Now that it is official as the Eagles on Saturday upgraded the roster with a handful of players now healthy and ready to play against Dallas in prime time, how will those players be used against the Cowboys? We take a look at the impact, and it should be a significant one …
Jason Peters, left tackle
The Eagles have their starting tackles intact for what the Cowboys do best: Rush off the edges with DeMarcus Lawrence and Aldon Smith. Jason Peters wasn't playing the very best football of his career prior to his foot injury, suffered at the end of the tie against Cincinnati. But he's healthy now, he's got fresh legs, and he has the experience protecting quarterback Carson Wentz's blind side. Lane Johnson, in case you missed the news, had a full day of practice on Friday and is going to start at right tackle. Jordan Mailata, who gained valuable experience starting in Peters' absence, is now available as a swing tackle. Matt Pryor is lined up to start at right guard, and he has versatility at both guard positions and tackle, in a pinch. The Eagles have some depth along the offensive line now, something they've been challenged to have through the first seven games.
Peters needs to be better than he was at times early in the season, and he knows it. He is going to battle and he is going to be tactical and he is going to be a professional at left tackle. Having Peters back is good news for the offensive line and for an offense that needs all the help it can get given how many injuries on this side of the ball through seven games.
Dallas Goedert, tight end
Ahead of schedule, Dallas Goedert had a strong week of practice and has been moved from the Injured Reserve list to the active roster. This is huge for the offense. Goedert provides big-play ability and his presence forces Dallas to account for him in coverage with one of their outstanding linebackers. A big hand here goes to Richard Rodgers, who will now be the No. 2 tight end and a target in the passing game. The Eagles have more personnel flexibility with Goedert as well. Look for quarterback Carson Wentz to get Goedert into the mix early to see how he's moving and what the Cowboys are doing in coverage. Goedert will be a target in the red zone, where the Eagles need to be better.
T.J. Edwards, linebacker
Getting T.J. Edwards back helps a linebacker corps that on Friday placed Nathan Gerry on IR. Edwards has experience in the scheme and he was playing good football before suffering a hamstring injury against San Francisco. The No. 1 priority for the defense is containing running back Ezekiel Elliott and then turning the pass rush loose against rookie quarterback Ben DiNucci, expected to start for the injured Andy Dalton, and making life miserable for him. Edwards is going to be key in the run defense and in closing down Elliott in the passing game as well.
Jalen Reagor, wide receiver
How will the Eagles use Jalen Reagor, another young receiver added to a group that is young, talented, and fast? The Eagles have gotten good production from Travis Fulgham, a starter, and Greg Ward in the slot and a big shot or two each week to John Hightower. Fulgham's role will continue to be prominent. Ward is thriving in the slot. Reagor probably will share some reps with Hightower, giving the Eagles another explosive piece for Wentz. The Eagles are going to look for favorable matchups in the passing game, and Reagor could be featured here. Maybe they will get him going in the screen game or use him on a jet sweep – anything to jazz up the screen game and the running game is welcomed. The Eagles want to find a way to get the ball in Reagor's hands. This will be fun to watch.
Rudy Ford, special teams ace/safety
Punter Cameron Johnston is having a fantastic season – his gross punting average is 50.9 yards, second highest in the NFL, and his net average is 45.3 yards, fourth best in the league – and part of it is the coverage group running down the field, racing toward the punt returner. Rudy Ford makes this unit even better. His speed and coverage skills should earn him some league-wide recognition. That's how good he is. It's going to be downright chilly on Sunday night with game-time temperatures in the low 40s. Johnston's punts may not have quite as much carry. Having Ford on the field greatly improves the Eagles in punt coverage.