Eagles

Doug Pederson on Sidney Jones: Sometimes you have to push yourself

Doug Pederson on Sidney Jones: Sometimes you have to push yourself

Doug Pederson said Tuesday cornerback Sidney Jones needs to be able to "break through that threshold" in dealing with his frequent hamstring injuries, meaning the oft-injured second-round pick needs to figure out how to play through occasional soreness as long as he isn't at risk of hurting the team or hurting himself further.

It's been a frustrating two years for Jones, who has started and finished just nine games since opening day last year and has suffered four separate hamstring injuries that have cost him playing time.

Jones, who missed virtually all his rookie year with an Achilles injury from before the 2017 draft, has never played more than five consecutive games without getting hurt.

Most recently, Jones left the Packers game after just 10 snaps and didn't play against the Jets. 

With four other cornerbacks — Ronald Darby, Jalen Mills, Avonte Maddox and Cre'Von LeBlanc — also out, the Eagles had to use Craig James, who had played just two career defensive snaps, and Orlando Scandrick, who was out of the league the first month of the season, at corner along with Rasul Douglas.

Pederson sure seems to be saying Jones needs to be tougher.

"I think from a player standpoint, sometimes too you sort of have to push yourself, you've got to break through that threshold," Pederson said. "You have to push yourself through that and feel that level of comfort as an athlete."

Jones played the first five games last year before leaving the Giants game with an injury. He missed three games, returned for the Saints blowout, left that game early, missed another week, then played two more games before shutting down for the rest of the regular season and the playoffs.

He made it through three games this year before getting hurt in Green Bay. The Eagles have played 23 games over the last two years, and Jones has finished nine of them.

Pederson explained what he meant when he said "break through that threshold:"

"I think sometimes with an injury, I don't care what type of injury, you get to that point through your rehab and your conditioning where you've got to push yourself. You've got to bust through and say, 'OK, I feel good and that still might be a little sore but you feel good.' That's kind of what I mean by that, that threshold where you kind of break through the glass and you're on the other side of it, and then once you get to that point, all the mental stuff goes away and now you can just focus on ball again."

Is there anything the Eagles can do to keep Jones from getting hurt constantly?

"We monitor these guys every day just to stay on top of this stuff," Pederson said. "Everybody's built a little bit differently. Body gets tugged and pulled in different ways, but we do everything we can through our medical staff to keep them healthy and try to prevent it as best as we can."

Pederson was asked if he's concerned about Jones' confidence, and it's a valid question since Jones hasn't been able to stay on the field, and when he has his play has been inconsistent.

He acknowledged Jones' confidence is an issue.

"Yeah, it's something that we've got to keep in mind because you don't want the player, in this case Sidney, focused on the injury because then it doesn't allow him to play or play fast," he said. "So we have to make sure — and he has to make sure — that he's 100 percent before we put him back out there so he can be confident in his ability."

How it is possible to wait until your 100 percent before you play while still "breaking through that threshold" isn't clear.

What is clear is that the Eagles are growing frustrated with Jones, the 43rd pick in the 2017 draft. 

Jones is expected to play Sunday in Minneapolis. The question is how long will he last?

What the Dak Prescott drama means for the Eagles

What the Dak Prescott drama means for the Eagles

The Cowboys just can't help themselves.

They bungle everything.

It’s comical, really. 

The Cowboys had the entire offseason to work out a long-term deal with their franchise quarterback. They reportedly didn’t make a single offer from late March until a few hours before Wednesday’s deadline and then they scrambled in the closing minutes to try to work something out before running out of time.

The NFL Network’s Jane Slater reported just after the 4 p.m. EST deadline for tagged players to get long-term deals that the Cowboys’ last-minute offer — after months of inactivity — included $70 million over the first two years of the deal, with $50 million guaranteed. Slater reported that Dak “wanted to get the deal done but it was just too late.”

Oops.

