LeSean McCoy; Derek Barnett vs. Mike Mamula in Roob's Random Points

LeSean McCoy; Derek Barnett vs. Mike Mamula in Roob's Random Points

Going deep into the Eagles' slow starts, my all-time top-5 Eagles defensive ends, the latest on Shady and lots more in this weekend's edition of Roob's 10 Random Eagles Points! 

1. The Cowboys are more banged up than the Eagles, the Cowboys have lost three in a row, the Cowboys just lost to the Jets, and it's time for the Eagles to start fast, finish strong, play smart and not just lay claim to first place in the NFC East but reassert themselves as one of the better teams in the NFC. A win over the Cowboys wouldn't lock anything up with nine games to go, but the Eagles have lost three straight to the Cowboys, they're 8-13 in the last 21 meetings (although they didn't play the starters in the 2017 season-ender), they haven't swept their biggest rival since 2011. They've never beaten a Cowboys team with Ezekiel Elliott. It's time to show up. It's time to stop making excuses. It's time to stop complaining about the officials and injuries and go into JerryWorld and win a football game.

2. I don't know if there's a non-QB in the NFL who's more important to his team's success than Ezekiel Elliott. When he rushes for at least 70 yards, the Cowboys are 31-8. When he rushes for less than 70 yards, they're 1-9. The Eagles? They have the No. 2 run defense in the NFL, and nobody has rushed for 70 yards against them this year. This is the first time they've gone six straight games without allowing a back to gain 70 yards since the last two games of 2002 and the first five of 2003. The Eagles will need every bit of that run defense Sunday, but if they can limit Elliott — who's averaged 116 yards and 5.4 yards per carry in four games against the Eagles — they have a terrific chance to bring a win back from North Texas.

3. Nelson Agholor is 12th among wide receivers in 2019 salary ($9.4 million) and 56th in yards (230).

4. I'm convinced one of the reasons for the Eagles' first-quarter struggles is that Pederson isn't being aggressive enough early in games. Take a look:

• The Eagles are running the ball on 57 percent of their first-quarter plays, 34 percent in the second quarter, 43 percent in the third and 41 percent in the fourth. And they have 17 offensive points in the first quarter, 51 in the second, 46 in the third and 33 in the fourth. 

• On first down in the first quarter, they've run on 18 of 31 plays. The only regular QB in the league who's thrown less often in the first quarter is Jameis Winston. 

• The Eagles run the ball the second-most of any team in the NFL in the first quarter, and they're one of the lowest-scoring first-quarter teams in the league. No way this is a coincidence.

5. My all-time Eagles top-5 defensive ends: 1. Reggie, 2. Clyde, 3. Trent Cole, 4. Hugh Douglas, 5. Brandon Graham.

6. After Mack Hollins had a productive 9-for-112 against the Falcons and Lions, I thought, "OK, I was wrong about Mack. He's not bad!" Since then, he's played 108 snaps over three games and has one 13-yard catch. In his career, Hollins has gotten 10 or more offensive snaps 16 times. He's had fewer than 15 yards in 11 of those 16 games. And still, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside can't get on the field? 

7. Derek Barnett hasn't been awful, but the Eagles need more than he's giving them. Barnett has two sacks this year — one in the Jets embarrassment — and has made headlines more for his penalties and fines than his play on the field. This is Year 3 for the first-round pick, and he was hurt much of last season, but for the sake of comparison, Mike Mamula had 11½ sacks in his first 27 games. Barnett has 9½. The Eagles are relying heavily on Barnett to create pressure, and it's not happening enough.

8. I need to see Josh Sweat and Daeshon Hall get at least 20 snaps each. 

9. Brian Westbrook had five 30-yard catches in his first 50 career games. Miles Sanders has five in his first six games.

10. LeSean McCoy apparently has plenty left in the tank. All he had to do was get out of Buffalo. The Eagles' all-time leading rusher is 2nd in the NFL at 5.4 yards per carry (behind only Ravens QB Lamar Jackson) playing for Andy Reid in Kansas City. His 4.5 career average is 7th-highest in NFL history among backs with 10,000 yards. And he now has an incredible 48 career games with 10 or more carries and 5.0 yards per rush. Only Barry Sanders (64), Frank Gore (57), Walter Payton (56), Jim Brown (55) and Adrian Peterson (50) have had more.

The greatest seasons by Eagles 23 and under

The greatest seasons by Eagles 23 and under

On Wednesday, inspired by Jason Peters’ return to the Eagles at 38 years old, we posted the top 10 seasons in Eagles history by players over 35.

Researching the oldest players to star for the Eagles of course led us to start thinking about the youngest.

