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The moment Alex Singleton has waited for finally arrives, with the Eagles | Early Birds

Up from the practice squad, Singleton hopes to bring energy in his first NFL game.

The Calgary Stampeders' Alex Singleton hoists the Grey Cup after the Stampeders defeated the Ottawa Redblacks in Grey Cup in Edmonton, Alberta, last November.
The Calgary Stampeders' Alex Singleton hoists the Grey Cup after the Stampeders defeated the Ottawa Redblacks in Grey Cup in Edmonton, Alberta, last November.Read moreDARRYL DYCK / AP

Alex Singleton could be getting ready to play Winnipeg this week for the Calgary Stampeders, but instead he’ll take the field Sunday night for the Eagles at AT&T Stadium against the Dallas Cowboys.

More on Singleton in a minute, but first, if you like what you’re reading, tell your friends it’s free to sign up here​. I want to know what you think, what we should add, and what you want to read, so send me feedback by email or on Twitter @lesbowen.

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Singleton’s singular pursuit finally pays off

Getting to this point has been a journey for Singleton, a linebacker who has been trying to make an NFL roster since signing with Seattle as an undrafted rookie out of Montana State in 2015. He reckons he has been cut eight times, three by Seattle. He was pretty happy playing in Calgary for three seasons, winning the Grey Cup last year, but Singleton grew up in California, wanting to play in the NFL. When he signed with the Eagles last spring, he still hadn’t made it into a regular-season NFL game.

After a solid preseason, Singleton didn’t survive the Eagles’ cut to 53. He had said during training camp he might go back to the CFL if that happened — because his mom was born in Canada, Singleton goes on the books there as a Canadian player — but Singleton decided to stick around for a practice-squad slot. Finally, Wednesday, Singleton was promoted to fill the roster slot vacated when Zach Brown was released.

“It’s what I’ve been planning for, for the last six months, and the last five years,” Singleton said Thursday. He said he knew from talking to coaches and management here at the cut-down that his time would come eventually. “No better time for it to come,” he said. “It’s one of those things you kind of wait for your whole life. … I’ve been ready since the last preseason game. I’ve been ready to play for this team, probably since OTAs.”

Singleton’s most likely role is special teams. He calls himself “a guy that’s got the fire, play 110 percent, no matter what.”

What you need to know about the Eagles

  1. Paul Domowitch has all the matchup analysis you need.

  2. Erin McCarthy talks to Brandon Graham about getting the Eagles’ defense well-fortified to handle Ezekiel Elliott.

  3. Our three beat-writing Amigos have predictions. As is so often the case, we are less than convinced that we know what’s going to happen.

  4. If an anonymous quote gathered by ESPN reporter Josina Anderson is accurate, the Eagles have at least one unhappy player, who can’t believe Howie Roseman wouldn’t give up two first-round picks and a fourth to get Jalen Ramsey.

  5. Marcus Hayes, writing all week from Dallas because we’re the one outlet covering the Eagles that’s willing to do that, says that Carson Wentz could learn from Dak Prescott’s tough-guy leadership style.

  6. Domo takes a look at the struggling Fletcher Cox.

From the mailbag

What happened with JJAW? Was picked where he was slotted to go, looked pretty good (from reports) in camp/practice, played well in preseason, now nothing. Its not like, say [Donnel] Pumphrey, who never looked good in camp/preseason — @BenPiggot on Twitter.

J.J. Arcega-Whiteside is a mystery, Ben. It’s not unusual for rookie receivers to struggle with the complexity of NFL routes and systems, but it’s striking that he can’t get on the field in this obviously hamstrung offense. You have to wonder if they’re making the right decision, running Mack Hollins out there for so many snaps. You also have to wonder about the coaching of the wide receivers. There’s a new one every year it seems.

The official line this week was that Arcega-Whiteside learned Alshon Jeffery’s position while Jeffery was out, and now he’s learning the other two spots. What was he doing all spring and summer, then?

Given that they already had Jeffery and Nelson Agholor, in retrospect, not looking for speed in a second-round wide receiver seems like a mistake. It’s like they signed 32-year-old DeSean Jackson and congratulated themselves on a job well done. Arcega-Whiteside seems like a hard worker and a smart kid, so maybe we’ll feel differently by the end of the season. But the first impression has been underwhelming.