The 2-9 Miami Dolphins don’t appear to present much of a threat to the Eagles this Sunday, except for one thing. They have this 37-year-old quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick, 2-3-1 lifetime against the Eagles, put on a show against them last season, when he was with Tampa Bay.

More about that below, but first, if you like what you’re reading, tell your friends it’s free to sign up here​. I want to know what you think, what we should add, and what you want to read, so send me feedback by email or on Twitter @lesbowen.

Les Bowen (earlybirds@inquirer.com)

The Eagles' Ronald Darby and Rodney McLeod couldn't keep Buccaneers tight end O.J. Howard from scoring during the Birds' loss at Tampa Bay last season.
David Maialetti / File Photograph
The Eagles' Ronald Darby and Rodney McLeod couldn't keep Buccaneers tight end O.J. Howard from scoring during the Birds' loss at Tampa Bay last season.

Giving the Eagles Fitz

Ryan Fitzpatrick hit somebody named DeSean Jackson for a 75-yard touchdown on the first play of their Week 2 meeting, and Fitzpatrick never looked back. He finished the Bucs’ 27-21 victory with 27 completions on 33 attempts, for 402 yards and four touchdowns. Tampa Bay was the fifth team Fitzpatrick had started for against the Eagles; Miami will be the sixth. The Eagles have seen Fitzpatrick as a Ram, a Bengal (the day Donovan McNabb learned about ties), a Bill, a Texan, a Jet, and a Buc.

“He’s smart,” Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham said this week. “But they had DJac then. That’s what it was, he was throwing it up [for Jackson].”

“You see him on film, time after time, at least two or three times a game, when it’s third-and-long, a team may think they have perfect coverage or the perfect defense, and he breaks out and gets a first down,” Eagles corner Jalen Mills said. Mills recalls last year and the 402 yards vividly. “He was airing that [expletive] out,” Mills said. “He can throw the ball.”

Eagles tight end Zach Ertz, leaping over Seattle cornerback Tre Flowers on Sunday, hasn't practiced this week, bothered by a hamstring injury.
YONG KIM / Staff Photographer
Eagles tight end Zach Ertz, leaping over Seattle cornerback Tre Flowers on Sunday, hasn't practiced this week, bothered by a hamstring injury.

What you need to know about the Eagles

From the mailbag

So does Jerry fire [Jason Garrett] today? Getting crushed at home everyone watching? — Scott A Trophy Husband (@spike1130) via Twitter.

Doesn’t look like it, Scott. Though there have been unsettling signs that the Cowboys owner finally grasps what the rest of the league has known for a while — that Jason Garrett does less with more than just about any coach in the NFL. But Jones has said he will not make an in-season coaching change.

Jerry Jones figuring out the truth about his coach could be a very bad thing for Eagles fans. Frankly, the Cowboys have drafted better than the Eagles over the last few years. And lucking into their franchise quarterback in the third round in 2016, instead of having to trade up twice in the first round to draft him, was a tremendous benefit. The best thing the Eagles have going for them in these matchups is Garrett. If Jones fires him, he might actually hire a good coach. Then where would the Eagles be?

Fortunately for Dallas-haters, there is a problem with the concept of Jones’ hiring a good coach. It’s that the coach will know he is working for Jones, and really, since Jimmy Johnson left, that has been a tough sell.

When the Eagles lose, as they did last week against Seattle, Jeffrey Lurie doesn’t critique the team’s performance in public. In fact, this sort of thing pretty much happens only in one place. There are not a lot of really great coaches who would be comfortable with such an arrangement, with an owner who takes a very opinionated, day-to-day interest in everything his coach does.

If the Cowboys miss the playoffs, I assume Garrett is gone. But it sure seems the Dallas coach is always going to be someone who clearly is a Jones creation, who is willing to play Smithers to Jones’ Mr. Burns.