Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson - he who was willing to have the team run "The Philly Special" on fourth-and-goal in Super Bowl LII - has developed a reputation as one of the most aggressive head coaches in the NFL. That confidence extended into an interview Monday morning.
The Eagles were defeated Sunday in Minnesota 38-20 to fall to 3-3 in 2019. Their division-rivals, the Dallas Cowboys, lost a third consecutive game Sunday, falling 24-22 to the previously winless New York Jets.
The two teams, who were viewed as preseason Super Bowl contenders, will meet in Dallas in Week 7 on Sunday Night Football. Pederson has a pretty good feeling about the game.
"I know the sky is falling outside. It's falling, and I get that and the fans are reeling just a little bit," Pederson said Monday morning to Angelo Cataldi on SportsRadio 94 WIP. "But we're going down to Dallas, and our guys are going to be ready to play. And we're going to win that football game. And when we do we'll be in first place in the NFC East and we'll control our own destiny and be right where we need to be."
Through the first six games of the Eagles season, quarterback Carson Wentz has had a strong campaign - he's thrown for 1,458 yards and 12 touchdowns to just three interceptions. But the team as a whole has been hit hard by the injury bug.
DeSean Jackson, who the team re-acquired in the offseason, had eight catches for 154 yards and two touchdowns in the team's Week 1 victory over the Washington Redskins. The 32-year-old has been sidelined since early in the team's Week 2 loss to the Atlanta Falcons with an abdomen injury. Pederson said Monday that the Eagles are "hopeful" that their home run hitter can return Sunday.
Defensive tackle Malik Jackson, who the team inked to a lucrative offseason contract, suffered a season-ending foot injury in Week 1. Cornerbacks Ronald Darby and Avonte Maddox missed Sunday's game with injuries, along with Jalen Mills and Cre'Von LeBlanc, who have yet to play this season. Left tackle Jason Peters, wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, running back Darren Spoles, running back Corey Clement, tight end Dallas Goedert and defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan have all dealt with with injuries in 2019 as well.
Still, as Pederson said, a win over Dallas in Week 7 would allow the Eagles to take over sole possession of first place in the NFC East. And they aren't exactly catching the Cowboys at a bad time, as Jason Garrett's team has lost three straight games since starting 3-0.