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November 05, 2023

Eagles-Cowboys Week 9 inactives, with analysis

Inactives for the Week 9 Eagles-Cowboys have been announced, including Derek Barnett and Boston Scott.

Eagles NFL
1975_09142023_Eagles_Vikings_Derek-Barnett.jpg Kate Frese/For PhillyVoice

The Eagles are moving on from edge rusher Derek Barnett.

The Philadelphia Eagles will be without four players for their matchup against the Dallas Cowboys, but this is probably the healthiest they have been since September. Their Week 9 opponent, the Dallas Cowboys, lost All-Pro CB Trevon Diggs for the season with an ACL tear, but have otherwise had reasonably good injury luck so far this season.

Here's the Eagles' and Cowboys' inactives, with analysis.


Tanner McKee is the emergency quarterback, and the Eagles called up LB Ben VanSumeren to the gameday roster from the practice squad.

CB Bradley Roby: We'll likely see a mix of Eli Ricks and Sydney Brown in the slot.

RB Boston Scott: Scott was a non-participant in practice on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday with a personal matter, and now also out for this matchup.

TE Grant Calcaterra: Calcaterra suffered a concussion Week 8 against the Commanders.

DE Derek Barnett: !!! Barnett hasn't done anything this season to justify a roster spot, much less dress on gameday, and he has finally been benched. The Eagles must've smartly decided that they did not want Barnett doing something dumb and selfish in a big moment to potentially lose this important game.

DT Moro Ojomo: The Eagles are rolling with five interior defensive linemen.

Notable players on IR, PUP, suspension, etc.

RG Cam Jurgens: Jurgens sprained his foot against the Commanders Week 4. He is eligible to come off injured reserve this week. Sua Opeta did a nice job in relief of Jurgens in his first two starts against the Rams and Jets, but his play fell off the last two weeks against the Dolphins and Commanders. Tyler Steen will start against the Cowboys.

CB Avonte Maddox: Maddox had surgery to repair a torn pectoral muscle. His season is likely over. The oft-injured Maddox missed games at three different junctures during the season in 2022, and was only able to play in two games in 2023. He also missed three games in 2018, four games in 2019, and six games in 2020. He is one of the best slot corners in the NFL when healthy, but it seems there will always be durability concerns.

Slot corner is a position where the Eagles had already lost depth, as backup Zech McPhearson tore his Achilles during the Eagles' preseason game against the Browns. The Eagles have had a different plan in the slot pretty much every week since Maddox went down.

• S Justin Evans: Evans was the Eagles' choice to start opposite Reed Blankenship, as he beat out Terrell Edmunds and Sydney Brown during training camp for that opportunity. He started four games for the Eagles earlier this season, and when healthy, has been competent. However, he has a long history of injuries, missing 43 games from 2017-2022 (not including the 2021 season, when he was not on an NFL roster). Evans is eligible to come off IR next week. Of course, he lost his starting job when the Eagles traded for Kevin Byard.

• WR Quez Watkins: Watkins has battled injuries this season, and only has 4 catches for 21 yards in 3 games played. In the Eagles' win over the Rams, Watkins had a chance to pick up a key first down but instead ran directly into a defender who easily rode Watkins out of bounds. That play continued a common theme of Watkins failing to make a play when an opportunity was there. The Eagles have since signed Julio Jones, and they also have Olamide Zaccheaus. Watkins will be eligible to come off IR after the Eagles' Week 9 game against the Cowboys.


The Cowboys' inactives:

The notable name not shown above is Tyron Smith, who will start at LT.

Notable players on IR, PUP, suspension, etc.

CB Trevon Diggs (IR): Diggs tore his ACL during practice in September. He is one of the NFL's elite defensive playmakers, as he has 18 INTs in just 47 career games. He has 4 INTs in 5 career games against the Eagles.

The Cowboys' starting trio at corner was Diggs, Stephon Gilmore, who the team signed in free agency this offseason, and second-year slot corner Daron Bland, who was very good as a rookie in 2022 while leading the Cowboys with 5 INTs, and who has 4 INTs (including 3 pick-sixes) this season.

Bland has has move into a starting role opposite Gilmore, and Jourdan Lewis is the slot corner. If there's a weakness in the Cowboys' secondary in the aftermath of the Diggs injury it's Lewis in the slot. He has allowed touchdown receptions in each of the last three games.

LB Leighton Vander Esch (IR): Vander Esch is a starting linebacker. He had 30 tackles in 5 games for the Cowboys before landing on IR with a neck injury.

LB DeMarvion Overshown (IR): Overshown was the Cowboys' third-round pick in the 2023 draft out of Texas. He tore an ACL and is done for the season.

CB C.J. Goodwin (IR): Goodwin is a core special teamer, and a backup cornerback, and noteworthy because of the loss of Diggs. 

• OT Matt Waletzko (IR): Waletzko is a backup tackle/guard. He is on IR with a shoulder injury. The Cowboys are without some depth pieces, which is not ideal with their top two LTs banged up.

OT Josh Ball (IR): Ball suffered a serious hip injury during the preseason, and will miss a substantial amount of time.

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