Embattled Eagles, Andy Reid stay the course
Changes already have started. The Eagles released two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Jason Babin hours after Reid spoke to reporters. Babin had 5.5 sacks, down from 18 last year. He signed a $28 million, five-year contract with Philadelphia after going to his first Pro Bowl for Tennessee in 2010.
"We appreciate everything that Jason has given this team over the last couple of years," Reid said. "We wish him all the best as he continues his career. This gives us an opportunity to give more playing time to some of younger guys in the defensive line rotation."
Things aren't going to get any easier. Injuries are piling up, especially on the offensive side.
Wide receiver DeSean Jackson was placed on injured reserve and will miss the rest of the season after sustaining multiple rib fractures on a running play against Carolina. Jackson led the team with 45 catches and 700 yards receiving, but only had two touchdowns.
Michael Vick missed his second straight game because of a concussion and still hasn't passed the final test to be cleared to practice. Rookie Nick Foles hasn't shown much in 2½ games to prove he can be the quarterback of the future. But he'll likely have another opportunity against the Cowboys.
LeSean McCoy remains in Phase 1 of his concussion recovery, so he's a longshot to play at Dallas. Rookie seventh-round pick Bryce Brown had 178 yards rushing and two touchdowns against the Panthers, but also lost two fumbles.
"I thought I did well, definitely thought I could have done a little bit better," Brown said. "The two turnovers I had, I think cost us the game, so I'm not happy about that."
On defense, it's been a nightmare the past five games. The Eagles have allowed five straight quarterbacks to post a passer rating of at least 120 since Todd Bowles replaced Juan Castillo as defensive coordinator. They've given up 13 touchdown passes and have zero interceptions in those five games.
There have been several blown coverages in the secondary, leading to big plays. Both of Cam Newton's TD passes were to wide open receivers.
"Everybody has to do their own job and everybody has to look at themselves in the mirror and try to get something done," Bowles said. "If you can't look at yourself in the mirror, then you're not the guy you thought you were."
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