How the Cowboys’ injuries could affect the Eagles to start 2021
On Thursday night, the Dallas Cowboys got off to a rough start to their 2021 season, losing to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 31-29. Following the loss, news came out that several key Cowboys would be missing several weeks. Tackle La’el Collins was suspended five weeks for violating the league’s substance abuse policy while wide receiver Michael Gallup suffered a calf injury.
These losses alongside the Cowboys’ 0-1 record could be a big deal for the Philadelphia Eagles early on this season and could allow Philly to get a big lead on Dallas in the NFC East.
Without La’el Collins, the Cowboys’ offensive line will suffer enormously, with Collins being amongst the best linemen in football. Dallas’ running game was weak, to begin with, with Ezekiel Elliott only having 33 yards rushing, and the team had a total of roughly 60 yards.
With no Collins, that number can go even lower. Combine that with the loss of Michael Gallup, and Dak Prescott has less of a run game to rely on and is missing one of his primary targets in the air.
Looking ahead, Dallas has a difficult schedule ahead. Next week the Cowboys face the Los Angeles Chargers on the road in LA, with the Chargers looking like one of the best teams in the AFC. Los Angeles took down Washington 20-16 in Washington so a Dallas loss seems likely. If Dallas gets off to a shaky start on the road, Justin Herbert and Austin Ekler could easily take control of that game and blow the Cowboys out of the water.
Here’s where it becomes big. In week three, the Cowboys host the Philadelphia Eagles for their season opener. Following their blowout win against Atlanta, the Eagles host San Francisco for their home opener next Sunday. The 49ers are a tough team but are beatable, especially after nearly choking their lead against Detroit. If Philly can pull off their second straight win, they have a chance to go into Dallas and go 3-0 while the Cowboys start their season 0-3.
There are many uncertainties ahead with this idea. Both the Cowboys’ injuries make it realistic that this scenario could occur on this end. The bigger question is if the Eagles can knock off Jimmy G and the 49ers after their big offensive showing. If they can, starting 3-0 while Dallas is 0-3 would shift the tides tremendously for this season. If Philly is that successful while Dallas plummets, the NFC East could become a two man race very quickly.
Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Inquirer