In four games with the Eagles since being acquired in a trade with Detroit, wide receiver Golden Tate has 18 receptions for 182 yards and a touchdown and he's coming off his most productive game – seven receptions for 85 yards with a touchdown and a two-point conversion.
He's trending in the right direction, you might say.
At least that's the way he feels.
"It gets better every day," Tate said on Friday at the NovaCare Complex. "My level of comfort is pretty good now. I can't say that I know the whole playbook, but I know the game plan each week and I'm learning more all the time. I'm working hard at it."
Sunday's game at Dallas marks Tate's third game of the season against the Cowboys. When he played with Detroit on September 30, Tate had eight receptions for 132 yards and two touchdowns in the Lions' loss. On November 11, in his first game as an Eagles after coming over at the NFL's trade deadline, Tate caught two passes for 19 yards in a 27-20 defeat.
Maybe the third time will be the charm for Tate to beat the Cowboys this season.
"They're playing good football, very good defense," he said. "They're flying all around. Their front seven is dominating. That's a confident team over there. You can see that watching them every week and, certainly, they should be confident based on what they did last week against New Orleans (beating the Saints, 13-10). They're good players. We've got to do 'us' though, at the end of the day. It doesn't matter who we play. If we don't play the kind of football that we're capable of, that's the end of the story."
The game is also significant from the standpoint that Dallas traded for wide receiver Amari Cooper one week before the Eagles did their deal with Detroit to add Tate. In five games with Dallas, Cooper has 30 receptions, three touchdowns, and 425 yards. He's caught eight passes in each of the last two games and Dallas has won four straight contests.
"He's an incredible athlete that brings a lot to, really, any team," Tate said. "I would imagine that they would incorporate him into the offense any way they possibly can."
Tate admits that there is "so much stuff in this offense and so many intricacies involved" that he's focused on the week-to-week responsibilities that he has. He would, eventually, love to learn the nuances of every concept and the duties of each wide receiver on every play. That would help him have a more complete grasp of the big picture on every snap.
But that's not going to happen in the middle of the season.
Instead, Tate just wants to do whatever he can to play fast and help the Eagles.
"Monday night felt good and it was great helping the team win," he said. "That feels like it was a long time ago, though, so I'm just moving on and preparing for another big one this week."
Check out the best photos featuring the Eagles offense from Week 13.