Ronald Darby helps Eagles' D torment Dak Prescott, Cowboys in return

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Ronald Darby helps Eagles' D torment Dak Prescott, Cowboys in return

ARLINGTON, Texas -- After not playing in a game for over two months, Ronald Darby worked hard last week during practice. Especially on his conditioning. He worked hard enough that he actually threw up a few times at practice. 

It earned him a nickname.

"I call him Willie Beamen," Rodney McLeod said, referencing the movie character. "Because every time he throws up, he seems to do well." 

Darby wasn't sure how his return would go. At first, he thought he would be eased back into action slowly, but as he came back to practice as a full participant last week, he began to realize he was getting thrown back into the fire. 

During the Eagles' 37-9 win over the Cowboys Sunday night at AT&T Stadium, Darby had an interception, two passes defensed and eight tackles (see Roob's observations)

Perhaps what was even more impressive was that he played all 63 of the Eagles' defensive snaps. 

"I was a little out of shape," said Darby, who hadn't played since dislocating his right ankle in the season opener. "I was on a scooter for like three weeks. I had to try to get my feet up under me."

There were a lot of questions heading into this week about why the Eagles would change up a secondary that was working so well. Why insert Darby and possibly affect chemistry? Darby showed why Sunday night. 

After breaking up a few passes in the first quarter, Darby got his first interception as an Eagle in the second on a Dak Prescott pass that was intended for Dez Bryant. It was Darby's first interception since Sept. 27, 2015 — his third NFL game. 

On Sunday night, Prescott was eager to find out if Darby would show any rust. He really didn't.

"I've been out two months, so I came into the game knowing I was going to get tested," he said. "It's either show up or get exposed."

Darby's performance Sunday might have been a surprise to the Cowboys and Eagles fans, but it wasn't a surprise to his teammates. Both  McLeod and Jalen Mills said they saw this coming based on Darby's week of practice. 

McLeod said Darby was breaking up just about every pass during the week at practice. 

"His whole week of preparation, the guy was just practicing hard," Mills said. "That's what you want to see from a guy like that."

Darby began the season as the Eagles' starter at left cornerback, but Mills played so well there in his absence, defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz elected to keep Mills there. That meant Darby lined up on the right side Sunday night. 

Darby said it was "a little bit different, I ain't going to lie," but still felt pretty comfortable on the right side.  

While his ankle is healed, Darby admitted he felt some rust on certain drives, but he thinks it'll come back in time. 

How close is he to being back to where he was? 

"I can't tell you," he said. "You sit out two months, of course, you're not going to be at the same level as the rest of these boys who have been out there these two months." 

At least he's off to a good start.

Vinny Curry reportedly heading to the Buccaneers

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Vinny Curry reportedly heading to the Buccaneers

One day after being released from the Eagles, Vinny Curry has reportedly already found a new home.

The defensive end is heading to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on a three-year deal worth up to $27 million, with an $11.5 million injury guarantee, according to ESPN's Jenna Laine.

After signing him to a five-year, $47.25 million extension in 2016, the Eagles moved on from Curry and his scheduled $11 million cap hit on Friday. The transaction saved the Eagles $5 million in cap space, with $6 million in dead money.

While Curry, 29, had the best season of his career in 2017, his production still didn't match his high cap number and he became more expendable after the Eagles acquired Pro Bowler Michael Bennett from the Seahawks.

Curry will join former Eagles defensive tackle Beau Allen in Tampa Bay. Allen signed a three-year, $15 million deal with the Buccaneers earlier in the week. 

As Bradham re-signs, he lauds former teammate

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As Bradham re-signs, he lauds former teammate

After getting the opportunity to stay with the Super Bowl champions, Nigel Bradham spoke at length and quite passionately about someone who didn’t get the same opportunity.
Brent Celek.
Bradham, the veteran linebacker, spent the last two years with Celek, who the Eagles released earlier this week after 11 seasons.
“That’s obviously devastating, man,” Bradham said. “Taking about a guy who was here his whole career and the way he came every day and his character every day.
“He really … me and a lot of guys on our team what it takes to win a Super Bowl, and he let us know it doesn’t come easy, it takes work, and he came in and worked every day. Like no other.”
Celek was due to earn $5 million in 2018 but is counting only $1 million in dead money against the 2018 cap, so the Eagles gained $4 million under the cap by releasing him.
That cap space certainly helped them find room to re-sign Bradham, who enjoyed a career-best season in 2017 for the Super Bowl champs.
But Bradham was effusive in his praise for the veteran tight end, who has played the fourth-most games in Eagles history.
“You would never know he was (11) years in because of the way he worked,” Bradham said. “So when you lose a guy like that it obviously takes a toll on your team.
“You hate to lose guys like that that meant so much and impacted this team so much. His leadership was on another level. He went over and beyond the things he could have done as a leader. Obviously, wish he could be here still.”