Eagles

Ronald Darby's strong debut should ease some concerns about Eagles' secondary

Ronald Darby's strong debut should ease some concerns about Eagles' secondary

Despite coming up with an interception, Ronald Darby wasn't quite satisfied with his Eagles debut.

"My next one, I'm going to end up in the end zone," Darby said following the Eagles' win over the Bills on Thursday night.

Don't be surprised if he follows through. Darby actually had two opportunities to score a touchdown during the Eagles' second preseason contest. There was the interception the third-year cornerback returned 48 yards before he was finally cut down at Buffalo's 18-yard line.

"It was a double move," Darby said. "I played it well, stayed patient, stayed over top and I made a play on the ball."

Darby had another opportunity at a pick-six earlier, but couldn't hang onto the pass after getting a nice break on the receiver's route.

"They tried to run a speed-out," Darby said. "I was trying to undercut it, react to him first and make sure that's actually what he was running. I got my head back around, got my hand on it, and dropped it."

That was all in the first quarter, by the way. Not a bad start for Darby, who the Eagles acquired less than a week ago in a trade for wide receiver Jordan Matthews and a third-round draft pick.

"It's very impressive," Eagles coach Doug Pederson said. "Very exciting. Encouraging, obviously. He's definitely going to help us there in the back end.

"It's great to see our defense come up with takeaways and put the offense in good situations."

After all the questions about the Eagles' cornerbacks entering training camp, Darby's performance should put a lot of minds at ease.

"I just have to keep on making good impressions," Darby said. "I want to carry it over to the season, keep learning, and make my mistakes early so when it's time to really go, I'm on top of my game."

The transition has not been as easy for Darby as he made it look.

The trade went down exactly one week ago last Friday. Not only did Darby have to come into a locker room and new scheme, but six days later, he was also lining up against his old teammates.

"It was one of the hardest things I've had to do," Darby said. "I was with them since OTAs. Since I was drafted, that was my team.

"It was difficult, but on to new things."

There's also something to be said for going out and showing the team that just traded you away exactly what they are going to be missing.

"It's a great feeling to do good against the team you were just with," Darby said.

Darby seems to be embracing the change in scenery, right down to the vibe at Lincoln Financial Field on Thursday. Attendance was relatively strong for an exhibition game, and the loudest cheer of the night was for Darby's 48-yard interception return.

Afterward, Darby called the fans "great," adding that the play, in particular, gave him an adrenaline rush.

"It was a great feeling," Darby said. "Felt like prime time. You get a lot of energy. They build you up."

So what's next for Darby, besides finishing a play for a pick-six? Coming off a whirlwind seven days, a break would probably be nice.

"This whole week has been fast, fast, fast," Darby said. "I need a lot of rest."

The way Darby was zigging and zagging across the field during that interception return, who can blame him?

Former Eagles Dawkins, Owens named Hall of Fame semifinalists

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Former Eagles Dawkins, Owens named Hall of Fame semifinalists

Brian Dawkins and Terrell Owens are again one step closer to making it to the Hall of Fame.

Both former Eagles were named as two of 27 semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame's 2018 class.

Their inclusion on the list Tuesday is not a surprise at all. Both were on the list of finalists last year, but did not make the 2017 class to the dismay of Eagles fans.

The 15 finalists will be announced during January and Hall of Fame voters will cast their votes for the inductees on Super Bowl Saturday.

This is Dawkins' second year of eligibility and Owens' third. Traditionally it has been difficult for safeties to make it into the Hall of Fame, which might have hurt Dawkins. Owens has likely been hurt by his abrasive personality. Both are very worthy candidates and have a shot to be inducted this year.

Joining them on the list of semifinalists are six who made it on their first years of eligibility: DB Ronde Barber, OG Steve Hutchinson, LB Ray Lewis, LB Brian Urlacher, WR Randy Moss and DL Richard Seymour.

The original list of 108 nominees was cut down to 27 semifinalists instead of 25 because of ties.

Here is the full list of semifinalists:

S Steve Atwater
CB/S Ronde Barber
OT Tony Boselli
WR Isaac Bruce
S LeRoy Butler
Coach Don Coryell
RB Roger Craig
S Brian Dawkins
G Alan Faneca
WR Torry Holt
OG Steve Hutchinson
OT Joe Jacoby
RB Edgerrin James
Coach Jimmy Johnson
CB Ty Law
LB Ray Lewis
FS John Lynch
C/G Kevin Mawae
LB Karl Mecklenburg
WR Randy Moss
DE Leslie O'Neal
WR Terrell Owens
DE Simeon Rice
DE/DT Richard Seymour
LB Brian Urlacher
CB Everson Walls
WR Hines Ward

Former Eagles CB Dexter McDougle signs with Saints

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Former Eagles CB Dexter McDougle signs with Saints

Former Eagles cornerback Dexter McDougle has found a home with another one of the top teams in the NFC. 

McDougle on Tuesday signed with the New Orleans Saints, who, like the Eagles, are also on an eight-game winning streak. 

McDougle, 26, came to the Eagles in a trade with the Jets for safety Terrence Brooks in late August and even signed him to a one-year extension in early September. 

The former third-round pick in 2014 played more than the Eagles likely anticipated during his eight games active in Philly. 

In total, McDougle played 55 defensive snaps, and just three weeks ago played 32 of them in a pinch against the 49ers. He also played 135 special teams snaps (50 percent through the Denver game). 

McDougle was waived last week when the Eagles brought in linebacker Dannell Ellerbe. McDougle was expendable as Ronald Darby returned from his dislocated ankle. The only game McDougle was inactive was the opener, before Darby's injury. 

Without McDougle, the Eagles still have plenty of corners. They have five on the roster, including Jaylen Watkins, who is listed as a safety but has played corner this season.