One of the biggest reasons for the Eagles‘ surprise 5-0 start this season is Jalen Hurts‘ improvement as a passer. Not only has the third-year quarterback remained an elite threat with his legs, but he’s also built a reliable chemistry with a rebuilt receiving corps. Just don’t tell that to the rival Cowboys, who will visit Hurts and the Eagles in Philadelphia on Sunday night. Asked about the QB’s growth, Dallas veteran DeMarcus Lawrence downplayed it Thursday while issuing a warning: “He hasn’t played the Cowboys yet.”
“Has he played us?” Lawrence said, per the Dallas Morning News. “All right. All you need to write is he hasn’t played the Cowboys yet, so we don’t know how good he is. … We ‘dem ‘Boys. Remember that. Don’t worry about it. … Ya’ll will see it on Sunday.”
This isn’t the first time the Pro Bowl pass rusher has needled his NFC East rivals; Lawrence notably traded trash talk with Eagles lineman Lane Johnson before a prime-time showdown in 2019. But there’s some truth to his latest remarks, seeing as Week 6’s Eagles-Cowboys showdown will be a chance for Hurts to prove he can thrive against one of the NFL‘s top defenses. With Micah Parsons (six sacks) and Trevon Diggs (two interceptions) leading the way, Dallas ranks second in total sacks, third in points allowed and seventh in yards allowed, entering at 4-1 despite losing QB Dak Prescott to injury in Week 1.
That doesn’t mean Hurts and the Eagles won’t prove formidable, either. Against respected defenses in the Jaguars and Vikings, Philly has still managed to rank second in yards per game, behind only the Super Bowl-favorite Bills; and average 27 points per game, good for fifth in the NFL. Hurts alone, meanwhile, has been the most efficient of all active starting QBs, averaging 8.5 yards per pass attempt while rushing for a league-leading six touchdowns from the QB spot.