Eric Allen, Seth Joyner, Donovan McNabb among 2019 Hall of Fame nominees

Eric Allen, Seth Joyner, Donovan McNabb among 2019 Hall of Fame nominees

Eric Allen, Seth Joyner, Donovan McNabb and numerous other players and coaches who spent time with the Eagles are among 102 modern-era nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2019, announced Thursday.

The initial list of 102 former players and coaches will be whittled down to 25 semifinalists in November and then 15 finalists in January before final voting at the Super Bowl in Atlanta in February.

Eric Allen, CB

Had 34 of his 54 career interceptions during his seven years with the Eagles. Added four more INTs in the postseason, three with the Eagles. Returned nine INTs for touchdowns, seventh most in NFL history.

Seth Joyner, LB

Only player in NFL history with at least 50 interceptions and 20 sacks. Joyner, now an analyst with NBC Sports Philadelphia, finished with 52 sacks and 24 INTs during his 13-year career, the first eight in Philly.

Randall Cunningham, QB

Including playoffs, threw for 32,405 yards and 219 touchdowns and rushed for 5,201 yards with a 6.3 average in 17-year career. Only player in NFL history with 30,000 passing yards and 5,000 rushing yards.

Donovan McNabb, QB

Led Eagles to the playoffs seven times from 2000 through 2009 and made six Pro Bowls. Ranks 12th in NFL history with nine playoff wins. Had 92-49-1 record in 11 years with Eagles. From 2000-04, had most wins of any NFL quarterback (53).

Ricky Watters, RB

Spent only 1995-97 with Eagles but piled up 3,794 rushing yards and 161 catches in those three seasons. Five-time Pro Bowler, twice with Eagles. One of only 14 players with 10,000 rushing yards and 400 catches. His 12 postseason TDs are sixth-most ever.

Troy Vincent, CB

Trenton, New Jersey, native spent eight years with the Eagles, going to five Pro Bowls and picking off 28 passes. Finished 15-year career with 47 interceptions and added four more in the postseason.

Herschel Walker, RB

After starting his pro career in the USFL, rushed for 8,225 yards and 61 TDs with 512 catches for 4,859 yards in 12 NFL seasons. Ran for 2,344 yards with 163 catches in three years with the Eagles in early 1990s.

Sean Landeta, P 

Landeta had two stints with the Eagles during his 21-year career. Punted 1,401 times in 284 games for 60,707 yards and a 43.3 average.

Jeff Feagles, P

Played in 352 games, third most in NFL history, during 22-year career that brought him to the Eagles from 1990 through 1993. Had 73,633 career punt yards — about 42 miles of punts.

Brian Mitchell, PR-KR-RB

Had nine punt returns and four kick returns in 14-year career, two of each during his stint with the Eagles from 2000 through 2002.

Jeff Garcia, QB

Went 5-1 and won a playoff game for Eagles in 2006 after McNabb’s season-ending injury. Spent 11 years in NFL and made three Pro Bowls after five seasons in CFL.

Chris Warren, RB

Played only three games in an Eagles uniform at the end of his 11-year career, but in 2000 playoff win over Bucs he was 22 for 85 rushing, still the ninth-most rushing yards ever by an Eagle in a playoff game.

Mark Bavaro, TE

Spent most of his career with the Giants but finished with Eagles in 1993 and 1994, catching 60 passes for 696 yards and nine touchdowns. Was 351-4,733-39 in his career.

Takeo Spikes, LB

Played only one of his 15 seasons with the Eagles, starting 14 games in 2007. Started 215 games and made two Pro Bowls with the Bills.

Dick Vermeil, HC

Won a Super Bowl with the Rams in 1999, 19 years after taking the Eagles to their first Super Bowl in 1980. Had 120-109 career coaching record with Eagles, Rams and Chiefs.

Bill Cowher, AC

Cowher, who led the Steelers to the Super Bowl title after the 2005 season, began his career as an undrafted special teams player and reserve linebacker with the Eagles in 1979 and returned here in 1983 and 1984 before going into coaching.

