Cowboys' defense has allowed only opponents to 10 points in each of the last two games, and they haven't let up more than 17 all season. Versatile defender Micah Parsons, who's tied for the league lead with six sacks, is rightfully high on the Eagles' radar as a player to shut down.