-Once again, another DC from the Vic Fangio coaching tree. Sean Desai is a little more aggressive with his scheme, where he likes to send his linebackers more, but they still have the same principals. Playing shell coverage, keeping everything in front of them. The difference from the 49ers and the Eagles is their linebackers, where the middle of the field should be far easier to exploit.
-Eagles are the best in the league stopping the run, but they are very average stopping the pass. Cowboys have to run enough to prevent the Eagles from pinning their ears back and rushing the passer. Eagles are in the top 5 in total sacks. They have multiple, high end pass rushers.
-Protecting Dak is the key offensively this week, if he has time inside the pocket, he will have success against this defense through the air. The Eagles have had struggles all year defending the slot, will their new addition Byard is used to fix this weakness? If Jobe or Ricks are on Lamb, it is a huge advantage for the Cowboys. TE’s also have given this defense some trouble.
-Offense needs to win the time of possession and keep the Eagles high-powered offense off the field. When they get into the red zone, they must score TD’s as the defense will have it’s hands full this week.
-Eagles bread and butter still remains with their elite rushing attack. When they get in trouble, they simply run the football down the other team’s throats. We all know about the tush push, Cowboys must keep them away from those short distances. After the Eagle lull teams asleep with so many runs, they take their shots down the field. Team who wins the line of scrimmage will win this game.
-Quinn has to throw out those twists and stunts this week, he cannot give Hurts easy lanes to run for 1st downs. The pass rush also must say discipline and stay in their lanes. Teams are almost forced to play a lot of zone coverage cause of Hurt’s rushing abilities. When Hurts gets in trouble, he always rolls right and make many sideline passes that extend the drives. The defense has to keep back in their minds, that Hurts will have designed runs even on 3rd and longs.
-Their skilled players are on the same level as the 49ers, Brown is an absolute beast in those 50/50 balls and is hard to tackle into space. Gilmore actually played him well last years with the Colts, he would be ideal to follow him this week. DeVonta Smith is a real great route runner, who can beat you with quickness and deep speed. Goedert is an elite receiving TE. Cowboys Defense cannot allow Goedert to have a similar game as Kittles did against them. They cannot sleep on Swift either as a receiver, he usually eats up linebacker coverages.
-Hurts really struggled against the Jets who also run a similar scheme as Fangio. This only works if the Cowboys have success on the early downs. Jets were able to play extra men in coverage and forced multiple interceptions.
-Their is no question, the Eagles have the best OL in the game. Their only weak spot is at RG, but they are loaded every else. Even if they don’t get a ton of sacks, must pressure Hurts to be successful.
-Both teams have money kickers.
-Field position is very important as this should be a tight, defensive type of game.