Mark Sanchez had a good night's sleep on Sunday. That's important to know on a short work week. A good night's sleep followed by a strong Monday training session is the right way to start preparations for Thursday's NFC East tussle at Dallas.
This is the first NFC East game for Sanchez as the Eagles' starting quarterback, and he's looking forward to playing the game against a defense that is far, far better than most outside observers expected.
"They sure have been applying pressure, absolutely," said Sanchez, who has thrown for 1,187 yards, 7 touchdowns and 6 interceptions while completing 62.3 percent of his passes in the three games and three quarters he's been at the helm of the offense. "They're just tough up front. They run some good games, some good stunts, they rush the passer well, they make it tough on the quarterback and so that is going to be an awesome challenge for our O linemen. They're excited about it."
Sanchez on Sunday became the fourth quarterback in team history to have three consecutive games of 300-plus-yards passing. Sanchez was 30 of 43 for 307 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions in the 43-24 victory over Tennessee.
And as good as Sanchez has been -- the Eagles are 3-1 in the games he's played -- the questions always come back to the mistakes he has made, namely the turnovers. Sanchez has six interceptions in 146 pass attempts this season.
"There are a couple that I just should have eliminated, period, but am I ever going to throw, physically, a bad ball again? Yeah, I'm sure at some point that will happen," he said. "So, that's just kind of the way it goes. You try to eliminate those and practice enough to elminate those but they happen. You just have to get back on the right page."
The Eagles held a light training session on Monday at the NovaCare Complex and conducted their position meetings and unit overviews. Sanchez has the game plan in place. He likes the approach. Now it's a matter of improving every day and growing his level of comfort in his first year in the scheme.
"You're just going to get more and more comfortable the more reps you have," Sanchez said. "That's everything -- run game, pass concepts, al of that. It's all getting better and better as we move on. It feels more and more comfortable. The calls just come in cleaner and it makes it more fun, because you feel better with it."
Sanchez said the Cowboys "mix it up pretty good" as far as their coverages and that the Eagles "have to be ready for everything," whether that's man coverage or zone principles.
And, for sure, the quarterback understands the implications of this game. It's Eagles-Cowboys, which is huge unto itself, and it is a game between two teams that are both 8-3 and tied for first place in the NFC East.
"It's huge. You hear fans talk about it all the time, people you meet on the street. Back in June, they're like, 'Hey man, we've got to get Dallas.' It's like, 'What? We haven't even played a game yet. I had just signed here, what are you talking about?' " Sanchez said. "You start to see how important that rivalry is, similar to when we (New York Jets) played the Pats and the Dolphins and stuff like that. Those divisional games are ... people leave those season tickets in their will. It's important.
"It just makes it more fun. The pageantry makes it more fun."
In the end, of course, the win is the only thing that matters.
"We're going in to play a really good Dallas team," he said. "We just have to be the best team on Thursday."