Eagles Wake-Up Call: McCoy Expects Seattle Influence

Courtesy of USA Today

Courtesy of USA Today

By the time Sunday night rolls around, the Cowboys will have had 16-plus days to stew over their embarrassing Thanksgiving loss to the Eagles. And because their Week 14 game against Chicago was played on a Thursday, they were allotted nine days to try and come up with ways to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

In order to change their fortunes they will have to have to do better against LeSean McCoy, who busted loose for a season-high 159 yards on 25 carries (6.4 avg.). The Eagles finished with 256 rushing yards in all en route to their 33-10 win.

A heavy-hearted McCoy had a much harder time this past week against Seattle, rushing for 50 yards on 17 carries (2.9 avg.) while losing a key fumble to open the second half. McCoy thinks  Rod Marinelli will apply some of Seattle’s tactics to try and limit the Eagles’ ground attack this week.

“I think they’ll look at the Seattle tape and try to do different things like they did,” said McCoy.

“If any team has success against the run or stopping me, the next week we’ll see some type of fronts like that.”

The Seahawks and Cowboys are both 4-3 defenses. Seattle didn’t do anything too fancy against the Eagles, running their standard Cover-3 and Cover-1 defenses, but did plenty on the field last week that Dallas can aspire to.

“I feel what we can learn from them is that they were very disciplined,” said safety Barry Church. “They didn’t move their gaps, they created an edge on them and kind of forced turnovers as well. [McCoy]  holds the ball really loose so they took advantage of that. They were hitting him hard and creating edges, and that’s what we have to do in this game.”

Seems like a sound enough approach. But do they have the players to pull it off?

“The hard part is having the personnel,” said McCoy. “I think Seattle has the personnel, they can get away with a lot of things that other teams can’t. That’s the hard part of trying to copy what teams that have success do.”

Dallas is middle of the pack when it comes to run defense. The Cowboys yield 113 rush yards per game (compared to the Seahawks’ third-best mark of 84 rush yards/per game).While the extra rest for the players and the additional prep time for the coaches can be beneficial, Eagles players aren’t convinced that Dallas will suddenly have all the answers.

“Well I think they tried to shut [McCoy] down the first time,” said Jason Kelce. “I don’t think any team goes in saying, ‘We’re going to let LeSean McCoy run for [159] yards.’ But I don’t think we’re going to see the exact same thing we saw in the first game. I think that would be foolish by us if we expect that.”


“We’re ‘The Nobodies.’ The latest Inside Voices gives you a peek inside the defensive line meeting room.

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Video evidence that Nick Foles is making progress.

“When he was a freshman, I remarked, ‘This kid’s gonna win the Heisman.’ ” Chip Kelly on Marcus Mariota.

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The Associated Press takes a look at the dip in touches for Darren Sproles.

Sproles averaged 13 touches in the first two games of the season, higher than his average through his nine-year career with San Diego and New Orleans.

But in the last 10 games, one of which he missed with a knee injury, Sproles has a total of 48 touches – 30 carries and 18 catches – for an average of less than five per game.

”You get frustrated, sure,” the soft-spoken Sproles said.

The Eagles have been better when Sproles gets the ball more. In their nine wins this season he averages about 7 1/2 touches; in four losses he has less than three per game.

Jeff McLane on the idea of the Eagles trying to move up for Marcus Mariota.

Chip Kelly’s public admiration for Marcus Mariota doesn’t necessarily mean the Eagles coach thinks the Oregon star is an NFL franchise quarterback, let alone one whom he would be willing to mortgage the future on by trading up in the draft.

But Kelly’s effusive praise and the Eagles’ continued uncertainty at the position make the prospect an intriguing one, even if the odds of it happening are slim.

What would it take to get Mariota?

A lot.

Would it be worth the price? It depends on whom you’re talking to.

The Redskins, for instance, gave up three first-round picks and a second-rounder to move up four spots to No. 2 and select Robert Griffin III in 2012.


We’ll roll out our predictions for Eagles-Cowboys.