5 Eagles to Watch on Sunday

The Philadelphia Eagles are coming to town with their stout 8-1 record at a time when the Dallas Cowboys are struggling mightily with injuries and consistency. The Eagles are coming off a huge 51-23 beat down over the Denver Broncos in week nine and are playing the part of the best team in the NFL.

We’ve heard a lot about Carson Wentz this year, and deservedly so. He’s thrown for a league leading 23 touchdowns to only five interceptions. The Eagles are the second best scoring unit in the NFL. He’s been good this year.

Enough about him, let’s touch on five Eagles you need to know and keep an eye on come Sunday.

1. Jay Ajayi, Running Back

One thing I’ll look for on Sunday is how they get new acquisition Jay Ajayi involved in the running game. In his debut, he carried the ball eight times for 77 yards while scoring on a 46 yard run. He isn’t the best running back in the league, but he has the ability to take the ball to the house on any given play.

The Philadelphia Eagles coaching staff only gave him 24.6% of the offensive snaps during the game against Denver and he only received two carries inside the red zone. How the Eagles deploy Ajayi and the rest of the running back group will be interesting to watch.

5 Philadelphia Eagles to Note Ahead of Sunday's Matchup 1
Philadelphia Eagles DT Fletcher Cox hitting Buffalo Bills RB LeSean McCoy for a loss.

2. Fletcher Cox, Defensive Tackle

This guy has been an interior thorn in the side of the Dallas Cowboys ever since he came into the league in 2012. He’s a terror who has averaged 5.7 sacks per season with a high of 9.5 in 2015 and is on pace for eight this season.

He isn’t the team leader in sacks, but he has 4.5 from the defensive tackle position. That’s pretty good. Only Geno Atkins, David Irving, and Aaron Donald have more sacks at defensive tackle than Cox.

He was given first team All-Pro honors in 2015 and 2016 and is considered one of the best interior defensive lineman in the NFL.

3. Jalen Mills, Cornerback

Jalen Mills was the seventh round draft choice of the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2016 NFL Draft. So far in the 2017 NFL season, he’s tied for the team lead in interceptions with three, second on the team in passes defensed with 10, and second on the team with 34 tackles. One of Mills’ interceptions has gone for a touchdown. His 10 passes defensed is three off the NFL lead of 13.

While the Eagles have allowed the most completions in the NFL and the ninth most yards, having a seventh round draft choice contributing like Mills is a huge bright spot for a Philadelphia Defense that ranks in the top-10 in scoring defense.

4. Nelson Agholor, Wide Receiver

Alshon Jeffery is the big name wide receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles, but Nelson Agholor is the big play wide receiver for the team. Agholor is third on the team in receiving yards, receptions, and is tied for second with five touchdown receptions.

Along with Agholor, there are only four other players in the NFL who have recorded fewer than 50 targets and have five or more touchdowns.

Will Fuller has 7 touchdowns on 33 targets. That’s an incredible 21.21% of his targets that have gone for touchdowns. The others are Minnesota’s Stefon Diggs, Pittsburgh’s Juju Smith-Schuster, and Seattle’s Paul Richardson. Aside from Fuller, Agholor has the best touchdown/target percentage among that group of players.

Agholor’s been far more consistent than Jeffery, catching 69% of his passes compared to Jeffery’s 46.6%. Agholor is averaging 10.19 yards per target while Alshon Jeffery is only averaging 6.84 yards per target.

He’s a big play threat who has been hurting teams deep. Nelson Agholor has had receptions of 72, 58, and 36 yards. He will be difficult to contain.

5. Chris Long, Defensive End

The 32-year-old veteran, Chris Long, isn’t a starter for the Philadelphia Eagles, but he’s played well in a reserve roll recording three sacks and forcing two fumbles.

His three sacks tie him for third on the team while playing less than half of the snaps on defense. He’s a player that could give Chaz Green or Byron Bell fits if they are forced to start.

Which Eagles are you worried about this weekend?

What do you think?


Written by John Williams

Dallas Cowboys optimist bringing factual, reasonable takes to Cowboys Nation and the NFL Community. I wasn't always a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quick as I could.

Make sure you check out the Inside The Cowboys Podcast featuring John Williams and other analysts following America's Team.


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