The Cowboys (4-3) got the best of Eagles (3-4) this past week on a Sunday Night Football matchup of NFC East foes. Dallas won by a score of 37-10 at Jerry World in Arlington.
Much as it has been the case all season, the Philadelphia inactive players list has grown larger and larger. In week seven, there were seven Eagles who found themselves inactive against Dallas. Injuries however, weren’t the Eagles’ Achilles heel on Sunday Night.
What hurt Philadelphia was costly turnovers and their inability to stop the Cowboys’ two biggest offensive weapons – Zeke Elliott, who had 111 rushing yards and a touchdown, and Amari Cooper, who accounted for 106 receiving yards.
Similarly, Dallas was able to limit Ertz to just two grabs for 38 yards on the day, a huge accomplishment given that Zach has quite a bit of success against the Cowboys in recent years, racking up nearly 140 receiving yards and two touchdowns on two separate occasions, once in 2016 and once last year.
Despite the tough loss, Pederson urges Eagles Nation not to worry because there is plenty of time to regroup and get the season back on track.
“We’ve got nine games left, it’s a one game season,” Pederson said. “By no means are we pushing any panic buttons. We are one game out of first place in our division. (If) we win our division at the end of the year, most likely you’re in the postseason.”
Pederson noted that the Eagles are close to putting it all together and playing complete football in all three phases of the game. Throughout the season thus far, they have shown flashes of a team destined for greatness. In the second half, against the Washington Redskins and against the Green Bay Packers, the offense and defense complemented each other extremely well, which led to a pair of victories. The Eagles just haven’t done it consistently yet.
“The things that are showing up on tape are fixable, they are correctable,” Pederson said. “It could be a young player new to the team that we have to continue coaching, from that standpoint the sky is not falling for us. We have the men in the locker room to get the job done.”
With the Dallas game in the rearview mirror, Zach and the Eagles turn their attention to Buffalo, where they will face a rugged 5-1 Bills team that boasts one of the league’s top defenses.
Thus far, the Bills defense has allowed just 15.2 points per game and 292.7 yards per game, both of which rank third in the NFL.
No. 86 has a tall task in front of him this Sunday as well. The Buffalo pass defense has been strong against tight ends this season. The Bills have surrendered the second-fewest receptions and third-fewest receiving yards in the league to opposing tight ends this season.
Whether Ertz logs 10 catches Sunday or zero catches against a potent Bills defensive squad, the approach for Zach this week will remain unchanged.
“I just try to get open as often as I can, just try to put wins on tape is the motto I have,” Ertz said. “If the ball comes to me, great. If it doesn’t, great.”
Ertz has undoubtedly received extra attention from opposing secondaries this season after a record-breaking campaign in 2018, but that should just open up space for other playmakers on the roster like Alshon Jeffery, Miles Sanders or Dallas Goedert.
If the Eagles are to get a win in Buffalo, everyone will need to contribute and win their one-on-one matchups.
Philadelphia will also look to limit turnovers. They gave the ball away four times last week against Dallas and have surrendered at least one turnover in every loss this season.
Despite coming off of a pair of tough losses, Carson Wentz still believes in this team and is ready to get back to playing winning football.
“Confidence is still high,” Wentz said. “Everyone is in a good place. We are ready to get back on it, get back on top. We realize there is still a lot of season left.”
Wentz went on to point out that sometimes it takes adversity to bring out a team’s character. He believes the recent tough losses will bring them closer as a team in the end.
Kickoff from Buffalo is set for 1 p.m. ET, and the game can be seen on FOX.