Sports

Philadelphia Eagles, embarrassed by rival Dallas Cowboys, in jeopardy of free fall

ARLINGTON, TEXAS — Philadelphia coach Nick Sirianni played up the EaglesCowboys rivalry leading into Monday night’s game. He wore a “Beat Dallas” T-shirt to his news conference and handed them out to all of his players — and even his family — to wear. He showed his team old footage of memorable moments between the franchises, trying at every turn to inject the city of Philadelphia’s passion for this game into the team. It made for a fun week — right up until kickoff.

The Eagles (1-2) got knocked around by their top foe on national television in a 41-21 defeat that was just as concerning as it was ugly.

The coach-quarterback tandem of Sirianni and Jalen Hurts has taken two giant steps back since the Eagles’ convincing Week 1 win against the Atlanta Falcons. Sirianni said he beat himself up pretty good over his playcalling against the San Francisco 49ers last Sunday, and he will no doubt go another 12 rounds with himself this week. While Dallas twisted the Eagles’ defense up with a balanced, hit-you-from-all-sides attack, Philadelphia ran just once in the first quarter and did not log a running back carry until midway through the second quarter. The Eagles were undisciplined and outschemed, and that falls to Sirianni.

“I didn’t execute. I didn’t do a good enough job of leading, I didn’t do a good enough job of running our offense, of doing the things that I need to do,” said Hurts. “It’s on me. This one is on me.”

Hurts continues to regress after his sharp outing against Atlanta. He threw his first two interceptions of the campaign, including one to Trevon Diggs (wide receiver DeVonta Smith fell down on the play) that was returned for a touchdown.

The Eagles’ defense had been the one constant in the early going this season, and it was gashed for 380 yards and 27 first downs against the Cowboys.

Entering the teeth of their schedule — the Eagles play the next four games against the Kansas City Chiefs, Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Las Vegas Raiders — they are in jeopardy of falling into a big hole if they can’t shake loose from this tailspin.

Injuries are piling up: The Eagles entered down two offensive linemen, with left tackle Jordan Mailata (knee) and Brandon Brooks (pectoral) sidelined. They lost another starter on Monday in left guard Isaac Seumalo, who was carted off with a foot injury in the fourth quarter. The offensive front was a strength coming into the season but was leakier than usual against the Cowboys; just three games in, its depth is being seriously tested.

Lack of discipline: The Eagles have set a franchise record for penalties through the team’s first three games of a season with 35. One of Sirianni’s core principles is “Football IQ,” but to this point, his team hasn’t played very smart.

QB breakdown: Hurts, a Houston native, has struggled mightily against the Cowboys early in his career. He has five turnovers in two starts at Dallas, as compared to just two turnovers in five starts against all other teams. He has been able to lean on his rushing prowess regardless of how the passing game is going, but he scrambled once in the first half on Monday for two yards and finished with nine carries for 35 yards.

His message to teammates:

“I take responsibility for how this game went tonight. I’m going to learn from it and we’re going to be a better team from it, I believe that. … We’re going to flush it and move on.”

Eye-popping Next Gen stat: The Eagles had less than 10 minutes of possession (9:33) in the first half for the first time since 2018 versus … the Cowboys.

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