1) When Jordan Hicks tore his pectoral tendon on Sunday night, Bill Davis guessed right away it was a serious injury. Coaching linebackers, Davis has seen that injury before.
"I've seen him make a bunch of arm tackles," Davis said. "That's what you're doing. You're trying to just get the guy down, and he just reached out, and sometimes it pops and sometimes it doesn't. It's like the Achilles; you can't figure that one out. You see a guy jump up and land, and it just lands wrong. It was just one of those things where the arm tackle just hit the wrong spot."
One Eagle who can understand what Hicks is feeling is fellow inside linebacker Najee Goode, who suffered a torn pectoral tendon early last season and went on injured reserve. Goode's injury came on special teams. He underwent surgery and said it took him about 2 ½ months before he could run around and be comfortable. The full rehab lasted five months, but Goode said he could have played by the end of the season. Goode made a full recovery and is not affected by the injury this season.
"He might think about it," Goode said. "You want to make sure you have good form and you put your head on the runner."
Emmanuel Acho's advice to Hicks was to not forget about the other pectoral when rehabbing. He has a list of former teammates who tore both pectoral tendons because they overcompensated. Goode said that wasn't an issue with the way the Eagles rehabbed, and he hasn't lost his strength. He still bench-presses 400-500 pounds.
"Everything I did with the trainers was that the right side would help out the left," said Goode, who injured his left pectoral.
2) Cole Beasley had nine catches for 112 yards and two touchdowns out of the slot for the Cowboys on Sunday, and it might have revealed something that could be an issue for the Eagles. After the Eagles traded Brandon Boykin, they used their safeties in the slot. That pays off against bigger slot receivers and tight ends, but they might be exposed against smaller, shifter slot receivers. It's not just Beasley who has played well against the Eagles in that mold. Washington's Jamison Crowder, who is 5-8 and 185 pounds, had seven catches for 65 yards against them.
"There are a couple of [slot receivers] in the league like [Beasley] that stop and start so fast that they're a tough matchup for almost anybody," Davis said. "You almost have to get somebody that size -- but then you gain in other areas. So the matchup with those quick guys is you have to have the right matchup with the right help to help the leverage piece of the slot guys because they always work against your leverage. If you go inside, then it's almost an option the other way. If you align outside of him, he's going to work inside and keep playing that game with you."
This is worth remembering when the Eagles face Julian Edelman and the Patriots in December – and Crowder in Week 16.
3) The penalties on Byron Maxwell on the Cowboys' final drive of regulation did not sit well with the Eagles. They did not criticize the officials, but it seems as if Davis was pleased with Maxwell's coverage.
"You know, pass interference is frustrating, but we talk about it with the players all the time," Davis said. "His technique was good; it really was. He was sound. The second one, it really looked to me that he was actively playing the ball. To me, usually an official says, 'OK, there's two men, the ball is in the air, and it can be either man's ball. If they both go for the ball, then there's no harm, no foul.' If we try to restrict [the receiver] from catching it and not go for the ball, they usually call us for pass interference."
Davis' interpretation was that Maxwell was playing the ball. But he also acknowledged that his interpretation doesn't matter. It's what the official thinks, and Davis doesn't try to change the official's mind.
"I gave up on that a while ago," Davis said. "I've never seen a guy really complain to a point where [an official] says, 'You know what, you've talked me out of it, never mind, I take back the flag.' So instead of losing my mind anymore, we've just got to go to the next play, and more importantly, we've got to be able to teach the guy, 'Hey, you're doing it right or you're doing it wrong.' There's some that they call where it's like, 'Hey, you [the player] were wrong. That was a penalty.' '"