All-32: Can Micah Parsons Carry Cowboys to Division Lead?

Dallas Cowboys ER Micah Parsons
Dallas Cowboys ER Micah Parsons
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

Welcome to All-32, a game-by-game preview of every matchup on the NFL slate each week. The goal is to provide a look at the most critical part of each game with a marriage of data and film study. As the season rolls along, the focus will narrow in on the specifics, but for this week, many of the featured players and units are big-picture projections for the teams in question.

If you're interested in our game picks, you can find them on this page.

Let's get to it. All times listed as Eastern.

Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles—Sunday, 8:20 p.m.

Key Unit/Player: DAL Defensive Line, PHI Offensive Line

The Eagles called their passing offense against the Cardinals like they were scared of true dropback passes. They did not want Jalen Hurts three- or five-step dropping from shotgun without play-action. Almost everything the Eagles called was an RPO, a screen, or a one-on-one ball to A.J. Brown, with only a few other plays sprinkled throughout to keep the defense honest. Sports Info Solutions marked Hurts with 3.7 air yards per attempt against the Cardinals, his lowest mark this year by more than a yard.

While Hurts' inconsistencies as a true dropback passer play some part in that, the depleted offensive line was the biggest issue on Sunday. Left tackle Jordan Mailata missed the entire game, center Jason Kelce went down halfway through, and guard Landon Dickerson only played about 20 minutes. Head coach Nick Sirianni and his offensive staff simply did not want to ask an offensive line with so many backups playing to hold up in pass protection, especially versus a frenzied Cardinals front seven.

All three players are listed as questionable for this Sunday's divisional game against the Cowboys, but if one or any of them are out, the Eagles may roll with a conservative game plan once again. Dallas' front has produced more pressures than anyone in the NFL and has done so while primarily rushing with just four players (which you can read more about in this week's Film Room).