By Sheil Kapadia
Many are quick to point to Asante Samuel's absence and conclude that the Eagles' defensive issues are with their secondary.
But that wasn't really the case on Sunday night against the Cowboys.
Jon Kitna threw for 242 yards. But just 84 of those yards went to Dallas wide receivers. Kevin Ogletree had three catches for 34 yards; Roy Williams two for 23; Miles Austin two for 22; and Sam Hurd one for five. Eight total catches.
The Cowboys hurt the Eagles' defense with their running backs and tight ends, who accounted for 158 receiving yards.
The Eagles' linebackers have struggled in coverage all season, and that continued against Dallas. Ernie Sims, who was expected to be an upgrade at the weak-side spot with his quickness, has had two of his worst games of the season against Houston and Dallas.
With the news that Stewart Bradley is likely out for the rest of the regular season (at least), this is a growing concern down the stretch.
Bradley has had ups and downs all season, but it's hard to believe JaMar Chaney, a rookie seventh-round pick, will be ready to step in. And Omar Gaither has struggled in the middle when called on to fill in the last two seasons.
The only other option is Akeem Jordan. He might be the best option for coverage, but would probably be a downgrade against the run.