Takeaway No. 1: Dallas Cowboys saw the blueprint
The Philadelphia Eagles offense has been fun to watch this season. Instead of trying to make Jalen Hurts something he’s not, they decided to make the offense what Hurts is. Honestly, more offensive coordinators should be doing that. So, what the Dallas Cowboys saw from Hurts wasn’t anything the film didn’t tell them before the game. It just verified it.
Hurts likes to run zone-reads and RPOs. He doesn’t like to sit in the pocket, read defenses, or go through progressions. He’s oftentimes inaccurate on intermediate balls and would rather use his legs than rely on his arm.
All of this was verified on Sunday.
What Dan Quinn got to see is how his players responded and what he needs to do to come out on top when the two teams meet again. As we highlighted before the game, Hurts likes to put defensive ends in conflict. The Eagles often leave DEs unblocked and run an option play based on that DEs decision. It’s essentially an unwinnable situation for the DE as an individual, because it’s asking him to pick his poison.
Offenses don’t lean on this as much as the Eagles, because it, and many of their zone-reads, put the QB at risk. Teams with franchise QBs obviously don’t want to do this because their season can end in an instant if their QB1 falls. The way to beat it is to hit the QB every time. That’s the poison you pick. Eventually, they’ll stop calling it or they’ll suffer the consequences.
At the end of the day, nothing exotic or unforeseen popped up. Dan Quinn got to see how his guys reacted to some of these situations and he got to see what he has to fix for Christmas Eve when they meet again (assuming Hurts isn’t hurt by then).