Cornerback Asante Samuel has been ruled out for Saturday's crucial game at Dallas, the Eagles said Friday.

Samuel suffered a hamstring injury against the New York Jets and missed the last three practices. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie will start in his place.

Joselio Hanson will play in the slot in the nickel package.

Samuel's absence could be crucial against a Cowboys team that features three significant threats at wide receiver and a big-time tight end.

Rodgers-Cromartie, who was acquired in the trade with Arizona for Kevin Kolb during training camp, filled in for Samuel when he left in the second quarter of Sunday's game against the New York Jets.

"That's where he's played over the years," coach Andy Reid said Thursday. "We worked him as an inside player, and I thought he was getting better every week with that, but his natural spot - where he feels the most comfortable - is on the outside.

"He's looked good. He's done a nice job. He doesn't have a problem doing it."

Patterson wins award. Defensive tackle Mike Patterson won the 2011 Ed Block Courage Award after recovering from a training-camp seizure to start in every game.

Eagles teammates voted Patterson the winner, and the team made the announcement Friday. Each NFL team chooses one of its players for the award. Block spent more than 20 years with the Baltimore Colts after earning a Purple Heart in World War II.

Patterson suffered a seizure on Aug. 3 in a frightening scene at Lehigh University. The diagnosis was an arteriovenous malformation (AVM) on the brain - a tangle of blood vessels. But he was cleared to play football and returned to the field just 17 days later. Four AVM specialists reviewed his case, according to the team.

"I've been associated with this award for my 19 years in the National Football League, and Mike is one of the most deserving candidates I have ever been around," Eagles head athletic trainer Rick Burkholder said in a statement. "His courage to play with this condition and to put off any further procedures until the offseason shows his commitment to his teammates and to the Philadelphia Eagles."

Patterson plans to have a procedure to correct the AVM after the season.

Patterson, a first-round pick in 2005, has 21/2 sacks and 58 tackles this year, according to a count kept by the team. He has not missed a game to injury in his career.

Every NFL team chooses an Ed Block Courage Award winner each season. Recent Eagles to win the award include Jason Avant, Michael Vick, and Jon Dorenbos.