10 Cowboys who became notorious Eagles flops
With Byron Jones and Amari Cooper about to hit free agency, it’s a great time to look at the almost unbelievable history of Cowboys who’ve become Eagles.
There are literally almost no success stories among Cowboys who’ve become Eagles. That’s not a reason for the Eagles not to pursue Jones or Cooper.
But … it’s an ominous history.
Who’s the best Eagles that was a former Cowboy? Maybe linebacker Keith Adams? He spent his first 1 1/2 seasons with the Cowboys before joining the Eagles during the 2002 season and winding up as a starter in the 2004 Super Bowl.
Who are the biggest Eagles flops who are former Cowboys? That’s a much longer list. Let’s take a look!
Seemed like a great move for Chip Kelly before the 2015 season. Miles Austin had been a two-time Pro Bowl receiver for the Cowboys after going undrafted out of Monmouth, and he was coming off a 47-catch season. He had over 5,000 career yards and was only 30. Smart move. Except Austin couldn’t play anymore. He caught only 13 passes in 11 games before the Eagles released him. He never played again.
When the Eagles signed Chris Boniol as a free agent after the 1996 season, owner Jeff Lurie crowed about how the Eagles had gotten better and the Cowboys had gotten worse. Boniol at that point was the most accurate kicker (by far) in NFL history at 87.1 percent. Doug Pelfrey was in second at 81.3. Two years earlier he set an NFL record by making 96.4 percent of his kicks. What a steal! Except he couldn’t kick. Boniol made just 36 of 52 field goals in two years as an Eagle. Since 1997, Boniol is the least-accurate kicker in NFL history.
Just say the word blocking sled and any Eagles fan is going to think about George Hegamin. The Eagles signed the former Cowboys 3rd-round pick to a five-year, $10 million contract before the 1998 season after he had spent four years in Dallas. In the summer of 1999, Andy Reid’s first training camp, Hegamin lost his right guard spot to Doug Brzezinski and left camp. To punish him, Big Red made poor George push a blocking sled across a grass practice field outside the Vet while reporters watched. A few months later the Eagles cut Hegamin.
After spending his first five seasons with the Cowboys, Felix Jones signed with the Eagles before the 2013 season to back up LeSean McCoy. Jones wasn’t a star in Dallas, but he did average 4.8 rushing yards, he led the NFL with 5.9 yards per carry in 2009 and he gained nearly 3,000 yards as a Cowboy and also caught well over 100 passes. As an Eagle? He lost a roster battle with Chris Polk and was traded for a linebacker who never made the roster.
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Robert “The Jet” Lavette had been a star running back at Georgia Tech and was the Cowboys’ 4th-round pick in 1985. He spent a couple years backing up Tony Dorsett but was released in the middle of the 1987 season. The Eagles claimed him on waivers but after he played in one game and had two kick returns for 37 yards he was released. He never played another NFL game.
K-Mart spent his first six NFL seasons with the Cowboys and developed into a decent receiver and one of the NFL’s best punt returners and played on the 1992 Super Bowl championship team. After a couple 55-catch seasons with the Seahawks he signed with the Eagles in 1995 but lasted just nine games before getting hurt and caught just 17 passes. He returned to Dallas for one more season before retiring.
DeMarco Murray earned all-pro and Pro Bowl honors with the Cowboys in 2014, when he led the NFL with 1,845 yards and 13 touchdowns. Chip Kelly signed him to a five-year, $40 million contract, but in his one season here he managed only 702 yards and a 3.6 average, the lowest by a regular Eagle running back since Keith Byars in 1986 and 3rd-lowest in the NFL in 2015 (ahead of Jeremy Hill and Melvin Gordon).
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The poster boy for Cowboys who became Eagles who sucked. Orlando Scandrick played 10 years for the Cowboys, spent this past training camp with the Eagles, then returned for three games in the middle of the season before getting cut again. He made more news for his preposterous FS1 interview, where he trashed Malcolm Jenkins and the entire franchise, than anything he did on the field. Scandrick is so desperate for a TV career he basically sacrificed any chance he had to play football again for the Eagles bashing session that was essentially an audition with FS1.
Darrin Smith, a one-time 2nd-round pick, was pretty good his first NFL seasons, which he spent with the Cowboys, and pretty good his last seven seasons, which he spent with the Seahawks and Saints. In between he had one miserable season with the Eagles, where he lasted seven games before winding up on Injured Reserve.
A Heisman Trophy winner at Georgia, a 5,000-yard rusher in three years in the USLF, a two-time Pro Bowler with the Cowboys, Walker’s three years with the Eagles were largely uninspiring and marked by decreased production each season. He did rush for 1,000 yards in 1992 but by the playoffs had lost his job to Heath Sherman. The greatest running back in college football history is essentially an odd footnote in Eagles history.