1. Control the line
I mean this on both sides of the ball. Last week, the Eagles defensive line got pushed around early and let the Cowboys run all over them. That’s a recipe for failure and we saw why. The Eagles defensive line is going to need to do a much better job in holding their ground and blowing up the run. I hope to see the line get better help from the linebackers as well in stopping the run. The Birds will have much more success if they can stop the run and force Tony Romo to beat them.
Offensively, you’d like to see our line play the way the Cowboys offensive line did in the first half last week. The Eagles strayed away from the run game last week and paid the price for doing so. They have to try to establish some sort of presence on the ground early this week and maintain it throughout the game. I know there have been changes in the line but they have got to pull together and open some holes. Their pass protection can be improved from last week as well.
2. Get pressure on Tony Romo
The Eagles failed to do this last week and Romo made them pay by throwing for over 300 yards. When Romo has time to throw the ball, he can get a lot accomplished. He struggles when defenders get in his face. The Birds have done this well in the past but failed to do it last weekend. There were a lot of blitzes called and I expect a lot more pressure to be sent his way this week.
It seemed last week that Romo would use long counts to try to read blitzes because the Cowboys thought the Eagles would come early and often. He will probably do this again so the Eagles will need to disguise their blitzes well so he doesn’t know where it’s coming from.
3. Get the ball to DeSean Jackson
This is a no-brainer in every game but I think it’s very important this week. He is the biggest threat we have on offense and needs to get his touches. We all know he can be a huge threat down the field for the big play but I’d like to see the Eagles hit him on some short stuff as well as some end-arounds to try and give him the opportunity to make a play. If he gets enough chances, you know he’ll make a big play sooner or later.
4. Force turnovers
This is another thing the Eagles have done well in the past but failed to do last week. They forced one interception that was really just a lucky bounce for them. It was clutch, but it wasn’t the type of interception you’re used to seeing from the defense. I’d like to see the Eagles force two or more turnovers on Saturday and be able to convert these into points. It’s hard to win a football game if you’re turning the ball over.
5. Play loose
After the Eagles performance last Sunday, we were all left asking ourselves “what the hell happened?” I think a lot of it had to do with nerves and that the Cowboys were just more loose than we were. This could have been because there was more pressure on the Eagles. I believe the tables are turned now because everyone thinks of Dallas as the new dominant force in the NFC. They are expected to win. With all this, and the fact that the Eagles were just there last week, I think they can come into this game much more relaxed and find a lot more success.