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Cowboys part ways with OC Scott Linehan, and Dez Bryant has a laugh

Cowboys part ways with OC Scott Linehan, and Dez Bryant has a laugh

After five seasons of ups and downs, the Cowboys have moved on from offensive coordinator Scott Linehan and are now in the hunt for a new play-caller. 

Linehan joined the Cowboys as a passing game coordinator in 2014, but was promoted to OC in 2015 and held that title for four seasons. 

But he was the team’s play-caller for the last five seasons and one of his former stars seemed to chime in on social media Friday afternoon: 

After it was announced on Friday, Jason Garrett released a pretty bland statement about the decision. 

The decision was slightly surprising because Linehan was expected to return. But the Cowboys really struggled earlier this past season and Linehan and his play-calling were criticized often. 

Here’s a look at the Cowboys’ offense over the five years with Linehan. 

2018: 21.2 points per game (22nd), 343.8 yards per game (22nd)
2017: 22.1 points per game (14th), 331.9 yards per game (14th)
2016: 26.3 points per game (5th), 376.7 yards per game (5th)
2015: 17.2 points per game (31st), 335.1 yards per game (22nd)
2014: 29.2 points per game (5th), 383.6 yards per game (7th)

Definitely some ups and downs during his time in North Texas. During his five years, the Cowboys had some great rushing years with Ezekiel Elliott and DeMarco Murray. But the passing game never really caught up, even when it had the best offensive line in football. 

Since the Cowboys peaked in 2016, there has been a steady decline the last two seasons. 

We’ll see who the Cowboys hire as a play-caller or if they’d opt to hand that responsibility back to Garrett. The Cowboys might just be limited because Dak Prescott, while a solid quarterback, is also a limited player.

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Exploring top landing spots this offseason for Nick Foles

Exploring top landing spots this offseason for Nick Foles

We’ve already examined all the factors that are going to go into the Eagles’ decision about Nick Foles (see story), but now it’s time to figure out where he’s going to land. 

While oddsmakers left the Eagles on the board, it seems pretty clear that Foles is going to move on to another team one way or another this offseason. I still think the most likely way he leaves is as a free agent, but there could also be a trade if the Eagles can work one out and Foles is agreeable. 

Anyway, let’s try to figure out where Foles will land with the help of some odds. 

OK, let’s go team by team: 

Miami Dolphins
It seems like the Dolphins are ready to move on from Ryan Tannehill as their starting quarterback after six seasons and a 42-46 record. Cutting Tannehill would leave a ton of dead money ($13 million) but would also save $13 million in cap room. If the Dolphins really want to move on, the dead money will be worth it. 

Keeping with the theme of 13, that’s where the Dolphins pick this year. Now, just a few years ago, the Eagles were able to move from 13 to 8 to 2 to draft Carson Wentz, but unless the Dolphins are willing to do that, they’re kind of in no man's land in the middle of the first round wanting a QB in a QB-deficient draft. So maybe they need to go the free agency route. 

Adam Gase is gone and the presumed new head coach will be the Patriots’ Brian Flores. He’ll likely be hired whenever the Patriots’ season is over, either this weekend or in a couple weeks. Maybe he’ll sign the guy he watched outduel Tom Brady in Super Bowl LII. 

Washington Redskins 
Last offseason, they picked up Alex Smith, but his injury is really significant, so it’s time to find somebody new. It would make more sense for them to try to try to get a young quarterback to build around, but they have the 15th pick. 

And Dan Snyder can probably talk himself into thinking they’re a QB away. Remember when the Redskins got off to their 6-3 start in 2018. Well, then they had crazy injuries, so he might look at his team and think they’re a lot closer than they actually are. 

Jacksonville Jaguars 
These odds actually came out before we learned Jacksonville was about to hire John DeFilippo as their offensive coordinator, so you can argue they should be even higher on the list now. Flip coached Foles for just one year in Philly, but that year ended with a parade on Broad Street. 

