Inside Slant

The Sports Xchange

November 08, 2018 at 1:32 am.

Eagles hope offense improves with WR Tate

Twenty-five questions in less than 12 minutes were lobbed at Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Mike Groh on Monday. Fourteen of them were about Golden Tate, who was acquired at the trade deadline from the Detroit Lions for a third-round pick in the 2019 draft.

In the year of offense, where scoring has been higher than ever thanks to rules that make it even more challenging to play defense, the Eagles elected to bring in another weapon for go-time. And go-time begins now.

Halfway through the season, the Eagles are sitting at 4-4, but three of their next four games are against teams in the NFC East, beginning Sunday night against the Dallas Cowboys at Lincoln Financial Field. And Tate will be an integral piece to whatever the future holds over these final eight games.

“He’s a veteran player, he’s been in a couple different systems, so he’s got familiarity with different systems in the league and he can relate it to things that he’s done in the past,” said Groh. “We’re trying to look back at things that he’s had a lot of success with and start there.”

There is no question the Eagles became much more difficult to defend when you factor in Tate, who leads the league in yards after catch since entering the league in 2010, receivers Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor and tight ends Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert. It’s now a matter of fitting the pieces correctly into place.

“When you win, everybody eats,” said Agholor. “That’s the most important thing. We have to win football games. I’m going to have to make plays that help him and he’ll have to make plays that help me. All I know is winning is important. If he’s going to help us win football games, which I believe he will, then that’s important to me because when we win games, we all continue to contribute to that, it’s all going to work out. I like we got a guy who will help us stay on the field.”

The Cowboys are hoping Amari Cooper, who they acquired days before the trade deadline, but gave up a No. 1 draft pick to make it happen, can be that player for them. Cooper has one game under his belt with the Cowboys and caught a touchdown pass in Monday night’s loss to the Tennessee Titans, and figures to be more active as the week goes on.

In Philly, though, Tate talk has swirled, and has given the fan base as well as his new teammates a jolt of confidence that they are still the team to beat in the NFC East.

As for Tate, he hasn’t been in town long, but he is already familiar with the intense rivalry that exists between the Eagles and Cowboys.

“I’ve heard about it on social media,” said Tate. “Our fans have expressed their passionate dislike for the Cowboys. It’s going to be a great game. I’m happy that my first game gets to be at home against such an intense opponent. I can’t wait to get to Lincoln Financial Field for my first game and play a division opponent. Coach said (earlier in week) we’re right where we want to be, and this is the most important game not just because it’s the next game, but because it’s a division opponent.”

SERIES HISTORY: 115th regular-season meeting. Cowboys lead series, 63-51. The two teams split last year’s regular-season matchups, but the Cowboys’ win in the regular-season finale meant nothing to the Eagles since the Eagles had already clinched home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Eagles have won five of the previous nine meetings dating back to the 2013 season.