The Eagles offense took a whole half to get going against Atlanta. They showed the potential in the 2nd half racking up 21 points and moving at a lightning pace. Sam Bradford avoided injury as well as the other main pieces on the offense. The running game will need to be a factor on Sunday because Bradford throwing 52 times is not the recipe for success. Dallas had a nice showing defensively against the Giants who continue to puzzle me with their offensive gameplan. Pass rushers Randy Gregory and Greg Hardy will be out this week.
Allen Barbre vs. Nick Hayden
Barbre was a question mark at left guard heading into this season and his play on Monday night did nothing to put that to rest. Part of the reason why the run game struggled was the guards, Barbre and Andrew Gardner. Nick Hayden is a stout run defender for Dallas who holds well at the point of attack. I noticed a decent amount of the runs Demarco Murray had went to the right side away from Barbre’s side. The Eagles need to use Jason Peters and his athleticism, but Barbre needs to play better for that to happen. Hayden is not a Pro Bowl player by any means so Barbre should be able to hold his own.
Zach Ertz vs. Sean Lee
After preseason groin surgery, Ertz surprisingly played 70 percent of the snaps in Week 1. He did not show any lingering effects from the surgery. Ertz finished with 3 receptions for 46 yards including a nice leaping grab on a post route from Bradford. Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee was returning from an injury of his own after missing the entire 2014 season with an ACL tear. Lee is a very good player, but the Penn State alum has had difficulties staying healthy the past few season. When healthy Lee is an upgrade at the weak side linebacker spot for Dallas. The Giants really did not utilize their tight ends Week 1 so we couldn’t get a gauge how Lee is holding up. I expect Chip to isolate Ertz in favorable matchups especially going after Lee in only his second week back. Ertz will also need to perform in the run game so the Eagles can get the ground game going this weekend.
Nelson Agholor vs. Morris Claiborne
The rookie first round pick from USC caught only one ball for five yards against the Falcons in his NFL debut. Look for Agholor to take a step forward in production this week after getting the regular season jitters out of the way. Playing at the Linc in front of the home fans may help as well. Claiborne is the Cowboys starting corner opposite Brandon Carr after Orlando Scandrick tore his ACL in training camp. Claiborne has struggled during his short career after Dallas traded up in the first round to select the LSU product. Let’s see if he can keep up with the tempo of Chip’s offense considering the early season conditioning. Agholor was used primarily on the outside and might be incorporated in more bubble screens to get him involved this week.
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