Week 3 Monday Night Football Preview: Eagles vs. Cowboys

Week 3 Monday Night Football Preview: Eagles vs. Cowboys

Cole Paganelli
3 years ago
2 min read
Week 3 Monday Night Football Preview: Eagles vs. Cowboys

Week 3 of the NFL season will conclude with an NFC East matchup between the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys. 

Both teams enter this matchup at 1-1 on the season and can move into first place in the division with a victory. But there are no easy games in the NFC East, and the winner of this game will certainly need to play at or near their highest level given the level of familiarity both sides have with one another.

Philadelphia Eagles

The Philadelphia Eagles suffered their first loss of the 2021 NFL season last week when they were defeated by the San Francisco 49ers. In that 17-11 loss, the Eagles weren’t able to get into the end zone until there were four minutes remaining in the game after the 49ers had already built a two-possession lead. This week, though, the Eagles have a chance to take on a Cowboys defense that is much more vulnerable than that of San Francisco.

If the Eagles are going to take advantage of the Cowboys’ defense, they will need more through the air from Jalen Hurts. Hurts led the Eagles in rushing last week with 82 yards, but only completed 12 of his 23 pass attempts for 190 yards. Against a Dallas defense that has allowed both quarterbacks they have faced to move the ball at will, Hurts will need to pounce on the opportunities he is given.

Dallas Cowboys

Dallas has played two close games in two weeks and will look for a more straightforward victory in their home opener. After a two-point loss to Tampa Bay in Week 1, the Cowboys got into the win column last week with a three-point victory over the Los Angeles Chargers. In that game, Tony Pollard was a breakout star for the Cowboys in the running game.

Pollard, who shares running back duties with former Ohio State running back Zeke Elliott, had 109 yards on the ground for the Cowboys last week. He has looked more explosive with the ball in his hands than Elliott so far this year and has been able to get to the outside more consistently. The emergence of a second running back will help the Cowboys reduce Elliott’s workload, which will help him later in the season.

Keys to the Game

For the Eagles, the biggest key to this game will be maintaining their edge defensively. Dallas has been excellent at racking up yards on offense so far this year and came just a few seconds away from a 2-0 start on the season. But the Eagles have been dominant on defense against the Falcons and 49ers, and a repeat of those performances could swing the division race in their favor.

On the Dallas side, the biggest key to this game is avoiding mistakes. They have had at least one turnover in each of their first two games, which has helped keep their opponent in each of those contests. In this division matchup, every mistake can decide the outcome, and the Cowboys will need to play as close to mistake-free football as they can to avoid a 1-2 start to the year.

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