Philly Sports Talk

Focus Friday: Eagles Defensive Line


Welcome to Focus Friday, where the focus is on one of the key matchups in the Eagles games throughout the rest of the 2013 NFL season.

This week we will focus on the Defensive Line. But first I pose a question……Where is Trent Cole?? Week in and week out we hear him constantly saying “be patient……it’s coming….” yet “the hunter” has yet to start hunting QB’s so far this season. Granted he is adjusting to the 3-4 defensive scheme under new Defensive Coordinator Billy Davis, he has repeatedly said he is fine and can play the LB position in the   3-4 with no problem. His 17 tackles (5 assts) have been as scarce as his ability to get pressure on the QB. Despite his alleged comfort, Cole has yet to register a sack this season.

This brings me to the emphasis of the matchup I wish to pinpoint this week. The Eagles defensive line vs. the Dallas Cowboys offensive line. This line needs to get pressure on Cowboys Quarterback Tony Romo this week in order to have an even better chance in the game on Sunday. With a banged up DeMarco Murray and a depleted offensive line to say the least, it’s time for the line to show itself and generate constant pressure as well as accumulate some sacks on Romo. DE/DT Vinny Curry appears to be the Eagles best pass rusher but has being seeing limited playing time and even a few stints on the inactive list. It’s time for Defensive Coordinator Billy Davis to get him back on the field and let him do what he does best…….rush the QB!!! The defense as a unit has only mounted 13 sacks so far this season, 7 coming from the defensive line, ranking them number 24 in the NFL (tied with the Dolphins).

If Romo is able to pass the ball the way he did against the Denver Broncos (506yds/5 TD/1 INT) this will be a long game and one that the Eagles won’t want to see in the secondary (ranked 32 in passing defense). Winning the battle upfront will be key in the success of the defense as it will also help eliminate the threat of one of the Cowboys weapons Tight End Jason Witten against the Eagles Linebackers. Witten serves as a safety valve for Romo and while he isn’t exceedingly fast, he can still serve as a threat deep if he’s matched up on the right LB on any given play.

The Cowboys run game without Demarco Murray will suffer, keeping back up running backs Joseph Randle and Phillip Tanner primarily pass blocking will allow Davis to dial up blitzes and schemes to confuse and force Romo into a few of those errant throws he’s prone to throw to the opposing teams defenders. Let’s hope the Defensive line sees this opportunity to FOCUS on bringing pressure and generating sacks to help increase a porous defensive ranking.

Article by: Buddy Hall –