Eagles Leader Channels Michael Jordan to Close Out Cowboys

Jalen Hurts

Getty Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts channeled Michael Jordan in developing his late-game mindset.

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts clearly has his sights set on bigger things than individual accolades and 6-0 starts. His post-game answers about raising the standard are starting to feel like a tradition, but after a 26-17 win over the Cowboys that included a lot of adversity, Hurts said something interesting when asked about closing out close games during his post-game press conference.

“I think about Michael Jordan when he said, ‘Put ’em away, MJ,'” Hurts said, referencing a memorable quote from His Airness in the final episode of The Last Dance, a 2020 Netflix miniseries about Jordan’s last season with the Chicago Bulls.

Preparing for a game during the 1998 NBA Finals against the Utah Jazz, Jordan referred to himself in the third person and dropped that quote. He went on to hit a legendary game-winning jumper to secure his sixth NBA title.

“I want to put ’em away, you know what I’m saying?” Hurts continued. “You want to put ’em away, you don’t want to give them an opportunity to make it a close game or give them an opportunity to have the ball in their hands. That’s the mentality we have.”

Clinging to a 20-17 lead early in the fourth quarter, but with the Cowboys in possession of all of the momentum, Hurts helped orchestrate a game-sealing touchdown drive that featured a heavy dose of Miles Sanders.

Hurts was highly efficient on the drive, though, completing all three passes he attempted for 30 yards and a touchdown to DeVonta Smith. Hurts also ran three times for 10 yards and two first downs. Hurts threw or ran the ball six times, and delivered three first downs and a touchdown on those six plays.

It wasn’t quite Michael Jordan over Bryon Russell level stuff, but what is? At the end of the night, Hurts got the job done.

“There’s different ways to do that, you can be aggressive, throw the ball, you can run the ball, whatever it is, but you have to be able to do it efficiently,” Hurts explained. “I feel like we’ve done that throughout six games sometimes, and I feel like we haven’t at times. But it’s always been enough. So, you know, when the standard hasn’t been met, you know, I’m not satisfied with it, you know what I mean? So it’s a lot to learn from from that, we’ll just continue to excel in that area.”

Jalen Hurts Studying the All-Time Greats

It wasn’t a huge surprise when we learned that Hurts studies film of Tom Brady earlier this season. Every quarterback should try to learn from the best. While head coach Nick Sirianni often shows Hurts film of good quarterbacks running the same offense he’s using in Philadelphia, the young quarterback also likes to look at tape of Brady and see what he can pick up.

“I think he’s so great at what he does because he’s so consistent and he’s been able to maintain that for a long time, and I’ve mentioned that consistency could breed eliteness, and I think with him, that’s him,” Hurts said on October 5, according to Reuben Frank of NBC Sports Philadelphia.

Perhaps tonight’s quote is an indication that Hurts isn’t just trying to learn how to be the best quarterback possible, but also how to embody some of the traits that the likes of Jordan and Brady have used to win numerous championships.

Jordan’s competitive fire and will to win were legendary. If Hurts can figure out how to close out football games the way Jordan closed out basketball games, the Eagles are in for quite a ride.

Hurts Downplays Importance of Avenging First Cowboys Loss

When Hurts faced the Cowboys last year, they throttled the Eagles 41-21. Hurts threw for 326 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions on 25-of-39 passing, but it wasn’t nearly enough.

Hurts said that didn’t matter tonight, and emphasized that it was just another game. He did admit that he has a vivid memory of that first one, though.

“You’d be naïve to think that I hadn’t, you know, remembered that,” Hurts said. “I try and find value in all of my experiences, you know, and that was a valuable experience for me.”

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