With the rest of the NFC East struggling, the Eagles have an early opportunity to separate themselves from their divisional rivals when they play the Dallas Cowboys on Monday Night Football. For the team to leave the Lone Star state with a "W", these five players will need to ball out.
Dillard has a chance to prove to the front office and the Eagles fan base that it was wise to keep him as a backup instead of trading him before the start of the season. Even without substantial playing time so far in his career, Mailata has dealt with quite a few injuries:
2018 - put on IR with back injury
2019 - put on IR with back injury
2020 - concussed in Week 16
2021 - MCL sprain suffered in practice
The former first-round draft pick will now try to showcase his abilities to try to turn his career projection around in the time it takes for Mailata to recover from his knee injury. If he does well, the Eagles will be in a win-win situation, because they can choose to trade him at the trade deadline/in the offseason or they can keep Dillard in 2022 and know that they will have a reliable backup for Mailata. First let's just hope that Dillard can protect Hurts on Monday night...
With two offensive lineman (Mailata, Brooks) down already, it feels like deja vu all over again from last season's never-ending o-line rotation. Dickerson has a chance to change that feeling in Eagles fans' guts. He has two Pro Bowlers on his side in Jason Kelce and Lane Johnson, so Dickerson will likely be the lineman the Cowboys defense tries to take advantage of.
Ryan Kerrigan has contributed to sacks in 12 of 19 career games against the Cowboys. In his last 10 games vs. Dallas, Kerrigan has 29 tackles (19 solo), 11 QB hits, 10 TFLs, 9.0 sacks, and 1 FF. With Brandon Graham out for the season, Kerrigan has a chance to become a veteran leader on this defense.
Fletcher Cox has totaled 11 tackles (8 solo), 7 QB hits, 3.5 sacks and 2 FFs in his previous 5 games vs. Dallas. With Javon Hargrave off to a hot start, maybe Dallas will give Cox one-on-one matchups. If that's the case, Cox will need to take advantage of any opportunities that arise.
The Cowboys had a big passing game in the last matchup in 2020 with Andy Dalton under center. Now with Dak Prescott back, Nelson (and Darius Slay) will need to be on their A-game to contain Dallas' potentially explosive offense.