The Jags had a disastrous 5-11 season in 2018, but that came after they were 10-6 the year before. So if they think there’s still enough talent in that locker room to be a playoff team, they might just be one QB away. While Foles threw some interceptions this year, he ain’t Blake Bortles in that respect. He could give the Jags the chance to win close, defensive games as long as he doesn’t make mistakes. 

They do have the seventh pick, though, so maybe the Jaguars ought to think about drafting a QB. 

Denver Broncos
Case Keenum is still under contract in Denver, but they shouldn’t let that change anything they do at the quarterback position. In fact, John Elway told Peter King that Keenum was more of a short-term fix. That doesn’t sound good for Keenum. 

Foles is still just 29, so it’s not like he couldn’t be a longer-term fix. And picking at 10th in the draft doesn’t guarantee the Broncos will be able to draft the next QB either. Foles might be as good an option as any. 

Philadelphia Eagles 
Howie Roseman said on Tuesday that the Eagles would like to keep Foles, but how realistic is that? They’ve committed to Carson Wentz being the quarterback, so can they afford to have an insurance policy of over $20 million? The problem here is that’s money they could use elsewhere to build a team around Wentz. And is it fair to the franchise quarterback to always be looking over his shoulder? Even Wentz admitted there’s an added level of pressure after all of Foles’ success. 

The flip side of this is that Wentz hasn’t stayed healthy. He’s been injured in both of the last two seasons and Foles has stepped in for the playoffs. We’d have to just trust that Wentz is going to stay healthy next season. As insurance policies go, Foles is the best one. 

New York Giants 
Eventually, the Giants have to move on from Eli Manning, right? They really should move on from the 38-year-old quarterback now and I think Foles would make a lot of sense. 

The Giants clearly have some offensive weapons and could use a steadying force like Foles, who has played for head coach Pat Shurmur before. 

The big fear about Foles is that he’ll only work in Philadelphia. Well, why not go to a landing spot with an offense that at least has some similarities? Remember, Shurmur was in Philly for Foles’ Pro Bowl 2013 season under Chip Kelly and comes from the Andy Reid tree, which means his offense has similarities to Pederson’s in some ways too. From a purely football standpoint, I like the Giants as a landing spot. But there are some emotional hurdles to get over. 

Oakland Raiders
Head coach Jon Gruden and GM Mike Mayock seem to love Foles and they might be ready to move on from Derek Carr in Oakland or wherever the heck they’re going to play this season. Mayock and Gruden both have ties to Philly and are both very familiar with Foles. 

The Raiders also have three first-round picks, so if the Eagles end up trying to trade Foles instead of letting him walk, the Raiders have the firepower to get a deal done — if that’s the way they want to go. 

It doesn’t mean much, but Foles’ seven-touchdown game came against the Raiders in 2013. 

Carolina Panthers
Apparently, Cam Newton might be in danger of missing the 2019 season because of a shoulder injury. So if the Panthers think he’s not around in the 2019 season, they’ll need someone to play quarterback. Enter Nick Foles? 

The problem here is that Foles wants to go to a good situation and I’m not sure this is it. Newton has one more year left on his contract after 2019, which means Foles would have to play well enough to make the Panthers change their organizational direction and go with him instead. Don’t know why he’d choose that as a free agent. 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 
The Bucs hired Bruce Arians as their head coach, but it seems like they’re sticking with Jameis Winston at QB. If there’s a change, maybe it would make sense for Foles. But if there isn’t, not sure why they’re on the list. 

A bonus one from me: Cincinnati Bengals
I’m not convinced the Bengals are going to stick with Andy Dalton, which would make Foles an attractive option, especially for new head coach Zac Taylor, who is the brother of Eagles QBs coach Press Taylor. The Bengals still have A.J. Green and Joe Mixon, so it might not be that bad of a landing spot for Foles.

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