The only thing worse than the Eagles winning their first Super Bowl would be having to endure them winning another. Bryan Broaddus, former NFL scout for the Cowboys, Packers, and Eagles believes this Eagles team has staying power. He spent time on 105.3 The Fan where he was asked what scared him if he was in the Cowboys front office:
“You’ve got to give Howie Roseman a lot of credit for what they’ve done with the trades and the selective free agents that they’ve added. Their team looks like it has depth to it. You always worry about the next year Super Bowl Champion losing players, and it doesn’t appear to be a roster that’s going to lose a lot of key players.”
The Eagles will have 13 players hit free agency this offseason and though they’re far from household names, a few guys standout that helped them reach the Super Bowl:
CB Patrick Robinson (47 tackles, 1 sack, 4 INTs)
LB Nigel Bradham (88 tackles, 1 sack, 1 FF)
DT Beau Allen (20 tackles, 1 sack)
RB LeGarrette Blount (173 carries, 766 yards, 4.4 YPC, 2 TDs)
TE Trey Burton (23 receptions, only 248 yards but five TDs)
Philadelphia has a few more names like Darren Sproles, Danell Ellerbe, and Kenjon Barner as well. Not all of those guys had noticeable impacts but isn’t that the point of depth? If you have roster depth, losing some of these role players is going to hurt that depth in some way. There’s a good chance some of those guys will want to return and Broaddus is right to give that front office credit.
The Cowboys should be looking at Philadelphia and saying to themselves “Who are some quality free agents out there that can help our depth problem?” You have to be willing to take some risks in areas if the reward could get you deep into the postseason. Broaddus continued to applaud the Eagles’ pro personnel department:
“A lot of good pieces in place for this football team. I have a feeling they’ll win once again, continue to try and be aggressive in their trades, their acquisitions. Their pro department did a real good job of adding some guys on some bottom fishing deals, and those guys wind up getting extensions, so tip of the cap for that.”
Personally, I’ve written about the quality of depth in the NFL multiple times and we saw that with the two teams that just played. For so long, the Patriots were the “Gold Standard” of creating depth but they didn’t have enough this season. They also didn’t get much from their four 2017 draft picks outside of Deatrich Wise. Derek Rivers tore his ACL, Antonio Garcia never played a snap, and Connor McDermott failed to make the roster but was claimed by the Bills. The Patriots didn’t have the roster to outlast the Eagles and they have quite a few pending free agents, too.
The Cowboys clearly were in need of quality depth but struck out in free agency and couldn’t overcome absences due to injuries among other things. Depth is so hard to achieve and it’s almost impossible to keep. It’s definitely not fun reading one of our most trusted Cowboys insiders praising the Eagles but he’s not completely off base. However, it’s not like our rivals in Philly don’t have their own issues to contend with as their MVP candidate quarterback is healing a torn ACL and LCL that he suffered in week 15. They have an insurance policy in Nick Foles but he’s had issues before despite playing lights out this postseason.
Dallas will have some tough decisions to make but they’re not a bad team. They expect to have the majority if not all of their star power still intact. More than anything else the Cowboys will need to find a few upgrades for their offense and protect themselves on the back end of their roster. It may have been difficult to watch this team lose games in blowout fashion at times in 2017 but it wasn’t a total disaster. They managed to win four of their last five games only missing the playoffs by one terrible day in Atlanta.
If the Eagles can go from 7-9 to 13-3 and hoisting the Lombardi, the Cowboys can improve from 9-7. It’s going to take a lot of commitment from the Cowboys front office to step out of their stubbornness of the past. They don’t have to break the bank with free agent signings but when you shop in the $1.99 bin, you get what you pay for. They’re always going to trust the draft more than free agency but both avenues are necessary to win.
The Eagles proved that you can get out of bad decisions in the past. They completely reversed course from where the Chip Kelly-era had them heading. If the Cowboys don’t get aggressive in their personnel department this offseason, an Eagles repeat will be the least of their worries as the entire organization will be facing wholesale changes for anyone not named Jones.