clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

NFC East Notebook: Darius Slay accolades, Wentz opens up about Philly, and more

Your weekly source for news and notes around the division

Minnesota Vikings v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

Week 3 of the NFL season is upon us and we get our first divisional matchups of the season. The Philadelphia Eagles take on the Washington Commanders on Sunday, followed by your New York Giants battling the Dallas Cowboys on Monday Night Football. Here are some of the things going on around the division before the matchups.

Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys are coming off a Week 2 win over the Cincinnati Bengals. Even with Dak Prescott set to miss significant time, the Cowboys are starting to get reinforcements back on the offensive side of the ball.

Michael Gallup has been trending to return from last season’s torn ACL, and it looks like he will make his debut on Monday Night Football.

In nine games last season, Gallup had 35 receptions for 445 yards and two touchdowns. Now the clear number two for the Cowboys, Gallup will look to help provide a spark for what has been a struggling Dallas Cowboy offense so far this season. With Giants’ cornerback Aaron Robinson likely out of the contest, the Cowboys will welcome all the pass catchers they can have against a banged-up Giants defense.

Another player that will most likely make his debut will come along the offensive line. Jason Peters has been trending up as far as making his Cowboy debut and has been practicing all over the offensive line.

After the initial panic of the Tyron Smith injury, rookie left tackle Tyler Smith has filled in the role well and has made this decision a bit more tricky for the Cowboys. Jason Peters was brought in with the assumption that he would be taking over the left tackle position as he has had basically no experience playing any other position in his career. With the cowboys experimenting with Peters at other positions, it looks like there may not be a starting spot on this line for Peters after all.

Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles are coming off a dominant win on Monday Night Football over the Minnesota Vikings. Jalen Hurts showed complete control of the offense and Darius Slay locked down star wide receiver Justin Jefferson while the defense gave Dalvin Cook nothing on the ground.

The major storyline this week is pretty clear, the Eagles will take on former quarterback Carson Wentz. Even with the struggles, Carson Wentz has had since the Super Bowl season, Sirianni is locked in on the game plan for Wentz.

“I think he’s doing a nice job over there, Like what I’ve seen — I’ve seen, obviously, he’s thrown for a bunch of yards and we know that he can get hot, and be really on, and we know he’s powerful with the ball in his hands and he can make a play at any time. So, we’re going through our process to get ready for him and we know he can make a lot of plays.”

Both offenses have been running hot this season, making this an exciting week 3 matchup.

If there is one person that can rain on the offensive parade Sunday it will be cornerback Darius Slay. After a dominant performance in Week 2, big play Slay is getting some recognition for his performance.

Slay was lockdown against Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson, which Bleeding Green Nation touched on in their winners and losers article.

“Slay went up against arguably the NFL’s best wide receiver ... and absolutely clamped him.

Jefferson was targeted 12 times and only had six receptions for 48 yards (long of 11). 8.0 yards per reception for Jefferson is the second-lowest mark of his career. The only game that went worse for him was when he was at 7.7 in Week 5 of his rookie season.

According to Pro Football Focus, Slay was targeted eight times and was responsible for just two receptions that went for 19 yards. Slay logged two picks and he could’ve had at least one or two more with better hands.

Slay being able to erase a top receiver like this is kind of a big deal.”

Most would think the logical thing to do would be to just avoid Darius Slay but that might not be ideal either. Much to the dismay of Giants faithful, Cornerback James Bradberry has also been playing extremely well for the division rival.

The Eagles are reaping the benefits of the mess Dave Gettleman left the Giants franchise in.

Washington Commanders

The Washington Commanders are coming in off a loss in which the defense again had issues against the Detroit Lions. Jack Del Rio spoke to the media about the defense.

“Yeah, I think we’re growing, developing. The last couple of weeks haven’t gone exactly like we’d like there are some really good moments in each of the ball games and I think there’s some things that we’ll certainly learn from and do a lot better going forward. So, I like the group. The group is working really hard. I think we’ve had a good time kind of putting it all together. I expect us to play better football. From things that haven’t gone well, you kind of teach, correct and move on. We are preparing for a very good team and we’re looking forward to having them come into our place. Looking forward to playing really good football.”

After letting the Jacksonville Jaguars rally in the second half and giving up 36 points to the Detroit Lions, the Commanders have to get right quick facing an Eagles team that has been rolling. Del Rio’s seat is hot with the fan base starting to turn on the defensive coordinator. The calls may only be getting louder if Commanders don’t keep Jalen Hurts in check.

With Carson Wentz facing his former team for the first time since being traded from the Eagles, plenty are wondering how the quarterback feels leading up to this game and his experience in Philadelphia. Wentz opened up a bit to the media about the experience.

Even though Wentz stated that his time in Philadelphia was a “whirlwind, a wild ride”, it sounds like Wentz has clarity now being two seasons removed from Philadelphia. Even though it sounds like there is growth on the Wentz side, doesn’t seem like the Eagles fans are ready to let go.

Wentz has been playing well through the first two weeks. The Commanders quarterback is currently second in yardage with 650, while tied for first in passing touchdowns with 7 and a passer rating of 100.3. The hot start for the Eagles and the Commanders offense combined with the subplot will make this an intriguing watch during the 1 p.m. time slot.

  • See SB Nation’s Hogs Haven for more about the Commanders