When they traded Zach Ertz a few weeks ago, the Eagles said they wanted to see Dallas Goedert shine in the clear-cut top tight end role.
He is shining. Brightly.
In the two games since Ertz was traded to Arizona, Goedert is already looking like the top-tier tight end the Eagles thought he was and the top-tier tight end they’re going to have to pay big money to keep this offseason.
“I think he's played two great games in a row as the guy, the main guy,” head coach Nick Sirianni said. “No surprise to me. That's why we felt comfortable with what we did.”
In Week 7 against the Raiders, Goedert was targeted 5 times and had 3 catches for 70 yards.
In Week 8 against the Lions, Goedert was targeted 7 times and had 6 catches for 72 yards.
“I feel great out there,” Goedert said. “Just from being able to help the team run the ball and being the guy running the routes, catching the ball. I feel like I’ve stepped up to the job that I was given and I’m just excited to keep growing with this team.”
This is just the second time in his career Goedert has had back-to-back 70-yard games.
And that’s not to mention his blocking.
Because of that dual ability, Goedert has been given the Eagles’ highest offensive grade from ProFootballFocus in each of the last two weeks. He received an 86.7 grade in Week 7 and a 90.6 in Week 8.
It has become very clear that when Sirianni sits down to game plan each week, a lot of that work starts with figuring out ways to get No. 88 the ball … as it should.
“I love it,” Goedert said. “Like I said, I think the running backs did a great job to set stuff up. Jalen (Hurts) did a great job finding me. I can always take as many targets as I’ll get. I love catching the ball. I feel like I do a great job at it. I can make plays with the ball in my hand. Anytime I get that opportunity, I want to make the most of it.”
Goedert, 26, is in the final year of his rookie contract and is scheduled to become a free agent this coming offseason. The Eagles can’t let that happen. Goedert is too good and he’s proving that now.
For the first 3 1/2 years of his career, Goedert and Ertz spit time, so this trade gave them a chance to both be No. 1 tight ends, Goedert in Philly and Ertz in Arizona.
“We were really comfortable that Dallas was ready for this role, to be the guy,” Sirianni said. “He's excelled in it. He’s blocked really hard, blocked really well. He's had 70 yards, I believe, in the last two games. He's had explosive play after explosive play.”
Sirianni also pointed out that there was more meat left on the bone on one of the screens called for Goedert. So he could have had an even bigger performance in the blowout win.
Roseman said at the time of the Ertz trade that “there’s going to be no discount” on Goedert. Trade or not, the Eagles knew they were going to have to pay Goedert big money to keep him. But based on these last two games, it looks like the Eagles will end up paying for production rather than just projection.
The tight end market had been slow to reset but in recent years it’s finally starting to move a little bit thanks to guys like George Kittle and Travis Kelce. But there are still just six tight ends on contracts that pay them over $10 million per season: Kittle, Kelce, Mark Andrew, Hunter Henry, Jonnu Smith and Austin Hooper.
If Goedert continues like this, he’ll join that group soon enough.
His role in the Eagles’ offense definitely isn’t going away.
“That's why we kind of moved in the direction we moved in, and happy that Dallas is playing,” Sirianni said. “And look forward to him continuing to be one of the main contributors to this offense in the passing game and in the running game.”
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