3 Keys to a Philadelphia Eagles win versus Dallas Cowboys in Week 16

Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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Philadelphia Eagles
Tony Pollard (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

2. The Philadelphia Eagles defense needs to limit Tony Pollard.

In case you haven’t heard, Tony Pollard is an explosive weapon for this Dallas team. In Ezekiel Elliott’s absence last week, Pollard put up 132 scrimmage yards on just 18 touches. That was a big part of what led to a Dallas win to keep playoff hopes alive. They’ll run him out of the backfield, check it down to him when nothing is there, roll him into the flat, and line up him at wide receiver at times. It’s similar to what the Eagles saw with Chase Edmonds last week.

The Cowboys want to get Pollard into open space with one man to beat or with blockers in front. He has a chance to break off a big play at a moment’s notice. Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz must have eyes on him at all times. This Eagles linebacker core has struggled at sitting back in coverage and making tackles in the open field. The good news is that with Duke Riley out of the lineup, Shaun Bradley will get snaps. He’s been the one linebacker who has shown the ability to defend the passing game.

Ezekiel Elliott has not been ruled out. There’s actually a good chance that he will play. While Pollard will see a decreased workload with Elliott’s return, he’s still a big-play threat as mentioned earlier. Andy Dalton will look Pollard’s way a decent amount of the time and check it down to him. When Pollard comes onto the field, the ‘Birds’ need to take him out of the equation and just make sure he doesn’t get any room to work with. They can also try and get some free shots in on Andy Dalton. Both Elliott and Pollard have not done well in pass protection.