Philadelphia Eagles: Corey Clement gets to join his favorite team

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Corey Clement‘s football career is a weird one.

He was born in New Jersey, grew up a Cowboys fan, played his college ball in the BIg 10, though not for one of the conference’s local members, and ultimately won a Super Bowl as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Clement had a cup of coffee with the New York Giants, who play their games in sunny East Rutherford, has appeared in 46 games with zero starts, and will forever be remembered for his part in the “Philly Special,” which may just go down as the best trick play in sports history.

But now, after four seasons, three contracts, and a short-term bout with unemployment, Corey Clement is back in the NFL on an active roster, agreeing to a one-year contract with his favorite team after a near-half decade with the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Philadelphia Eagles will see Corey Clement in a very different jersey this fall.

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Heading onto the preseason, the Dallas Cowboys were a team flush with talent at the running back position.

Returning their top-three option from the 2020 season – Ezekiel Elliott, Tony Pollard, and Rico Dowdle – in addition to a pair of promising UDFA rookies out of Tiffin and Marshall respectfully, many an outside observer felt the Cowboys would once again finish out the forthcoming regular season as one of the best ground-‘n- pound offenses the league has to offer, with a weapon-rich passing game capable of forming a truly balanced offensive attack.

In practice, however, things went off the rails in a hurry.

Despite a fine preseason showing by all accounts, Dowdle suffered a hip injury that landed him on preseason IR, which, as you probably already know, ends his 2021 season before it had a chance to start. In theory, this could have been a perfect opportunity for either JaQuan Hardy or Brenden Knox to step up and earn a prominent role with the team this fall, but neither impressed in their preseason showcases, and the duo were ultimately waived in the final trim down to 53.

Knox specifically looked so bad that he didn’t even land on the Cowboys’ practice squad, instead having to look elsewhere for his next NFL opportunity.

So, with no player on the active roster behind Elliott and Polland and a few spots on the active roster set to open up when a few of the team’s injury performers land on regular season IR, the Cowboys went out to the market and signed Corey Clement to their active 53 man roster, in addition to claiming ex-Panthers third-round pick Will Grier off of waivers.

On paper, this signing makes a world of sense. Clement is a good utility back who can do a little bit of everything on the field. He’s a fine pass catcher – as evidenced by his 100-yard receiving game in the Super Bowl – a do-it-all runner who can run between the tackles or in space, and even a decent pass blocker if the opportunity presents itself. Heck, Clement even has expansive experience on special teams, as he actually has 137 more snaps in the return game than he does on offense.

Now granted, if the Cowboys have to rely heavily on Clement over an extended period of time, they may find themselves in a bit of a bind, as he hasn’t rushed the ball 20 or more times since he called Madison, Wisconsin home, but in a league where versatility is key, having a third running back who can be active on game day, play a handful of offensive snaps, and then run down the field to tackle a would-be returner is incredibly valuable.

And the best part? You know Clement will run through a wall to help his team win, as he’s been wanting to rock the star on the side of his helmet for all his life.

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Will the Philadelphia Eagles miss Corey Clement this fall? No. They have three really good running backs on their active roster and two more on their practice squad who could still play into the team’s 53 man plans moving forward, depending on how things shake out with Tyree Jackson‘s IR. But will it be nice to see Corey Clement still earning a living playing the game he loves? Yes, for all but two Sundays a year, Clement will still hold a special – dare I say a Philly Special -place in the City of Brotherly Love, even if he’s playing for the enemy,