I believe the Eagles should rest their starters on Saturday evening against the Dallas Cowboys and that starts with Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts. He’s nursing an injured ankle and he’s a key part of the Eagles running game. It’s true that the running game is the main reason that they have a chance to advance in the playoffs so he definitely needs to rest. If he were to re-injure that ankle against the Cowboys, that could end up taking away one of the Eagles key weapons. Hurts could injure yet still play in the first playoff game but would be ineffective as a runner and therefore he would hurt the Birds running game. I want to Hurts as close to 100% as possible when the Eagles play their first playoff game.
Again, the Eagles running game is the key to their future in this year‘s playoffs and that means they need to rest their running backs. Miles Sanders is nursing a broken hand. Jordan Howard has had injuries throughout the season and he cold use the week off. Boston Scott has been battling injuries through the season as well, so I think they need to rest all of these guys and let rookie Kenny Gainwell shoulder the load.
In addition, Birds head coach Nick Sirianni shouldn’t play his starting offensive line against the Cowboys. Pro Bowl right tackle Lane Johnson has been playing through a knee problem. Of course veteran Pro Bowl center Jason Kelce is one of the keys to their offense and he’s been banged up all season long. A week’s rest would be like taking five years off of his age. Rest will be like medicine to all these guys bodies. Rookie left guard Landon Dickerson has been showing up on the injury list and could use a week off. If the Birds are going to beat anybody in the playoffs they’ve got to have that running game at full strength and the key to the rushing attack is the offensive line.
I also think that there are two Eagles receivers that they can’t do without and they are DeVonta Smith and Dallas Goedert. They are the key receiving weapons for this offense. You could throw Quez Watkins in there as well because he’s definitely their best deep threat. Still Smith and Goedert are the two guys that Hurts will be looking for when they start the playoffs. The Birds can’t afford either of those guys to miss time.
On the defensive side of the football, I think they need to let guys like Javon Hargrave, Fletcher Cox, Josh Sweat and Derek Barnett rest. If their defensive line doesn’t play well in the playoffs they’re done. You can also say the same thing about people like Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay. He has got to be healthy for them and at the top of his game. I would also throw in middle linebacker T.J. Edwards. He’s one of the keys to the defense, so he needs to watch this Cowboys game from the sidelines.
I don’t think anybody wants to play a healthy Eagles team with that running game at full strength when the playoffs start.