Eagles coach Doug Pederson said on Friday that he was planning to have all of his starters in the lineup against the Cowboys despite having the top seed in the NFC wrapped up.
That’s not how things are going to play out on Sunday, however. The Eagles are resting several defensive starters along with running back Jay Ajayi for the game against Dallas.
Linebacker Nigel Bradham, cornerback Jalen Mills, defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan and safety Rodney McLeod have all been scratched. Defensive end Brandon Graham was ruled out on Friday with an ankle injury and defensive end Derek Barnett, who has played over 44 percent of the defensive snaps as a rookie, is also sitting out on Sunday.
Given how few of their peers are in the lineup, it will be interesting to see if defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, safety Malcolm Jenkins and the other front-line defensive players do much on Sunday. We should see rookie cornerback Sidney Jones, who was activated Saturday after spending the year rehabbing a torn Achilles, regardless of how much the remaining starters play.
On offense, Ajayi is out but Nick Foles is set to start at quarterback behind the starting offensive line. Pederson said it “would be good” to get backup quarterback Nate Sudfeld some playing time, so the starters on that side of the ball may be making a limited appearance.