October 17, 2022
The Eagles capped off the insane week in Philly sports with a huge win over the Cowboys in primetime to stay undefeated.
This city could not be flying any higher right now.
It got close in the second half. The Eagles are still clearly trying to figure out how to put a full 60-minute effort together, but they came up big when they needed to.
After Dallas cut what was once a 20-3 lead down to just three at the start of the fourth quarter, Jalen Hurts and the offense manufactured a touchdown drive that ate up almost eight minutes of clock and put the Eagles back up ahead by nine. Then Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, with an injured hand, kept things out of reach with his second pick of the night on the Cowboys' next possession.
The Eagles beat Dallas for the first time with Jalen Hurts as the quarterback and Nick Sirianni as head coach, and go into the bye week as the NFC East's and the NFL's best at 6-0.
"We know we gotta play a complete game," Nick Sirianni said postgame Sunday night. "What's exciting about being 6-0 and not having played a complete game yet, in my opinion – and the players will tell you the same – is that there's only room to get better. That's our goal."
Now the Eagles will have nearly two weeks to work toward it.
Here's what they're saying about the Birds...
For a while on Sunday night, if Cowboys quarterback Cooper Rush attempted a pass longer than 10 yards, it spelled disaster for Dallas.
The Eagles' secondary rarely gave him an open option, to the point where James Bradberry, Darius Slay, and Chauncey Gardner-Johnson looked like his favorite targets on the field.
Remember all those quarterbacks who completed 80 percent of their passes against the Eagles last year? Remember all those quarterbacks who had career games playing against this secondary? Remember all the times teams would start chucking the ball up and down the field and the Eagles barely put up a fight?
Yeah, things have changed around here.
The Eagles have gone from worst secondary in the NFL to best, and it’s been amazing to watch.
On Sunday night, their playmaking was out in full force, with a ridiculous 12 pass deflections and three interceptions in the Eagles’ huge 26-17 national TV win over the Cowboys.
Chauncey Gardner-Johnson picked off Cooper Rush twice and Darius Slay picked him off once, and James Bradberry was all over the place with four pass breakups, including one that led to C.J.G.J.’s first interception, and the Eagles remained unbeaten at 6-0 going into the bye week. [NBCSP]
Safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson was brought in through trade just before the start of the season and thrown right into the defense. It took time to get adjusted, but he's steadily looked more and more comfortable as the weeks went on, which culminated in his two-interception performance against Dallas.
But it wasn't just a matter of learning the new scheme and a position he hadn't played in a while, getting settled took reflection and understanding his new teammates too, as Bo Wulf wrote for The Athletic:
When Gardner-Johnson arrived in Philadelphia, acquired from the Saints on roster cutdown day in exchange for nothing more than Day 3 draft compensation, he brought his brashness. It must be difficult to spend three years proving yourself as a bona fide playmaker, only to be dropped into a new locker room on the cusp of the regular season and feel like you have to prove yourself again, while also adjusting to a new position in a new defense. The first week was turbulent. The new guy showed up wanting to own the room. He was told to fall in line.
“I had to swallow my pride when I first got here,” he said. “Coach … got on me about it. But it’s all tough love.
“I think I was the new guy coming in, coming in loud, showboating. But it’s like, I’m not here to do showboating, I’m here to get better, improve and help this team win. So I think the best thing I can do is gradually adjust, gravitate to the group. Because I came in right before the season, so I really didn’t have a full camp or preseason. So I think just being around the guys, understanding where they come from, how they play ball, is just different and I love it. Can’t even complain honestly.” [The Athletic]
Dallas' star linebacker Micah Parsons wasn't doing much Sunday night unless it involved getting torched by A.J. Brown.
Lane Johnson was his matchup and the veteran right tackle had him completely contained. It was only after Johnson had to exit the game to go into concussion protocol that Parsons started to apply any sort of pressure as noted by CBS Sports' Jeff Kerr.
It's no secret in Philadelphia, and Parsons at this point, that Johnson is the best right tackle in the NFL, and the Eagles definitely do not want to be without him for long.
The clock was winding down, things were getting chippy, and Sirianni's message to the Dallas sideline got caught on camera.
It's Eagles-Cowboys and oh man does this dude get it.
Sirianni's explanation postgame via the NFL Network's Mike Garafolo:
Passer rating vs. Dallas:— Matthew Chastain (@MattChastain_) October 17, 2022
Tom Brady: 87.3
Joe Burrow: 89.9
Daniel Jones: 57.9
Carson Wentz: 56.7
Matthew Stafford: 86.2
Jalen Hurts: 104.6
DeMarcus Lawrence ran his mouth all week just to get embarrassed on national TV. pic.twitter.com/gAgJ8bkhDa— Kendall Beck (@KBeckEagles) October 17, 2022
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