Eagles

Defensive greats Seth Joyner, Clyde Simmons to be inducted into Eagles Hall of Fame on Sept. 23

Defensive greats Seth Joyner, Clyde Simmons to be inducted into Eagles Hall of Fame on Sept. 23

Seth Joyner and Clyde Simmons, late-round draft picks in 1986 who grew into first-team All-Pros and key figures on the great Eagles defenses of the late 1980s and early 1990s, will be this year’s Eagles Hall of Fame inductees, owner Jeff Lurie announced Thursday evening at halftime of the Eagles’ preseason opener.

They will be formally inducted into the Eagles’ Hall of Fame during halftime of the Colts game at the Linc on Sept. 23.

Here’s a complete list of everybody already in the Eagles’ Hall of Fame.

Joyner, an eighth-round pick, played the first eight of his 13 NFL seasons with the Eagles, piling up 37 sacks and 17 interceptions and earning the first two of his three Pro Bowl honors.

He also played with the Cardinals, Packers and Broncos and finished with 52 sacks and 24 interceptions, making him the only player in NFL history with 50 sacks and 20 interceptions.

Joyner, now an analyst with NBC Sports Philadelphia, was actually released by the Eagles as part of the 1986 final cut, only to be re-signed several days later.

“Seth Joyner was one of the most talented and fearless outside linebackers of his era, and the way he committed his heart and soul on every play spoke volumes about his love for the game," Lurie said in a release by the team. "Seth epitomized the complete defensive player — dominant against the run, extremely skilled in coverage and relentless in how he blitzed. Seth is one of the all-time greats in our franchise’s history and he set a powerful example for the generations of players that followed him at his position.”

Simmons, a ninth-round pick in 1986, piled up 121½ sacks in his career. His best season was 1992, when he led the NFL with 19 sacks and earned his second straight first-team All-Pro honors.

During the four-year span from 1989 through 1992, Simmons had more sacks than any other NFL defensive lineman with 55. Only Hall of Famer Derrick Thomas, the Chiefs’ linebacker, had more (58).

Simmons had more sacks than even his more famous teammate, Reggie White, a first-ballot Hall of Famer, during those four years.

When he retired, Simmons ranked 10th in NFL history in sacks. Eight of the nine ahead of him eventually made the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

“Clyde Simmons was one of the most feared pass rushers ever to play in Philadelphia, but he was also ferocious against the run and made his presence felt each and every week in the trenches," Lurie said. "He was a pillar on one of the best defenses in NFL history and an integral part of the team’s success for many years. Clyde’s explosive and aggressive style of play resonated with our fans and also allowed him to become a dominant defensive lineman over the course of his career.”

Among all players in NFL history drafted in the eighth round or later, Simmons and Joyner rank second and fifth in career sacks behind only another former Eagle, Hall of Famer Richard Dent, who had 137½ sacks in his 15-year career.

Joyner and Simmons join Eric Allen and Jerome Brown as the third and fourth players drafted during the Buddy Ryan era named to the Eagles’ Hall of Fame. All four were drafted between 1986 and 1988.

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Carson Wentz won't be elite until he learns to play a complete game

Carson Wentz won't be elite until he learns to play a complete game

ARLINGTON, Texas — He’s terrible. Then he’s great. And it keeps happening.

Over and over and over and over and over.

The Eagles are the worst first-quarter team in football, and Carson Wentz is one of the worst first-quarter quarterbacks in football, and it would be foolish to think there wasn’t a huge connection. 

He keeps getting off to terrible starts, then regrouping once the Eagles fall behind, finding his way, putting up big numbers late and most of the time, it’s too little, too late.

Sunday at AT&T Stadium, in one of the biggest games of Wentz's career, it was too little, too late.

Again.

Wentz threw for 48 yards in the first half with a fumble, then threw for 180 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions in the second half. 

His final numbers look great. But you can’t win like that. And even though Wentz led touchdown drives on the Eagles' last two possessions, the Cowboys won 29-23 in overtime.

Too little, too late. Again.

And Wentz’s slow starts are one of the big reasons the Eagles find themselves 6-7 and all but mathematically eliminated. 

Take a look at Wentz this year:

• First quarter: 46 for 74 (62 percent) for 481 yards with three TDs and three INTs and a 72.6 passer rating. Only Sam Darnold has a lower passer rating than Wentz this year in the first quarter.

• Second through fourth quarters: 232 for 324 (72 percent) for 2,577 yards with 18 touchdowns and four interceptions and a 108.3 passer rating.

Two different people.

