• May 17, 2022

Eagles Defensive Front Must Stop Dallas “Stretch Run”

DeMarcoMurray1One of the key battles in Thursday’s game will be the Eagles defensive front versus the Dallas Cowboys “Stretch Run” with DeMarco Murray carrying the football.  You will see Murray get the football while running laterally toward the sideline.

The Dallas offensive line tries to get the defensive front moving laterally as they push them off the football.  Most of the time a natural gap opens as each of the one-on-one battles take place along the line of scrimmage, Murray looks for an opening and immediately runs upfield when he sees daylight.

“Stopping the stretch run is all about gap discipline,” Eagles defensive coordinator Bill Davis told the Philly sports media today. “Need to be athletic and strong to maintain gap integrity.”

The Birds defensive line of Fletcher Cox, Cedrick Thornton and Bennie Logan  as well as the linebackers Connor Barwin, Trent Cole, Mychal Kendricks and Casey Matthews will need to attack the Dallas offensive linemen, get their hands on them, but make sure to stay in the gap they’re responsible for, while also keeping their eyes on the ball carrier.  It’s not an easy job when you have a man weighing more than 300 pounds pushing on you.

The key to the defensive player getting off the block and making the play is using your hands to dislodge from the block. That’s one of the reasons Chip Kelly and the Birds player personnel make sure to measure the arm length of their defensive linemen.  They want guys with long arms who can use their hands to get off these “Stretch Run” blocks.

I like this matchup for the Birds because the Eagles offense runs the stretch play nearly as much as the Cowboys and the Philadelphia defense faces the play everyday.  They know how to defend it.  The strength of the Birds defensive line is taking on double teams to stop the running game.

If they stop or at least slow down the Cowboys “Stretch Run”, it will put them in position to beat Dallas.


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  • Good Analysis G-Man and spot on…
    Don’t forget about the Screen Play in which the Cowboys run very well
    with either RB D Murray of J Randle.. The Cowboys & Packers probably run the Screen Play better than other Team in the NFL

    The Eagles used to run good screens, but both Foles & Sanchez seem to rush it a bit and give it away by passing it too soon.. You have to suck that DL in a bit before tossing a Screen Pass… Sanchez and Foles are not as savvy as Romo,Rodgers or Peyton,TB, Brees or Big Ben are in selling out a Sack

  • eagles played the Cowboys well last December but I think they concentrated on stopping Dez Bryant. This November—- 11 months later they have to stop Demarco Murray.

  • Geno’s back!!!

    • Mike Vick has played his Final NFL Game
      On his final Play, He Dropped Back and threw an INT right into the Defender’s hands who he never saw and then injured himself making a Tackle down the Sidelines….

      • even marcus vick ripped mike vick on twitter last night

        • what? bwahahahaha

      • Buffalo has a great DL.

        • Mike played like

          • Marcus Vick ‏@MVFive

            Mike played like

            • aww man it wont show

      • Except the Jets said he’s starting if he’s healthy other then that you’re correct.

  • hey PMan what happened to Jason Avant in Carolina, why did he get the ax?

    • He was criticizing/questioning the offensive play calling. I guess he was rather vocal about it.

      • He (Avant) did criticize the play calling, but bottom line is that Panthers 4th/5th WR’s (Breslin & Philly Brown) have already taken some of Avant’s Snaps since they are more athletic, and faster and they figured they may as well see what theses younger Cheaper WR’s can do..
        Avant has about 20 Receptions and 1 TD but has lost another 1/2 step and cannot even outrun NFL LB’s and some DE’s on his Short Routes

        He would be a nice Pick-up for a Playoff Team that has a Need and would probably make a nice College or NFL WR Coach if he wanted to pursue

        but his playing Days are numbered

        • chiefs signed him last week

          • Other then that his days are numbered. LOL

            • Paulman wrong again, in other news…..

          • My bad, that’s right the Chiefs picked him up
            The Chiefs, I believe are the only NFL Team that has
            No WR with a TD Pass so far this Season,
            Which is hard to believe these days..
            Their TE’s & RB’s have all TD Passes thus far
            So Avant should be able to play for them

  • any injury news to be worried about Thursday? I saw Cary Williams limping off, Acho limping off and Nate Allen limping off.

  • Just saw this report that the titans will be releasing shawn phillips…i know he is older than we would like..but he isnt owed that much i think..we can use his pass rush skills from outside..should eagles take a chance on him? Curious to know what my fellow eagles fan think??

    • Shawn Phillips is strictly a Pass-Rusher
      Whose Place is he taking on the Field … (Barwin,Cole,Graham,Vinny Curry??)
      It would be nice for Eagles to add an Interior LB and a Safety
      though many Teams have the same issues this Year at both Positions and especially Safety, Just look around and there are not many out there at all

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