Sidney Jones

Pump the brakes on calling Eagles cornerback Sidney Jones a bust

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Pump the brakes on calling Eagles cornerback Sidney Jones a bust

Sidney Jones is 22. He’s basically in his rookie season after recovering from his pre-draft Achilles tear last year. And he’s played most of this year with a nagging and lingering hamstring injury. 

Are there reasons to be concerned about him? 

Absolutely. 

It’s just waaaayyyyy too early to call him a bust. Let’s go ahead and pump the brakes on that. 

Jones started Sunday’s 29-23 loss in Arlington, Texas, but was hampered by that hamstring injury, saying he was nowhere near 100 percent. He gave up a few big plays and was eventually pulled by the trainers.

But I get it. Even when Jones has been “healthy” this season, he hasn’t been good. We haven’t seen the same guy the Eagles thought they were stealing at No. 43 in last year’s draft. So I get why fans are concerned. I get why, when you see him not get his head around in coverage, you’re thinking “that’s not injury related” and I can’t argue. He needs to get better and I think even he’d admit that. I think everyone knows it. 

I was bullish on Jones before the start of this season, saying I thought he has all the makings to become a star cornerback in the NFL. Over the last few weeks, I’ve had some folks try to throw that back in my face. I know it’s not everyone who is calling him a bust or a miss, but there’s at least a very vocal minority. And I get that this has been a frustrating season and Jones has been a part of that, but it’s just way too early to make a statement like that. 

It’s even too early for the Eagles to evaluate his play. He’s played in 10 career games and has had this hamstring injury almost all season. Here’s what Doug Pederson said about that Monday.  

Well, yeah, I think it's hard. It's tough to get a true evaluation. We knew the player we were getting based on what we saw in college. He's a tremendous corner. He's a good cover corner. I think for any player that's dealing with injury, you focus on that just a little bit and it can pull you away from playing at a high level at times.

I think that's where I can appreciate guys, and Sidney is one of them, guys that each week — everybody is a little banged up, a little sore, going through stuff. For them to battle through it, be out there at practice every day, and put themselves out there for the team I think is a credit to each player. Sidney is one of those guys.

I’m not ready to evaluate Jones either. It’s too early. He’s been hurt. 

And this is a significant hamstring injury. Although, it is interesting that Pederson mentioned the mental side of injury twice while talking about Jones. There’s an art to playing hurt — not injured — and part of that is avoiding getting hyper-focused on that injury. 

By the way, I also get the concern that Jones might just be an injury-prone player. Toss the Achilles aside because it was sort of a freak thing, but he’s dealt with this hamstring injury for months, had an ankle injury in the preseason and even got hurt in his NFL debut in Week 17 last year. You’re probably thinking Jordan Hicks 2.0 and if you feel that way, I can’t really do anything to move you off that stance right now. 

But some players grow and blossom at different rates. Remember when Super Bowl hero Brandon Graham was a bust? That was premature and some folks have gotten to that point — using the word “bust” — even earlier for Jones, who is 22 years old and is hurt. 

It’s just way too early. I get everyone is frustrated. But we gotta give the kid a chance. 

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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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Eagles lose Corey Clement, Sidney Jones in first quarter against Cowboys

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Eagles lose Corey Clement, Sidney Jones in first quarter against Cowboys

ARLINGTON, Texas — The Eagles lost two players in the first quarter and one definitely won't return. 

Corey Clement (knee) and Sidney Jones (hamstring) were both listed as questionable to return, but Clement's day is over. He returned to the sideline in street clothes wearing a knee brace. Jones returned to start the second half. 

Josh Sweat (ankle) has been ruled out, while Isaac Seumalo (pec) is questionable to return.

Jones injured his hamstring late on the Cowboys’ field goal drive in the first quarter and Clement got hurt saving a fumble on the Eagles’ ensuing drive.

At running back, the Eagles still have Josh Adams, Darren Sproles and Wendell Smallwood, who is still active.

The bigger problem might be at corner, where the Eagles are thinner. De’Vante Bausby has taken over for Jones, but that leaves the Eagles without another backup corner. Chandon Sullivan is inactive today. The Eagles decided to keep an extra offensive lineman up this week.

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