The Eagles today announced that they have released veteran defensive end Derrick Burgess and signed defensive end Bobby McCray.
Burgess, 32, was on the roster for the last two games, playing only in Tuesday's loss to the Vikings, for a handful of plays. He was a starter on the Birds' 2004 Super Bowl team, then led the league in sacks after leaving in free agency and going to Oakland. Burgess then played for New England, but had not been in the NFL this season when the Eagles brought him back.
McCray (6-6, 260), a seven-year veteran, was originally a seventh-round draft choice of Jacksonville in 2004. He spent four seasons with the Jaguars (2004-07) and two with the New Orleans Saints (2008-09), and had 29.5 career sacks in 93 games (37 starts). He spent the 2010 preseason with the Saints but was released in the final roster cut.
Last summer, McCray married actress and Kardashian pal Khadijah Haqq.
Also, the Eagles announced that they have signed defensive tackle Jeremy Clark to a three-year deal. He was with the Eagles in 2007, spending the season on the practice squad. Since then, he has been with the Giants, Falcons, Cardinals, Cowboys and Redskins, the last three of those all this season.
Clark replaces rookie DT Jeff Owens, who went down for the season with a patellar tendon tear in his first NFL game Tuesday night.
Special teams coordinator Bobby April said that while big returns usually require something extraordinary from the returner, the Eagles just haven't blocked well enough to set up big returns. It seems possible Gerard Lawson will get a shot this week against Dallas.
Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said he thinks Michael Vick's quad injury is going to be OK for Sunday, but that Andy Reid will decide whether Vick will play. (All signs point to Kevin Kolb starting at QB in a meaningless game.) He agreed with a questioner that Vick sometimes tries to do too much, but said that isn't always a bad thing (presumably, if you take care of the ball). He would like to see Vick do more to protect himself. (Can you tuck one of those little spray thingys of Mace into your waistband, or is that a uniform violation?)
Mornhinweg's overall message was that the Birds "left details on the field" against Minnesota
Kolb told reporters he tries not to think about anything beyond this season, tries to stay sharp, knowing he could be called upon to lead the team again at any time.
Defensive coordinator Sean McDermott agreed that the Eagles just haven't been getting sufficient pressure lately.
"We've got to get to the quarterback on a consistent basis, whether from blitzing or a four-man front."
McDermott said teams are emphasizing getting the ball out, giving the rushers less time to work.
It's unclear whether Dimitri Patterson or Joselio Hanson will start Sunday against the Cowboys. Hanson, who took over in the third quarter against Minnesota, said he hasn't been told anything. McDermott mentioned speaking with Patterson this morning, and said he expects Patterson to bounce back well.
McDermott also acknowleged that the defensive injury picture has limited him in some respects. "There's probably some deviation" from what you would like to be able to do, even though you try to stay aggressive, he said.
McDermott said he would see how the middle linebacking situation shakes out if and when Stewart Bradley recovers from his elbow injury.