“It’s frustrating,” Wentz said. “It’s absolutely frustrating. We just couldn’t execute (early), couldn’t sustain drives. … We obviously couldn’t get in a rhythm and started slow. It seems to be a common theme for us and it’s something we have to look hard at. It’s tough. It’s frustrating for sure.”

It keeps happening. And they have no answers. None of them.

The Eagles have been outscored 54-28 in the first quarter this year and 140-112 in the first half.

They’ve outscored their opponents 166-143 in the second half.

Sunday was typical. The Eagles didn’t score a point on their first six drives and averaged just 15 yards per possession as they fell behind 9-0.

Then they magically started rolling and scored 23 points on their last five drives. 

You can’t win like this.

How can Wentz look so bad early and so good late? Virtually every game? 

Nobody knows.

“Well, I think some of it, give credit to Dallas,” Doug Pederson said. “This is a good defense. We knew that going in. Some of it is their design, very disruptive up front.

“And then it just comes down to attention to detail, focus. Things that have kind of hampered us a little bit all season showed up a little bit early in this game and it was tough to get things going early.”

If Wentz could play in the first quarter the way he’s played after the first quarter he’d be back in the MVP race.

But he just keeps making the same mistakes early.

Missing open receivers. Making incorrect reads. Holding the ball too long. Showing a lack of situational awareness in the pocket.

And it keeps putting the Eagles in a hole.

A hole that against decent teams they can’t dig out of.

This is on Pederson as much as Wentz. It’s his team. His offense. His play calls. He’s got to be better. He’s got an elite quarterback, and he’s had three months to find ways to get him off to faster starts, and he’s flopped.

But ultimately, it’s on Wentz to raise his level of play from the jump. To get the Eagles started the right way.

You can’t be elite unless you’re elite for 60 minutes.

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Hamstrung in secondary, Eagles give up staggering numbers to Cowboys

Hamstrung in secondary, Eagles give up staggering numbers to Cowboys

ARLINGTON, Texas — By the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 29-23 overtime loss to the Cowboys, the Eagles were down to a hamstrung Sidney Jones and De’Vante Bausby, who wasn’t on the team a month ago.

It showed. 

And Dallas attacked with its newest weapon (see observations)

Even though the Eagles’ defense played fairly well for most of Sunday, by the end of the game, the stats were staggering.

• Dak Prescott threw for 455 yards, the most the Eagles have ever given up in a regular-season game, surpassing Jon Kitna’s 446-yard game in 2007. Prescott’s previous career high was 332. 

• Amari Cooper had 10 catches for 217 yards and three touchdowns. He’s just the ninth player in the modern era to put up that stat line. It’s the second-biggest game a receiver has ever had against the Eagles (Kenny Britt in 2010). 

• The Cowboys piled up 576 total yards — the fourth-most ever against the Eagles in a regular-season game. 

Staggering. 

“We did a pretty good job earlier in the game,” Malcolm Jenkins said. “We knew they wanted to throw quick game and control passes. But with some injuries we had on the outside, they felt like that was the matchup they could take deep obviously. Two big plays that kind of broke open the game on defense. I mean, Amari Cooper is a good player. We knew they would make plays. He made those plays.”

The two big plays Jenkins was talking about came in the fourth quarter. Cooper caught a 28-yard touchdown against Sidney Jones and then he caught a 75-yard touchdown against Bausby just a few minutes later. 

Jones played just one more series after giving up his touchdown before his hamstring really pulled on him and trainers took him out. He said he just couldn’t open up when running. He was in and out Sunday. 

It was pretty clear Jones’ hamstring was hurting during that game.  

“It’s nowhere near 100 [percent],” Jones said. “I can tell you that for sure. This hammy’s been frustrating. It lingers. Just gotta get healthy at the end of the day. 

“It hurt but I was like, ‘I gotta go back in, it’s do or die.’ I fought. I went back in and gave my best effort.”

It seemed like the Cowboys were happy to target Jones, who clearly wasn’t healthy. They were similarly eager to go after Bausby when he replaced him at left cornerback. 

Bausby, who was promoted from the practice squad on Nov. 17, gave up the 75-yarder as Corey Graham was slow to get over as help. 

The Eagles on Sunday afternoon had just one regular defensive back left starting in Jenkins. Rodney McLeod, Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills are all on IR. The Eagles have been at the bottom of the barrel in the secondary and that definitely showed Sunday. 

“It’s tough,” said nickel corner Cre’Von LeBlanc, who arrived to town on Nov. 5. “We gave it all we got and we didn’t fold.” 

They didn’t really hold up either.

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