New Ea­gles wide­out Golden Tate is up on Cowboys ri­valry

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE -

— It didn’t take Golden Tate long to learn his new team’s big­gest ri­val.

Tate, the play­mak­ing wide re­ceiver ac­quired from Detroit last week, will make his de­but with the Philadel­phia Ea­gles (4-4) against the Dal­las Cowboys (3-5) on Sun­day night.

“I’ve read my so­cial me­dia, so our fans have ex­pressed the pas­sion­ate dis­like of the Cowboys,” Tate said. “It’s go­ing to be a great game. I’m happy that my first game gets to be at home against such an in­tense op­po­nent.”

Tate had his best game this sea­son against the Cowboys, catch­ing eight passes for 132 yards and two touch­downs on Sept. 30.

“I think it gives me an ad­van­tage,” Tate said. “I’ve seen those guys. They are go­ing to run the same de­fense, and I’m on an­other team with a com­pletely dif­fer­ent play­book.”

The de­fend­ing Su­per Bowl cham­pion Ea­gles are com­ing off a bye week and trail the Wash­ing­ton Red­skins (5-3) in the NFC East. The Cowboys are reel­ing fol­low­ing a 28-14 loss at home to Ten­nessee on Mon­day night.

“One hun­dred per­cent, it’s a must win,” run­ning back Ezekiel El­liott said. “Be­ing a di­vi­sion game, that makes it that much more im­por­tant. Must win.”

Here are some things to know about the Cowboys-Ea­gles prime­time matchup:

When Dak Prescott led the Cowboys to a 13-3 record in 2016 while fel­low rookie Car­son Wentz was 7-9 with the Ea­gles, some thought Dal­las got the bet­ter fran­chise quar­ter­back — and in the fourth round. The Ea­gles traded a slew of draft picks to move up and se­lect Wentz at No. 2 over­all.

But Prescott is 12-12 since with 32 TDs, 18 in­ter­cep­tions and an 87.4 passer rat­ing. There are even ques­tions whether he’s go­ing to be the long-term an­swer in Dal­las.

Mean­while, Wentz is 14-5 with 46 TDs, only nine picks, and a 104.5 rat­ing in the past two sea­sons, though he missed last year’s play­offs af­ter tear­ing his ACL. He’s un­doubt­edly the present and fu­ture in Philadel­phia de­spite hav­ing to watch Nick Foles lead the team to its first NFL ti­tle since 1960.

The dif­fi­cul­ties con­tinue for Dal­las’ once-vaunted of­fen­sive line, which has sur­ren­dered 28 sacks of Prescott, just four shy of his ca­reer high halfway through the sea­son. Rookie left guard Con­nor Wil­liams had arthro­scopic knee surgery af­ter get­ting hurt in the loss to Ten­nessee and will miss at least one game.

The Cowboys ap­pear set to leave Joe Looney at cen­ter. He’s been there all sea­son in place of four­time Pro Bowler Travis Fred­er­ick, out with a nerve dis­or­der. If Looney stays put, left guard will be filled by ei­ther Adam Red­mond or Xavier Su’a-Filo.

Ea­gles rookie tight end Dal­las Goed­ert will face the team he was named af­ter for the first time.

Philadel­phia traded up in the sec­ond round and moved ahead of the Cowboys to se­lect Goed­ert, who would’ve helped re­place re­tired Ja­son Wit­ten in Dal­las. Goed­ert has 18 re­cep­tions for 188 yards and three TDs while team­mate Zach Ertz ranks first among tight ends with 61 catches.

Goed­ert will hear plenty of “Dal­las stinks!” chants and worse. He knows fans won’t be re­fer­ring to him.

The Cowboys are await­ing the re­turn of de­fen­sive end Randy Gre­gory, who had knee surgery sim­i­lar to Wil­liams be­fore the bye week and missed the last game. He was listed as limited in prac­tice early in the week. Taco Charl­ton in­jured a shoul­der against Ten­nessee and didn’t prac­tice to start the week. De­fen­sive tackle David Irv­ing, out the first four games on a sub­stance­abuse sus­pen­sion, is likely to miss a sec­ond straight game with a sprained an­kle.

DeMar­cus Lawrence, who tied for sec­ond with 14½ sacks last sea­son, stopped a three-game sack­less streak against the Ti­tans. Daniel Ross and Ty­rone Craw­ford had a sack apiece, while Ca­raun Reid and rookie Do­rance Arm­strong shared one.

The Ea­gles re­leased De­An­dre Carter, who was re­turn­ing punts dur­ing Dar­ren Spro­les’ ab­sence. Spro­les is ex­pected to play af­ter miss­ing seven games with a ham­string in­jury. He has seven ca­reer TDs on punt re­turns. Tate also could be used in that role, though he hasn’t done it much re­cently.

RON JENK­INS/AP PHOTO

In this Sept. 30, 2018, file photo, Dal­las Cowboys de­fen­sive back Jeff Heath (38) tack­les Detroit Lions wide re­ceiver Golden Tate (15) dur­ing the first half of an NFL foot­ball game in Ar­ling­ton, Texas. Tate, the play­mak­ing wide re­ceiver ac­quired by the Philadel­phia Ea­gles from Detroit last week, will make his de­but with the Ea­gles against the Cowboys on Sun­day night.

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