Eagles' Jalen Hurts Backs 'Pivotal' Miles Sanders: 'He's Got to Get His'

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 29, 2021

Philadelphia Eagles' Zach Ertz (86) and Miles Sanders (26) celebrate after Ertz caught a touchdown pass in the second half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas, Monday, Sept. 27, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth

Count Jalen Hurts among the numerous people who believe Miles Sanders should have been more involved in the Philadelphia Eagles' game plan for Week 3's loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

“He’s a pivotal part of this offense. He’s one of the best running backs in the league. He’s got to get his," Hurts told reporters Wednesday.

Sanders recorded a career-low two carries for 27 yards as the Eagles essentially abandoned the run against Dallas. The play-calling was a surprise given the Cowboys' injuries in their front seven and Sanders' effectiveness on the ground so far this season.

"The first half, just with how that went—those numbers get skewed at times," Eagles coach Nick Sirianni told reporters of Sanders' usage. "I know they are what they are, but when you don't have that many plays in the first half, whether that's because you have penalties that stop drives, defense was on the field quite a bit, and then you're in position in the second half where you're down two scores the whole time. That's where that kind of comes into play."

The Cowboys held possession for most of the first half in part because the Eagles scored a defensive touchdown in the first quarter. That said, the Eagles had the ball four times in the first half and got the ball after the halftime break—all possessions when the game was not out of hand—and chose to give Sanders the ball just twice.

There's no real justification or explanation for that. Sirianni is a first-time NFL head coach and is clearly showing growing pains through the first three weeks, and this will hopefully be a teachable moment. The Eagles don't have enough dynamic players on their roster to abandon Sanders in any game-planning situation.