January 02, 2018
In the Philadelphia Eagles' regular-season finale against the Dallas Cowboys, the Birds decided to get a look at second-round rookie cornerback Sidney Jones, who spent the last nine months trying to come back from a ruptured Achilles.
Let's take a look at his debut, in chronological order, with gifs and stuff.
On Jones' first ever professional snap on defense, look at the effort given by Dez Bryant.
Lol. Hey, the NFL is easy!
Here's a play that came Jones' way on a dump-off. Terrance Williams is blocking him, and Williams wins this battle, but there are a slew of other Eagles defenders there to make the play.
At 6'0, 186, whenever Jones becomes a regular starter, opposing offenses are going to test him by running the football to his side of the field, challenging him to get off blocks and make tackles. There isn't much to glean from the above play. We're just noting what's likely on the horizon.
Here Jones does a really nice job. He aggressively attacks the blocking receiver downhill, making the ball carrier run inside, then hustles to make the tackle short of the sticks. Well done.
Jones showed plenty of speed to run with receivers vertically.
It appeared as though Jones perhaps misjudged the speed of Elliott here.
"I just have to get used to coming downhill and making the play," Jones explained. "It'll come."
On a quick in-route by Williams, Jones breaks quickly on the throw and makes the tackle. As a reminder, he hasn't tackled since last December, so his willingness to hit was encouraging. The Eagles will allow these three-yard pass attempts all day.
Again, it doesn't seem like Jones' deep speed will be an issue.
Here Jones is clearly in man coverage, and his man is No. 85, who is motioning toward the formation. 85 is nothing more than a blocker on the play, as he cuts Vinny Curry low. Jones follows 85 across the formation and sticks with him until Elliott clearly has the football, and is already running down the field.
I'm not sure if Jim Schwartz gives him an attaboy, for doing his job (sticking with his man), or a "Bad Sidney!" for not recognizing this as a run play sooner.
Oh boy, Jones gets roasted on a sluggo route by Williams.
"It was just a slant and go," Jones said. "The post safety was there to save me, so I'm thankful for him."
Luckily for Jones, Dak Prescott can't throw more than 10 yards down the field.
On the very next play after getting beaten on the double move, Jones was in zone coverage. Without knowing his assignment, it looks a little like he was worried about another double move, as Jason Witten was left open underneath for what likely would have been a first down if Prescott threw there.
After that play, Jones went to the locker room with a nicked up quad and back. (He's fine.)
Overall, there was some good and some bad, which you would expect of a rookie playing in his first game after a torn Achilles in Week 17 of the regular season. That said, I think the next time Eagles fans will see Jones on the field will be during the 2018 season.
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