The Dallas Cowboys’ Christmas Eve win over the Philadelphia Eagles was anything but pretty. In order to pull out the victory, Dallas had to overcome two separate double-digit deficits, and the defense continued leaking oil to the tune of allowing backup Gardner Minshew to throw for 355 yards and two touchdowns.
The game itself, however, was thrilling, and fans of both teams are clamoring for a potential rematch come playoff time.
It’d be interesting to see the Cowboys play Philly with Jalen Hurts under center. While the passing game didn’t skip a beat with Minshew under center, the sheer threat Hurts poses as a runner affected the rushing attack. Without the MVP candidate, the Eagles managed 87 yards on just 3.0 yards per carry.
At full-strength, the Eagles have the best roster in the NFL. It’s right up there with San Francisco’s. However, Philly’s fantastic run of injury luck has slowly but surely regressed beyond the mean. After losing Hurts in Week 15 vs Chicago, the Eagles suffered two more crucial injuries on Christmas Eve.
For starters, all-world right tackle Lane Johnson suffered a torn tendon in his abdominal area, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Johnson will miss the rest of the regular season, and his status for the playoffs is currently unclear.
Eagles stars Lane Johnson, Avonte Maddox suffered big injuries in Christmas Eve loss to Cowboys.
We wouldn’t bet on a warrior like Johnson missing the rest of the campaign, but abdominal injuries are tricky so he faces a race against the clock to get healthy in time for the postseason. Though the right tackle position is unheralded relative to left tackle, Johnson might be the best pound-for-pound player on the Eagles’ roster, which we alluded to earlier as the most talented in the league.
To put Johnson’s dominance into perspective, he recently set the NFL record for most consecutive games without allowing a sack (28). Additionally, Johnson boasts the best pass block win rate among all tackles at 95%. In 551 pass-blocking snaps, he’s allowed nine pressures, and zero (!) quarterback hits, per PFF.
The Eagles have the offensive personnel to get by without Johnson, but it’s not all hyperbolic to say it’d be catastrophic to Philadelphia’s Super Bowl aspirations if the four-time Pro Bowler doesn’t return this season.
As if that isn’t bad enough, Philly lost secondary stud Avonte Maddox against the Cowboys, too. Per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Maddox suffered a significant toe injury that’s expected to sideline him indefinitely.
As the Eagles’ every-down slot cornerback, Maddox has been every bit as important to the defense as Darius Slay, James Bradberry, and Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, even though the latter trio garners most of the plaudits. Josiah Scott is a significant downgrade in the nickel. Plain and simple.
Maddox’s return timeline remains to be seen, but “indefinitely” certainly isn’t ideal with the postseason on the horizon.
Between the injury to Hurts’ throwing shoulder, and Johnson and Maddox out for (seemingly) the foreseeable future, the Eagles’ are suffering significant injuries at the worst possible time. Again, they’re as deep as any team in the NFL, but we’re talking about three of the 10-most important players on the roster, including two in the top-five in regard to Hurts and Johnson.