Could Chip Kelly Be The Cowboys’ Biggest Free Agent?


Depending on your views of the way Eagles head coach / football czar Chip Kelly runs his empire, you either view him as a shrewd strategist, a mad scientist sprinkled with a hint of visionary genius or quite possibly the next crazy guy who thinks he’s smart only to be revealed as crazy.

Maybe you just don’t even care… but that can’t be all the way true if you’re a Cowboys fan.  Regardless of what the emotion is, anything Philadelphia Eagles related is sure to drum up some kind of emotion.

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So, when the news dropped earlier this week that Cowboys killer / soon-to-be former Eagles running back LeSean McCoy was next on Kelly’s exile list, being shipped not only out of the division, but out of the entire conference as well, you probably had a reaction.

If you were anything like me, your first reaction was to see what they received in return.  Upon finding out that there was nary a draft pick included, elation probably set in.  As you began to realize that it was a straight up, player for player swap, you probably started to question everything.

Why would the Eagles significantly downgrade their offense for the second straight year?

What is the end game to such a move?

Did the Cowboys just land a massive pre-emptive strike in their attempt to win the division in 2015?

What is a Kiko Alonso?  It sounds like something fun… do I want one?  

Let’s take this time to address a few of those questions and possibly more.

Who is this Kiko Alonso fellow and should I as a Cowboys fan be worried about his addition to the hated Philadelphia Eagles?

Alonzo, a linebacker from the University of Oregon (shocker!) is, by all accounts, a good player with a possibly bright future.  In his rookie year of 2013, he started out with a blaze of awesomeness, registering 32 tackles, four interceptions, a forced fumble and a sack in his first four games.

From that point, aside from a boat load (127) of tackles, almost half of which (59) were of the assisted variety, he’s only added one more sack to his numbers.  Last year, Alonso blew out his knee in the pre-season and missed the entire year.

That’s all we know.  He’s a guy that had a really hot month, played normally from there until he was lost for an entire year with a knee injury.  Not to sound trite, but forgive me if I’m not looking for a place to hide from this monster with the fun name.  I’m sure he will improve the Eagles defense, but wouldn’t really anyone?

Last season the Eagles finished 28th in total defense, second to last versus the pass and allowed 25 points per game.  Clearly they were unhappy with their defense as they have also released defensive end Trent Cole and cornerback Cary Williams.

Spiting their offense in an effort to upgrade their defense does not seem to be the way to go about things however.  Adding one guy is a start, but there are several holes in the dike to fill.

I thought Chip Kelly loved offense, why is holding the door open for all of the Eagles top offensive threats to exit from it?

From the sounds of things, aside from making a lot of money, the worst thing that wide receiver DeSean Jackson and McCoy have done was to somewhat openly question the way Kelly does things.

Last year, Jackson’s first outside of Philadelphia, was almost identical to any year he had in a green and black uniform.  He finished the year 54 yards shy of his career average of 1,223 and equaled his career average of six in touchdowns.

Also in 2014, McCoy eclipsed his career rushing yardage by 224 yards and while he fell approximately three touchdowns short of his career average in that category, he also split time with fellow back field mate Darren Sproles and ran behind possibly the worst offensive line in his tenure as an Eagle.

These guys can still play.

This is all about a power play.  Kelly fancies himself as a Bill Belichick type, someone who rules with complete impunity and believes his system is what makes his team win and not the players within the system.

There is no question that the overall talent level in Philadelphia has been lowered.  Only time we’ll tell if the system is good enough to overcome that.

So… are you saying that Cowboys are the favorites to win the division again next year?

While you never want to crown a team before a game is ever played, let alone a roster being set, it seems that at the very least, the Cowboys are the most talented team in the division.  The Redskins are likely still years away.  The Giants have several holes to fill.  As it has been over the last two seasons, going into next year, it seemed that this was going to be a two horse race again.

Apparently, one of those horses just pulled up lame.

Sure there is tons of time for the Eagles to improve their roster but regardless of the moves they make, there is undisputed proof that Dallas has a decided edge on the Eagles at almost every offensive spot on the field.  As for the defensive side, at worst the two teams would be considered even.  That leads us to the last question…

What is the end game to such a move?

After spending entirely too much time on the Eagles solely, (trust me a very hot shower and lots of scrubbing will be in order), the most important questions were saved for last.  What could the Eagles possibly be up to and how does it affect the Cowboys?

Are the Eagles making room for free agent running back DeMarco Murray?

Actually, this move has done nothing but decrease Murray’s leverage.  If you think about it, the Eagles and their system which focuses a large amount on running the ball just got rid of a guy who is without question one of the top four best running backs in the league.

Why would they just spend more money on that position?  That’s not likely.

There are also signs across the league that Kelly’s nonchalant attitude towards a player’s worth versus that of his own system will be a detriment when it comes to signing free agents.

Players like to at least think that they are key cogs to building something and not just spare parts to be cast aside at the drop of the hat.  Cap space does not mean so much when you cannot get anyone to play for you.  That usually leads to spending on players who you would never give big money to, just because you have it to spend.

It’s hard to see how the week’s biggest development did nothing but help the Cowboys.  For that, Cowboys Nation says thank you!

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