Philadelphia Eagles News

Spadaro: Dallas Week is here and, oh boy, it's a big one!

Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro
Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro

To a man, they exited the locker room at State Farm Stadium pleased with the result, a 20-17 win over the Arizona Cardinals in a hard-fought 60 minutes, capturing a road victory in a different kind of way as they manufactured a late-game, clock-consuming, drive-the-length-of-the-field last offensive possession to put up the winning points off the right foot of a placekicker making his NFL debut.

Pleased with the result – and understanding that there is much to clean up, to improve upon, with the big Sunday night NFC East showdown ahead when Dallas comes to Lincoln Financial Field.

"That's always the situation. You play a game and then you look at the things you need to fix," tight end Dallas Goedert said. "Win or lose, you're always looking to get better."

With a bye week following Sunday, the focus for the Dallas game is, understandably, enormous. This is a fun week for everyone and it's also one that plays large in the robust NFC East, where the Eagles pace the division, followed by Dallas and New York, both 4-1.

"It's Dallas Week, so I think that makes it a little bit more for everybody, the fans for sure," center Jason Kelce said. "We know it's just one game, but we also know that it's Dallas."

We'll get into the matchup more deeply as the week goes along, but at first glance the Cowboys bring a lot of confidence into this matchup having gone 4-0 with backup quarterback Cooper Rush leading the way while managing the offense with a running game that has been sturdy using both Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard, with a strong performance from the special teams, and with a defense that has been lights-out, led by the dynamic and dangerous Micah Parsons.

The Eagles are 5-0 and the center of the NFL universe this week, but don't try telling Jalen Hurts that this football team has "arrived," or that it has played its best 60 minutes.

"I think we're going to get everybody's best. We're going to play a lot of good football teams this year and we have to be ready for the challenges ahead," Hurts said after Sunday's win. "We're a really good football team, and we're still growing. We're still learning ... we haven't played our best yet so it's just a ton to learn from. I'm hungry and eager to get to that point, but it's a process. Rome wasn't built overnight.

"These are the same things that I've said when we were 2-5 (in 2021). Nothing changes. My mindset doesn't change. I personally hate hearing 5-0. I don't like to hear it. Because nobody wanted to mention the record when we were 2-5. Nobody wanted to talk about that. So, I don't want to hear it now. I don't want to hear it now. Can we come in here and control the things we can, attack every day, and just grow and climb? That's what matters. The process. Not anything else. What can we do? It's a ton to learn from. A lot of respect for their team (Arizona). We've got to learn from it and we will and we're hungry for it.

"We're gonna enjoy this because winning is not easy. Winning is hard. You earn it every week. We put a lot of work into this every week and we just want to go out there and play to the standard that we set for ourselves. That's just the competitive nature we have, I have."

The NFL is a week-to-week proposition, and the Eagles know that what happened on Sunday doesn't necessarily carry over to Lincoln Financial Field and the Dallas battle. New week, new opponent, and a new set of matchups to break down. Philadelphia knows it must be at its best to win this prime-time game. The offense understands the complexity of containing pass-rusher (six quarterback sacks) Micah Parsons and the importance of ball security against a ball-hawking defense. The defense can expect Dallas to play physical football and try to establish the running game and complement it with a passing game led by standout receiver CeeDee Lamb.

This is what it's all about. Dallas Week is here and the Eagles are well-positioned to play their best football. It is a moment in the season that everyone circled long ago.

"It's special because it's Dallas and it is a division game, so it means more that way," defensive end Brandon Graham said. "I know the fans are hyped, like they are every time we play the Cowboys. I know this, the Linc is gonna be crazy on Sunday night, just like we like it."

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