Grading the Game: Week 3 @DAL
By Chip Keagy, AATSN Co-Host
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The Philadelphia Eagles have gotten worse since last year. Its just that simple. The cause is still to be determined but the team that won only 4 games last season is going to struggle to do even that well putting forth an effort like they did in Dallas. The Cowboys took care of business from the beginning of the game all the way through the end. Here is the grade book for a Texas-sized stomping in prime time.
Coaching Staff: F
I didn't think it could get worse. This team was GROSSLY under-prepared for this match-up. The biggest thing that I think is unforgivable is the straight up avoidance of the run game. Going against a team with a weaker DL due to injury, Sirianni called 2 runs for the best offensive weapon on the team. 2! If Miles Sanders wasn't hurt, this is inexcusable. Forcing your struggling QB to throw the ball almost 40x cannot happen. The effort and production from the HC is getting worse by the week.
Gannon struggled as well to mask what he was doing and Dallas hung a 40 spot on his defense. Can't blame injuries because outside of Brandon Graham, this group is still relatively healthy. Just not a good game plan against a fantastic offense team.
I get it. Jalen Hurts is athletic. But his arm strength is NOT THERE. Both of his interceptions were on him. The first was horrifically under-thrown and the second was going to get picked even if Smith didn't fall down on his break. The continuation to throw the ball only to Devonta Smith even when in double coverage is something VERY noticeable. Hurts continues to miss wide open throws to player with nobody around him. I respect that he can keep plays alive with his feet (including that junk touchdown to Ward) but this HAS to improve and quick.
Running Backs: N/A
It wouldn't be fair to give this group a grade. Miles Sanders had 2 CARRIES. One of them was for over 20 yards. Why Sanders wasn't utilized more, I don't understand and is a completely fireable offense in my opinion. Gainwell was only used during garbage time.
Wide Receivers: D+
This group had a little more success as Reagor, Watkins and Smith each had a few catches. The issue comes in that they are not making catches in traffic (Smith especially) and not running great routes which leads to picks. Eventually, Greg Ward gets open on a completely meaningless TD catch during junk time. I'm not giving him credit for that. The remaining players in the room are not contributing in any way so until these three start placing fear into secondaries, Hurts will continue to struggle to find open receivers.
Tight Ends: B-
This is the first week of the season that a concerted effort was made to include the tight ends and they each had some success. There STILL needs to be more of an effort in this realm. Both of the top TEs had some very impressive YAC which is especially important for Zach Ertz. They have to keep building on this.
Offensive Line: D
The Dallas Cowboys Dline hadn't registered a sack all year. That changed in this game. And the worst part of that, was the Cowboys had a ton of injuries along that front. Dickerson did NOT have a good game (2nd in a row now), Andre Dillard was ok for a while but as the game went on looked lost. Even Lane Johnson struggled a lot during the 2nd half. When Herbig had to check in, this group started getting called for penalties almost every play. Stoutland needs Mailata to get back and hope that the full 5 at some point get the chance to play again together. I don't want to hear how young this group is. AT SOME POINT, they just have to stay healthy and learn how to block.
Defensive Line: C+
Javon Hargrave is a GREAT defensive lineman. Fletcher Cox had a defensive touchdown. Besides that, the defensive line wasn't fantastic. Barnett got called for ANOTHER dumb penalty and even Sirianni noticed (caught on camera mouthing "its always him"). Sweat got a sack and had some good hits. Everybody else was a non factor and allowed almost 150 yards rushing.
The linebackers got TORCHED by no name TEs. Absolutely TORCHED. This can't happen. Combine that with having to help stop running backs from getting extra yards downhill. Singleton was around the ball the whole night. Edwards had a big hit. Neato.
Slay had a good game for the most part and so did Nelson. Considering WHO the Cowboys have a WRs, they held some serious star power in check. That is something to build upon.
Special Teams: C+
Arryn Sippos is a really good punter. Nothing else from the kicking department. Ward came inches away from blocking a punt BUT the basic skill set wasn't there.
OVERALL GRADE: F
This was an absolutely dismal effort. Top to bottom. Play calling all the way through execution by all groups. Going into the next few weeks against legitimate contenders, it is entirely feasible that this team doesn't win their second game of the season for a solid month and a half. I am concerned that 4 wins is a real stretch at this point.