Philadelphia Eagles: Ranking the safety selections of the NFC East

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

2. Philadelphia Eagles

Are the Philadelphia Eagles really that much better than the Dallas Cowboys at safety? Eh, who is to say? Both lost a former starter, with the Eagles saying goodbye to Rodney McLeod and the Cowboys moving on from Damontae Kazee – and Keanu Neal – but of the replacement players added to take their places, Jaquiski Tartt is better than Markquese Bell at this stage of the game, and thus that gives the Birds a slight edge.

Could one team separate themselves from another this fall? You bet, but it’s hard to know which that will be.

Most important performer: Marcus Epps

Call me an optimist, call me a glutton for punishment, but if Marcus Epps can pop off this year and become an average starting safety in the Eagles’ defense, it will be an absolute asset to the team moving forward.

On paper, Epps has a lot going for him – he was an advanced analytics darling with the Birds last fall, has experience playing under Jonathan Gannon in both Philly and Minnesota, and at 26, could sign a long-term contract for something like $10 million over three years and hit free agency again before he hits 30.

And hey, if it doesn’t work out, the combo of Tartt and Anthony Harris should be good enough to hold things down in 2022 –  the category is called most important player, not best player, after all.