Philadelphia Eagles Cannot Underestimate Dez Bryant’s Health


In case you haven’t heard, the Philadelphia Eagles are taking on the Dallas Cowboys Sunday night in a game that could very well be the deathblow to the Eagles’ playoff hopes if they come out of the Lone Star State with a loss. You can consider this game a must-win for the Birds.

On paper, the Eagles match up very well in this game. The Cowboys are still without quarterback Tony Romo and now look to the almighty Matt Cassel to make the Dallas offense function. The troubled, but talented Joseph Randle has been cut, meaning that the majority of the snaps will go to Darren McFadden, who the Eagles were able to contain in the teams’ Week 2 matchup. The Dallas defense is stingy for the most part, but allows 19 points per game, good for 29th in the league. This game is very winnable for the Eagles, but one factor that the Eagles cannot overlook is the return of wideout Dez Bryant.

Bryant took the field for the first time last week since fracturing his foot in Week 1 against the New York Giants, but was completely ineffective, recording two receptions for 12 yards on the day. It wasn’t a good day for Bryant, but it was his first game back from injury and he was playing against the Seattle Seahawks‘ defense, arguably the best unit in the NFL. It wasn’t exactly an ideal recipe for success.

However, we can be having a whole different conversation after this week’s showdown.

It’s unknown just how healthy Dez actually is, but, regardless, he needs to be accounted for. The Cowboys have missed him all season and with him back in the lineup, it officially makes the Dallas offense dangerous again, no matter who is under center.

The Eagles’ defense has been reliable this season and, in my opinion, is close to deserving elite status. But for that to happen, the defense must keep Dez in check Sunday and it all starts with Byron Maxwell.

Maxwell has been solid this season. Is he worth the six-year, $63 million contract he signed in the spring? Not at all, but that’s a conversation for another day. In his last three games, he’s allowed only 95 yards, which is impressive, but he did let this happen…

That’s just bad.

Aside from that epic missed tackle, though, Maxwell’s been good this season if you erase his Week 1 performance, where he was scorched by Atlanta Falcons receiver Julio Jones, who went off for 141 yards and two touchdowns. But, to Maxwell’s defense, no one has been able to cover Jones this season. Still, he cannot allow that kind of performance this Sunday. Dez may not be completely healthy, but he requires constant attention and a big day from him could spell disaster for the Eagles.

The Eagles’ season is on the line and Dez Bryant is the X-factor. If Bryant manages to have a big performance, it’ll be awfully hard to stop and will likely result in the Eagles dropping to 3-5. Healthy or not, Bryant must be accounted for.

Next: Sam Bradford Must Deliver For Eagles Against Cowboys

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