WITH MAILATA OUT, EAGLES TURN TO ANDRE DILLARD FOR DALLAS GAME - SIRIANNI REMAINS CONFIDENT
Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy said this week he is impressed with Eagles O-Line. That was before the big Australian's knee injury
The Eagles recently signed offensive tackle Jordan Mailata to a four-year contract that according to Spotrac.com, is worth $64 million, with $40,850,000 in guaranteed money.
The former rugby player from Australia was expected to be The Man at left tackle for the foreseeable future.
After just two games into that contract, the Eagles have confirmed Mailata will miss a pivotal NFC East contest Monday night when the Birds (1-1) travel to Dallas to take on the Dak Prescott-led Cowboys (1-1) on National Television (ESPN 8:15 PM).
According multiple reports, Mailata injured his knee late during Thursday’s practice. The injury report did not come out until after the day’s interviews were done.
Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni on Saturday said he does not know how long Mailata will be sidelined.
“You know, he went back in after he got rolled up on in practice, and then he came in and was having some pain in there,” Sirianni said. “It's really -- we're going to just play it by ear. We don't really know exactly yet, but we're hoping soon, sooner than later, but yeah, he'll be out this week.”
The rookie head coach said Mailata will not be put on any injured reserve list.
The Cowboys have their issues as well with regards to injuries and COVID-19 issues.
While the Cowboys got All Pro guard Zach Martin back from the COVID-19 list in tine to play against the Los Angeles Chargers, Dallas lost defensive end Bradlee Anae to the reserve/COVID-19 list.
Dallas is now missing Pro Bowl pass rusher DeMarcus Lawrence, DT Neville Gallimore, DT Carlos Watkins, DE Dorance Armstrong, and Anae on the defensive line. Dallas is getting DE Randy Gregory back. Will it be enough to put pressure on Eagles second-year quarterback Jalen Hurts?
With so many injuries to the defensive line Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy used rookie linebacker Micah Parsons as a defensive end against the Chargers.
The first round pick out of Penn State responded with his first career sack in Dallas' 20-17 win against the Chargers on the road.
During his conference call with Philadelphia reporters, McCarthy talked about the injuries and how his smaller defensive line will compensate against a big Eagles offensive line.
This interview was done before Mailata injured his knee at practice Thursday afternoon.
“It is definitely a matchup we are going to a give a little extra focus on without a doubt because of our injuries,” the second-year head coach said. “But I think if you look at the layout of our roster, we feel really good about our depth and the defensive line has a huge challenge against this massive offensive line. That’s our approach to it.”
McCarthy said he was impressed with the Eagles rookie right guard who stepped in for Brandon Brooks in the first half against San Francisco.
“I had the opportunity to see Landon Dickerson step in there. I was really high on him coming out of Alabama. I have a lot of respect for their O-line. They’re healthy, for the most part. They got the tackles rolling so I’m just kind of focused on the different combinations, who we’re going to play and how we’re going to play against those guys.”
At left tackle, instead of Mailata, McCarthy will be planning for Andre Dillard who was an Eagles’ first round pick in 2019.
His rookie year, Dillard was decent at left tackle but struggled on the right side when he was asked to step in for Lane Johnson.
Dillard missed the 2020 season due to injury. He was beaten out this summer for the starting left tackle job handily by Mailata.
Sirianni said he only looks at what he has seen in Dillard this year.
“Since I've gotten here, again, I can't say what happened in the past here,” he said. “Since I've gotten here, I've had complete confidence in him. I know he had that injury that set him back a little bit in training camp, but I've had complete confidence in him ever since I've got here, and then he gets that Jets game and the Jets practices and the New England practices, and I just think he's looked really good."
“Based off what I've seen, I've got a ton of confidence in Andre and look forward to (him playing)," he said. "Obviously it's a bummer that Jordan can't play, but look forward to the challenge that Andre has and looking forward to watching him step up and fill Jordan's role and have a good game.”
The Eagles will no doubt get a taste of Parsons’ pass rush. McCarthy said he like everything his as seen out of his young player.
“I can’t say enough about Micah and what he’s done on the field,” McCarthy said. “He’s been flexible in every way we play him. He’s off to a really good start just after two games. I love the way he plays, the physicality, his explosiveness. Football comes pretty well natural to him.” *
Follow Al Thompson on Twitter @thompsoniii