Here are the 10-youngest players in Eagles history to start a game, according to Pro Football Reference:

21 years, 63 days: LeSean McCoy, Sept. 13, 2009, at Panthers 
21 years, 125 days: Jeremy Maclin, Sept. 13, 2009, at Panthers 
21 years, 185 days: Joe Scarpati, Sept. 13, 1964 vs. Giants
21 years, 196 days: Bryce Brown, Nov. 26, 2012, vs. Panthers
21 years, 199 days: Neill Armstrong, Sept. 28, 1947, vs. Redskins
21 years, 261 days: Ernie Calloway, Sept. 21, 1969, vs. Browns
21 years, 280 days: Victor Abiamiri, Oct. 21, 2007, vs. Bears
21 years, 285 days: Jack Concannon, Dec. 6, 1964, vs. Cowboys
22 years, 23 days: Josh Adams, Nov. 18, 2018, vs. Saints
22 years, 113 days Nelson Agholor, Sept. 14, 2015, at Falcons

And here are the top-10 seasons in Eagles history by players 23 or younger (plus a couple more we couldn’t leave out).

1. Keith Jackson, TE, 1988

Jackson had one of the greatest rookie seasons in NFL history at 23 when he caught 81 passes for 869 yards and 6 TDs, making all-pro and the Pro Bowl. He still holds the NFL record for most catches by a rookie tight end and is the youngest all-pro in Eagles history.

2. Ben Hawkins, WR, 1967

In his second NFL season at the age of 23, Hawkins led the NFL with 1,265 receiving yards on 59 catches, including 10 TDs. That’s still 5th-most yards in Eagles history. Hawkins’ 1,265 yards were the most in NFL history by a WR 23 or younger until Mark Clayton had 1,389 some 17 years later.

3. Harold Jackson, WR, 1969

In his first year with the Eagles, the 23-year-old Jackson led the NFL with 1,116 receiving yards and had 9 touchdowns. Jackson, Ben Hawkins and DeSean Jackson are the only Eagles with 1,000 yards in a season before their 24th birthday.

4. DeSean Jackson, WR, 2009

D-Jack had a very good rookie year in 2008, but he had a historic season at 23 in 2009, with 1,156 receiving yards, 1,293 scrimmage yards, 9 TD catches, two punt return TDs. He’s one of only four players in NFL history with 1,000 receving yards and 2 punt return TDs in the same season.

5. Lito Sheppard, CB, 2004 

Lito was in his third year but still only 23 when he had five INTs, including two TD returns, and made his first Pro Bowl and 1st-team all-pro on the Super Bowl team.

6. LeSean McCoy, RB, 2010

Because he was 21 when he was drafted, Shady was still only 23 when he had his big 2011 season, with 1,080 rushing yards, 1,672 scrimmage yards, 48 catches and 17 touchdowns. That made him the 3rd-youngest 1st-team all-pro in Eagles history after tight ends Charle Young and Keith Jackson.

7. Tom Brookshier, DB, 1953

As a 22-year-old rookie in 1953, Brookie had 8 interceptions, which remains tied for the Eagles rookie record. He spent the next two years in the Air Force before returning to the Eagles, making two Pro Bowls and an all-pro team and starting on the 1960 NFL Championship team.

8. Jeremiah Trotter, 2000

Trott had a real breakthrough season in 2000, making all-pro and the Pro Bowl for the first time at the age of 23. He was the first linebacker to make 1st-team all-pro at 23 or younger since Junior Seau eight years earlier.

9. Maxie Baughan, LB, 1960 and 1961

Baugham starred on the 1960 NFL Championship team as a rookie and made the Pro Bowl as a 22-year-old in 1960 and a 23-year-old in 1961, making him one of only three Eagles to make two Pro Bowls before his 24th birthday. 

10. Seth Joyner, LB, 1987

Joyner was 23 when he became a full-time starter in 1987, and in the strike-shortened season he had 4 sacks, 2 INTs, 2 forced fumbles and 2 fumble recoveries. He didn’t make a Pro Bowl for four more years, but he should have in 1987.

5 Honorable Mentions

Jeremy Maclin, WR, 2010

Maclin had 773 yards as a 22-year-old rookie in 2009, but the next year he had 70 catches for 964 yards and was 7th in the league with 10 TD catches. 

Cody Parkey, PK, 2014

Four years before Double Doink, a 22-year-old Parkey set an NFL rookie scoring record that still stands with 150 points, which also remains the most points ever scored by someone 22 or 23 years old. He made 32 of 36 field goals for 89 percent.

Mychal Kendricks, LB, 2013

Kendricks should have made the Pro Bowl in 2013, when he had 3 interceptions, 4 sacks, 4 fumble recoveries and 2 forced fumbles. He’s one of only nine players in NFL history to reach those milestones at 23 years old or younger.

Bibbles Bawel, DB, 1952

His real name first name was Edward Raymond Bawel and his last name was pronounced “Bobble.” He made the Eagles as a 23-year-old undrafted rookie in 1952 and had eight interceptions – tied with Tom Landry for 4th-most in the NFL in 1952 - before his career was interrupted by two years in the Army. He returned in 1955 and had 9 interceptions, 2nd-most in Eagles history.

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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.”


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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