Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins has not missed a snap in two years while playing in 99-percent of them during his six years in Philadelphia.
The clock is about to turn a new decade at midnight. It’s a good 10 of Eagles football, too.
Sure, it took the boys at midnight green seven years in the decade – and some 52 odd years, in total – to finally raise the Lombardi Trophy but they did. And they did it in exciting and dramatic fashion to (sort of) justify the wait.
Many legendary players have come and gone in such a long time, linking a good chunk of failed buses and failed experiments. This is all the water under the bridge. Let’s take a look at the greatest players in each position since 2010.
An important note: Donovan McNabb left Philadelphia at the end of the decade so you can’t see his name anywhere. The same is true for Brian Dawkins who left in 2009. Yes, the list might have some undernamming names but all in all it suggests the life of a Philly sports fan.
Eagles All-Decade Team: Offense
Personally, I’ve been with the Eagles for almost two decades so these guys have helped nurture and grow me as a sports writer. This is what came to me.
? Carson Wentz 2019 Records ?
?1st NFL QB EVER with 4,000+ pass yds and 0 WR with 500 yds rec.
?1st Eagles QB EVER with 4,000+ pass yds
?1st Eagles QB with 1 TD passed ALL 16 regular-season GMs
? Most single season of #Eagles completion
OMOST Single season Eagles pass yard pic.twitter.com/9Zfh1tFq44
– Jeff Skversky 6abc (@JeffSkversky) December 30, 2019
Quarterback: Carson Wentz
Since Donovan McNabb was traded to the Redskins in 2010, there are actually two other names to enter the conversation: Nick Foles and Michael Vick. Give me Wentz. The No. 2 overall selections in the 2016 draft have all given up in his first two seasons, especially with his 2017 MVP campaign ending with a torn ACL.
Wentz has been the best player in the position for the Eagles since 2010. He accumulated 14,191 passing yards and 97 touchdowns while leading Philadelphia to a 32-24 record. Wentz recently set up franchise records for passing yards in a single season and completing one season. If you want to handle the injuries against him, go ahead. Not us.
Running Back: LeSean McCoy
This one is not for debate. McCoy is the fastest and fastest to wear midnight – and that includes Steve Van Buren, Wilbert Montgomery or any other fossil you want to dig. His 6,792 rushing yards are ranked No.1 in franchise history and finished with just 90 games. McCoy is eligible to retire as an Eagle but little tyranny (Chip Kelly) will not prevent his swagger. It’s a crying shame for the “shady” kid from Harrisburg, PA.
Broad Recipients: DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Jason Avant
You can make an argument for replacing Avant with either Nelson Agholor or Jordan Matthews. Not here. Avant’s contributions to special teams will close out the third place receiver for the only hit light he did this spring in Jackson for “Miracle in the Meadowlands 2.” We can watch that game. He also racked up 3,646 career receiving yards. Speaking of Jackson, the fast receiver is fourth all-time in the franchise receiving yards (6,276) while Maclin ranks 10th all-time in the franchise receiving yards (4,771 ).
Tight Ends: Zach Ertz, Brent Celek
Are we fooled by the choice of two men to a tight end? Maybe. But the Eagles have traditionally run a slew of two tight sets going back to the days of Andy Reid. Celek is a fan favorite who has made a name for himself by bulldozing the defenders and providing key blocks in the game screen.
10 years ago today: the Eagles beat the Giants 40-17 in a Week 9 home explosion.
DeSean Jackson logged a 54-yard TD, rookie LeSean McCoy a 66-yarder, Leonard Weaver a 41-yarder, and Jeremy Maclin / Brent Celek also scored.
Donovan McNabb 240 yards-3 TDs-146.7 passer rating ? pic.twitter.com/Fg3Jou4HMQ
– Eagles Fan Problems (@EagleFanProbs) November 1, 2019
He played 10 seasons in Philadelphia and finished with 4,998 receiving yards. Meanwhile, Ertz may come down as one of the greatest tight ends to play in the NFL. He set a new high for 2018 receptions with 116 and was ranked fifth all-time on the franchise receiving list (5,743).
Offensive Line: Jason Peters, Evan Mathis, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson
When an All-Decade Team starts on a Hall-of-Fame left-tackle, you know it’s a great list. The Eagles have long appreciated strong offensive-line play and have always been among the best in the NFL.
Brooks is arguably the best right guard in football. Ditto for Kelce in the middle. It’s there for Johnson to the right tackle. Mathis? Well, the former left guard has played in Philadelphia for only four seasons qualifying for two Pro Bowls. Not too nasty. (Apologies to Todd Herremans for missing the final cut).
Eagles All-Decade Team: Defense
It’s difficult to assign players positions when looking at the Eagles’ good defense from 2010-2020 due to the reality of the change in schemes. They ping-ponged from 4-3 under Andy Reid to a 3-4 under Chip Kelly back to a 4-3 under Doug Pederson.
For example, Brandon Graham began his career as a linebacker before coming to the defensive end. Instead, we will select five pass-rushers and two linebackers to fill this roster. The cream of the crop.
Pass-Rushers: Trent Cole, Brandon Graham, Connor Barwin, Fletcher Cox, Vinny Curry
That’s 234 total sacks between five players. Cole’s 85.5 over 10 years in Philadelphia (2005-2014) was the chart-topper as he ranks second all-time in franchise history behind Reggie White. Cox, Graham and Curry continue to accumulate numbers as they remain on the Eagles’ current roster. Barwin announced his retirement earlier this year.
Linebackers: Mychal Kendricks, DeMeco Ryans
It has been slim pickings at linebacker, except for Jeremiah Trotter, in recent years for the Eagles. The franchise has never seemed to appreciate the position. However, Kendricks and Ryans were ample and helped to center their stints in Philly. Ryans had 334 combined tackles in four seasons, while Kendricks had 454 in six seasons.
Safety: Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod
The Eagles have largely given up their position on safety following the unexpected release of Brian Dawkins in 2009. They have eliminated a number of dismal experiments, including Nate Allen, Patrick Chung and Kurt Coleman. Then, they made a trade for Malcolm Jenkins in 2014 and all is right in the world.
Jenkins has been the defender of the defense, thanks to his play and leadership. He has 11 interceptions, 12 forced fumbles, 498 tackles, including four touchdowns in six seasons. Understandably, he has played in 99-percent of snaps since 2014 and 100-percent in the past two seasons. McLeod, meanwhile, has proven a steady and calming influence on the second.
Cornerbacks: Asante Samuel, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
This is an indication of the lack of skilled corners passing through the city. Samuel is a borderline Hall-of-Famer (51 career interceptions, 23 on the Eagles green) but has only played four total seasons in Philly and is only here for the first two years of the decade. Rodgers-Cromartie was a victim of the incident after the Eagles were taken to Nnamdi Asomugha. He didn’t get a fair shake.
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