Like it or not Cowboys Nation, the Philadelphia Eagles are now the latest Super Bowl champions after their 41-33 victory of the New England Patriots. Despite a close game, things just fell the Eagles way. It’s a hard pill to swallow for a lot of Dallas Cowboys fan, but swallow it we must.
Although I wasn’t personally rooting for the Eagles, I’m not all that upset they were the Super Bowl victors. They’ve been one of the best teams in the entire NFL throughout the 2017 season and were able to overcome several obstacles placed in the way.
Now, I don’t want to give the Eagles too much credit, because there were a few touchdown catches that probably should’ve been overturned. Luckily for the Eagles though, the officiating thought otherwise. We as Cowboys fans could only sit back and watch in disbelief plays that were oddly similar to the Dez Bryant “catch” against the Green Bay Packers a few seasons ago.
But, I’m not here to rehash what should’ve/could’ve been. I’m more focused on the Dallas Cowboys and what they can possibly learn from the now Super Bowl champs, the Philadelphia Eagles.
Continue to read below to see the three things I believe the Dallas Cowboys could learn from the Philadelphia Eagles.
Become more of an Aggressor
The Philadelphia Eagles had the mindset of being the aggressor against the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl and it ended up working in their favor. It was really no surprise because that’s just the way the Eagles played the entire season.
Doug Pederson was aggressive all season with his play calling and didn’t back down against the Patriots in the Super Bowl either. His fourth-down trick play touchdown pass to Nick Foles was proof of that and it was arguably the turning point of the game.
On the other side of the ball, Jim Schwartz operated an aggressive/attacking defense. The Eagles defense was one of the better units the entire season, and they eventually wore down the Patriots and started getting to Tom Brady.
The Dallas Cowboys could definitely adopt some of this aggressiveness in all phases of their game. They have been pretty simplistic and predictable on both offense and defense since Jason Garrett has taken over as head coach. It might be time to take a page out of the Eagles book and incorporate it in Dallas.
This also spills over into the Cowboys approach in free agency. They need to be more aggressive going after free agents who can actually contribute to the team. They can’t continue to sign players who don’t even make it through the season.
Adequate Roster Depth is a Must
One of the most important things the Dallas Cowboys could have possibly learned from the Philadelphia Eagles is how important roster depth is in order to overcome injuries.
The Cowboys 2017 season was pretty much derailed when some of their key players were out due to injuries. They didn’t have an adequate replacement in place for Tyron Smith, which caused a breakdown in protection and it had a ripple effect throughout the offense. The same can be said for Sean Lee as well.
The Eagles however were able to overcome injuries to quite a few of their key players and not have it affect them negatively. They lost their starting left tackle (Jason Peters), starting linebacker (Jordan Hicks), and their franchise quarterback (Carson Wentz) and didn’t really skip a beat.
The Dallas Cowboys absolutely have to do a better job of addressing their depth, especially at key positions. It’s unfathomable to think that injuries to just a few players can derail an entire season, but that’s what happened. It can’t continue!
Play Calling Should Highlight Strengths of QB
The Dallas Cowboys play calling was obviously an issue this last season. It was still pretty much the same offense Tony Romo operated, with a few run/pass options (RPOs) thrown in here and there. This is something that absolutely needs to be addressed this off-season.
Doug Pederson did a masterful job playing to Carson Wentz’s strengths in 2017 and it was one of the reasons he was in the MVP discussion prior to his injury. Pederson incorporated a lot of RPOs and even added a few of Wentz’s favorite plays he liked from college. He did the same thing once Nick Foles took over.
The Cowboys need to follow suit and do the same thing with Dak Prescott going forward. They need to get back to the drawing board and sit down with #4 to figure out what he likes and what he doesn’t.
I think it should look much more like a college style offense where they spread things out and run a lot more RPOs, while still relying heavily on the running game. Prescott is at his best when he is throwing on the run and using his legs. That hopefully means moving the pocket much more in 2018.