It's not quite the Cliff Lee signing, but the Eagles brought back a key piece from their 2004 NFC championship team when they signed defensive end Derrick Burgess on Tuesday.

The 32-year-old Burgess will replace Brandon Graham on the Eagles' 53-man roster. The rookie defensive end was officially placed on injured reserve after he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee on Sunday against the Cowboys.

Burgess hasn't played since last season when he was in New England. He spent this past training camp with the Patriots but was cut just before the season. The Eagles worked out Burgess in the morning and signed him to a two-year contract in the afternoon.

In his first go-around with the organization, Burgess was selected by the Eagles in the third round of the 2001 draft and recorded six sacks as a rookie. He suffered a broken leg in the first game of the 2002 season, however, and missed all of 2003 with a torn ACL.

He came back in 2004 and was great in the playoffs, sacking current Eagles quarterback Michael Vick twice in the NFC championship and notching the Eagles' only sack of New England's Tom Brady in Super Bowl XXXIX.

That postseason performance essentially led to the Raiders signing him to a big free-agent contract. He delivered in his first two seasons in Oakland, recording 27 sacks and securing two Pro Bowl nods. His production slipped the following two years, though, and he spent 2009 in New England and was cut on Sept. 4 of this year.

In 101 career games, the 6-foot-2, 255-pound Burgess has 52 sacks.

He will be expected to provide a boost to an Eagles pass rush that lost Graham for the season and has produced only seven sacks in the last four games. Pro Bowl end Trent Cole has recorded zero sacks in four of his last five games. Burgess will compete with reserves Darryl Tapp and rookie Daniel Te'o-Nesheim for time behind starters Juqua Parker and Cole.

Eagles most watched

The Eagles' 30-27 victory over the Cowboys was the most-watched Sunday Night Football broadcast in the five-year history of the NBC10 show. The game attracted 25.73 million viewers.

Contact staff writer Jeff McLane at 215-854-4745 or jmclane@phillynews.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Jeff_McLane.