Sidney Jones Marks Yet Another Failed Cornerback Experiment for the Philadelphia Eagles
The Philadelphia Eagles don’t have a great track record of late when it comes to the cornerback position. From Nnamdi Asomugha to Byron Maxwell, Philly fans cringe at the names who went from Pro Bowl cover corners to laughing stocks once they donned the midnight green.
Since they had little success signing big-name cornerbacks in free agency, the Eagles went a different route in 2017 by drafting Sidney Jones in the second round of the NFL draft. Jones was meant to be the next Lito Sheppard or Sheldon Brown in Philadelphia, but he didn’t even last more than three seasons with the team.
Sidney Jones was drafted to be the answer to the Eagles’ cornerback woes
The 2010s have not been kind to the Eagles in terms of their secondary. A decade earlier, Philadelphia had one of the scariest and most consistent units in the NFL with Brian Dawkins, Lito Sheppard, and Sheldon Brown terrorizing opposing quarterbacks.
Ever since they left, the secondary hasn’t been the same. The Eagles tried to replace them with big-name free agents such as Nnamdi Asomugha and Byron Maxwell, but neither panned out the way the team hoped.
In 2017, the Eagles decided to focus on growing young talent at the position by drafting Jones in the second round of the NFL draft. Jones had injury issues coming out of Washington, but there was no doubt he had first-round talent at cornerback.
Philly fans thought they finally had their next young star on the outside, but the Jones experiment turned out to be more of the same.
Jones had an underwhelming three seasons in Philadelphia
Jones was drafted to eventually become the Eagles’ No. 1 cover corner. After all, you don’t use a second-round pick on anything less.
The team knew Jones needed some time to recover from his injury and get acclimated to the NFL, but they were willing to be patient with their future star. Jones appeared in just one game in his rookie season, but he had high hopes heading into year two.
In 2018, Jones played in nine games and started just four. He defended two passes and didn’t grab an interception. He did record 25 combined tackles in the defensive backfield, but his production as a cover corner was underwhelming, to say the least.
Jones played much better in 2019. He snatched two interceptions and defended eight passes in what looked to be a stepping stone to a breakout 2020 season. He even broke up the pass that sealed the game against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 16, which paved the way for the Eagles to win the NFC East crown.
The Eagles released Jones prior to the 2020 season
Despite his improved play in 2019, Jones didn’t impress the Eagles enough to stick around past year three. Philadelphia released Jones Saturday as it cut the roster down to 53.
Jones officially marks yet another failed experiment at cornerback for the Eagles organization. He went from a second-round pick to cut by the team just three years later.
It wasn’t as astronomical a failure as Asomugha and Maxwell were in Philadelphia, but the Eagles continue to prove their recent incompetence with scouting cornerback talent.
Darius Slay, it’s all on you now.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference