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December 07, 2018

Eagles-Cowboys injury report, with analysis

As usual, the Philadelphia Eagles will head into Sunday with a laundry list of injured players. Conversely, the Dallas Cowboys have had comparatively good injury luck this season. 

Here's the final Eagles-Cowboys injury report, with analysis:



• CB Jalen Mills (foot): Mills was toasted quite a bit during the early part of the season, but he was playing better when he went down with a foot injury. After seeing some of his replacements in action over the last few games, it is clear why Schwartz prefers Mills over the rest of the bunch.

• LB Jordan Hicks (calf): Hicks is out, and the Eagles' top two remaining linebackers -- Nigel Bradham and Kamu Grugier-Hill -- don't have full usage of one (each) of their hands against one of the best running backs in the NFL.


• DE Michael Bennett (foot): Bennett has been the Eagles' most productive edge rusher this season, as he has collected 6.5 sacks and a forced fumble. Bennett played through some pain against the Giants and Redskins, and it is expected that he'll do the same in Dallas.

• CB Avonte Maddox (knee, ankle): Maddox was targeting Sunday's matchup against Dallas as his return date, and while he's listed at questionable, he hasn't practiced all week, which is a bad sign. The Eagles remain paper thin at cornerback.

• DT Timmy Jernigan (back): Jernigan played 20 snaps against the Giants two weeks ago, but he had some back spasms flare up on him prior to the Eagles' win over the Redskins Monday night. Despite dressing, he ended up watching the game from the sidelines. Like Maddox, he hasn't practiced at all this week.

Notable players on IR/Suspension/Other

• DE Derek Barnett (IR): Barnett had shoulder surgery, and his season is over. Barnett was the starting RDE who was off to a fast start this season, collecting 2.5 sacks (including a game-ending sack against the Indianapolis Colts), before suffering a shoulder injury against the Tennessee Titans. He played two games through the injury, but was much less effective than when he was fully healthy. Michael Bennett has taken over as the new starting RDE.

• CB Ronald Darby (IR): Darby was up and down as a starter this season before he tore his ACL. At a minimum, he's a lot better than the players who are trying to replace him.

• RB Jay Ajayi (IR): Ajayi was acquired from the Miami Dolphins at the trade deadline last season, and he was a contributor to the Eagles' Super Bowl run, carrying 70 times for 408 yards (5.8 YPC) and 1 TD during the regular season, and then adding 184 yards on 42 carries during the playoffs. In four games this season, Ajayi rushed 45 times for 184 yards and 3 TDs, while playing through a fracture in his back. He was placed on IR with a torn ACL.

• S Rodney McLeod (IR): McLeod is done for the season after tearing his MCL during the Eagles' win over the Indianapolis Colts. On the season, he had 10 tackles and four pass breakups, which doesn't properly convey the positive contributions he made in the first three games. McLeod was replaced initially by Corey Graham, and later Avonte Maddox.

• WR Mike Wallace (IR): Wallace, formerly the Eagles' No. 2 receiver, broke his fibula against the Buccaneers. Doug Pederson noted that Wallace is doing well, but he is not yet ready to return..

• WR Mack Hollins (IR): The Eagles will also be without their No. 4 receiver, as the Eagles placed Hollins on IR with a groin injury. Like Wallace, Hollins is not yet ready to return.

• ST Chris Maragos (PUP): Maragos is still recovering from a serious knee injury suffered Week 6 last year against the Carolina Panthers. 

• TE Josh Perkins (IR): Perkins is done for the season with a knee injury. The Eagles activated Richard Rodgers off of IR to replace him.



• LB Sean Lee (hamstring): Lee remains out with a hamstring injury again. Let's go ahead and update Lee's injury history, going back to his time at Penn State:

• 2008 (Penn State) - Torn ACL.  Missed the entire season.

• 2009 (Penn State) - Sprained knee.  Missed 3 games.

• 2010 (Dallas) - Strained hamstring.  Missed 2 games.

• 2011 (Dallas) - Dislocated wrist.  Missed 1 game.

• 2012 (Dallas) - Toe. IR. Missed 10 games.

• 2013 (Dallas) - Hamstring. Missed 5 games, including Week 17 finale vs Eagles.

• 2014 (Dallas) - Torn ACL. Missed the entire season.

• 2015 (Dallas) - Concussion and hamstring. Missed 2 games.

• 2016 (Dallas) - No injuries. Missed a meaningless Week 17 with No. 1 seed wrapped up.

• 2017 (Dallas) - Hamstring. Missed 5 games.

• 2018 (Dallas) - Hamstring. Has already missed 7 games this season.

Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith have both been outstanding with Lee out.

• DT David Irving (ankle): Irving is a talented interior pass rusher who has missed all but two games this season.  He has 4 tackles and one sack. In 2017, in just 8 games, Irving had 7 sacks.

• WR Tavon Austin (groin): Austin has had one big moment for the Cowboys this season, when he caught a 64-yard touchdown Week 2 against the Giants. He has otherwise been quiet, catching just 7 passes for 130 yards and 2 TDs.

• TE Geoff Swaim (wrist): Swaim came into this season with 9 career catches for 94 yards. Here are all 9 of those:

This season, as the starting TE, he has 26 catches for 242 yards and 1 TD.


• LT Tyron Smith (neck): Smith is the Cowboys' star left tackle. He missed the last two games against the Redskins and Saints, but is expected to return to the field on Sunday. The Cowboys list him with a neck injury, but he's also dealing with a bum arm:

WR Michael Gallup (illness): Gallup has 23 catches for 380 yards and 1 TD on the season. I imagine he'll be a go on Sunday.

Notable players on IR/Suspension/Other

• C Travis Frederick (IR): Frederick is out indefinitely with a rare disease. He was a first round pick of the Cowboys in the 2013 NFL Draft. In five years in the league, he has three All-Pro nods (one first-team, two second-team), and four Pro Bowl appearances.

• WR Terrance Williams (IR): Williams was suspended by the league for three games earlier this year as a result of this: 

He was already out anyway with a foot injury.

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