The Eagles’ running backs totaled just three carries in Monday night’s loss to the Cowboys, with Miles Sanders finishing with two carries for 27 yards and Kenneth Gainwell having one carry for two yards. Coach Nick Sirianni was questioned after the game about why he didn’t run the ball more.
“We wanted to make sure we were able to keep up with them,” Sirianni said, via the Philadelphia Inquirer. “We knew they were an explosive offense. We wanted to be able to push the ball down the field and hit some of the underneath zones that we saw while also obviously mixing the run game in there and the screen game. You fall behind a little bit, you have to get off that game plan a little bit. We knew we had to score with this team because we knew they were able to score and score quickly.”
Sanders and Gainwell also had three catches, and Sirianni noted that the Eagles did get the ball to the running backs in the passing game.
“The first half, just with how that went, not getting a lot of plays, those [rushing] numbers get skewed sometimes,” Sirianni said. “I know they are what they are, but when you don’t have that many plays in the first half, whether you have penalties that stop drives, the defense was on the field quite a bit and then you’re in a position in the second half where we’re down two scores the whole time and that’s where that kind of comes into play. I know we were trying to get him the ball on some screens and stuff like that, but obviously he’s a good playmaker and we wanted him to touch the ball more. Just the way the game went, we weren’t able to do that.”
It was an ugly game for the Eagles, and an unusual offensive approach for Sirianni, the former Colts offensive coordinator who was hired to build an offense.