3 Defensive Coordinator Eagles Need to Hire for 2024 Turnaround

Struggling to stop the pass? Al Harris, Cowboys Secondary Coach, could be the solution for the Philadelphia Eagles defense.
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Al Harris, Cowboys Secondary Coach

The main area of concern this year for Philadelphia’s defense was being unable to stop the pass. They finished 31st in yardage, surrendering 4,296 yards through the air. They were also 31st in touchdowns, giving up 35, and just 25th in interceptions with a mere nine on the season.

Their struggles in this area were a huge reason for their late-season decline and one of the reasons the Dallas Cowboys surpassed them was their proficiency here. Dallas was fifth in the NFL with 3,185 yards, 10th in touchdowns surrendered through the air with 21, and eighth with 17 picks. Their leader in interceptions was DaRon Bland, who had nine picks and boasted the same number the Eagles' entire defense accounted for.

Bland isn't the first Dallas defensive back to shine as of late either. He has 14 interceptions in his first two seasons which is the same number Trevon Diggs had to start his career. Of course, Diggs also had 11 of those in 2021 and on the whole, he now has 18 in 47 games.

Both Diggs and Bland deserve credit for their ability to take the ball away but they also give praise to their secondary coach whenever possible. Al Harris, who started his career in Philadelphia, played in the NFL for 14 years and rose to prominence with the Green Bay Packers. He was known for taking risks in coverage and that helped him make the Pro Bowl twice while recording 21 career picks.

When his playing career was over, he spent time with the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs coaching staffs and was hired by Mike McCarthy in 2020 to coach the secondary in Dallas. He's thrived in that role and is suddenly a hot name in defensive coordinator searches.

Should Dan Quinn wind up taking a head coaching job — Seattle seems like a good spot — Harris would be an obvious replacement for him. If not, the Eagles would be doing themselves a favor by bringing Harris back to the franchise where his career started. Plus, they would be stealing an excellent coach from a rival, which is always a win.

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