Either you want the guy or you don’t.

Seems like the Cowboys had no idea what they wanted. Had no idea whether they wanted to commit long-term to Prescott or not.

Now the Cowboys are stuck in a position where Prescott is going to play on a $31 million one-year tag, which isn’t ideal for a couple reasons. 

That $31 million counts entirely against this year’s salary cap, because one-year deals don’t pro-rate . When you sign a player to a long-term deal, you spread the signing bonus up to five years, and you control what years have the biggest cap hits. 

Also, it means the Cowboys are going to have to revisit this again in a year. Prescott has all the leverage because the tag is expected to go up to about $38 million next year and after that the Cowboys can’t tag him anymore. 

On one level, it means the Cowboys are in danger of losing Prescott in a year or being forced to pay him $69 million over the next two years without anything pro-rating and then losing him. 

This isn’t the time to be thinking about finding a quarterback, not with the college football season being curtailed and in jeopardy of being cancelled. If Dak leaves in a year, the Cowboys will either have to scrounge up a free agent or draft a quarterback who may not have played a snap in almost two years.

But really the big picture is what really makes the Cowboys look bad here.

The most important thing for any football team is finding a young, elite franchise quarterback, and the next-most important thing is keeping him.

Because they’re really hard to find.

You would think a team that’s used Brandon Weeden, Anthony Wright, Chad Hutchinson, Kellen Moore, Stephen McGee, Vinny Testaverde, Quincy Carter and Ryan freaking Leaf as starting QBs over the last 20 years might realize it’s kind of an pretty important position

Say what you want about Prescott, he’s 40-24 as the Cowboys’ QB with the 7th-highest passer rating in NFL history, and the Cowboys really can’t afford him.

Compare all this to the Eagles, who seamlessly got Carson Wentz signed to a long-term deal a year ago that’s fair to both sides with no hard feelings, no stress, no ill will on either side.

Kind of gives you a good idea why the Cowboys have won three playoff games since 1997.

All of this is good news for the Eagles, since their only real competition in the NFC East now faces a year of distraction and a year of unknown involving its quarterback. 

And that’s the last thing any team needs.

The Cowboys mishandled one of the most critical decisions facing any football team.

Bad look for the Cowboys. Bad day for the Cowboys.

Good day for the Eagles.

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Dak Prescott's brother is really mad the Cowboys didn't lock their QB up

Dak Prescott's brother is really mad the Cowboys didn't lock their QB up

Wednesday's deadline for the Cowboys and Dak Prescott to reach an agreement on a long-term deal came and went, and now Prescott will head into free agency again after the 2020 season.

It's a fascinating development, especially after it seems Prescott himself tried to expedite the negotiations at the last minute and find common ground:

Ultimately, Prescott will play out 2020 on the franchise tag.

And it seems his brother Tad is none too happy about this fact.

Tad Prescott took to his personal Twitter account on Wednesday afternoon, just after the deadline, and shared his frustrations with the Cowboys organization in a very spicy tweet:

Yeesh. Not exactly the kind of atmosphere you want around your franchise quarterback, eh, Dallas?

The Cowboys' front office swore up and down, all offseason, that a deal was going to get done, and that the team is committed long-term to Prescott. But talk is cheap in the NFL, and when you really value a player, you make it clear with dollar signs. You know, like the Chiefs did with Patrick Mahomes this offseason.

Prescott had the best season of his career, statistically, in 2019, throwing 30 touchdowns to 11 interceptions, completing 65.1% of his passes, and averaging 8.2 yards per attempt. It was a great season.

But, for whatever reason, it wasn't enough to force Dallas's hand at the negotiation table. Very interesting.

Meanwhile, here in Philadelphia, Carson Wentz is locked up on a relatively team-friendly deal - the 17th-highest cap hit among quarterbacks in 2020 - through 2024.

You've just got to love what Jerry Jones is building down there in Dallas.

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