Last year the Philadelphia Eagles acquired Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie last season via a trade with Arizona Cardinals. He was supposed to help form a core of cornerbacks, along with free agent acquisition Nnamdi Asomugha and Asante Samuel, that were incomprehensibly unbeatable for the Eagles. Alas, after a bombed season, Samuel was traded and Rodgers-Cromartie slid to the outside as the number 2 corner. Is it fathomable that Rodgers-Cromartie is the Eagles top cornerback? Let’s assess…
The outside left cornerback position, which is where he exclusively takes reps now, is the position he made the 2009 pro bowl. Rodgers-Cromartie is in the last year of his contract so he is clearly motivated. Throughout training camp he has earned raving reviews sticking like glue to speedsters Jeremy Maclin, Damaris Johnson, and even DeSean Jackson. Not only does Rodgers-Cromartie make it difficult to get open, but when they do he has the closing speed and knack for the football to breakup the pass, and in some cases, intercepts it. Along with breakout star, Brandon Graham, Rodgers-Cromartie stole the train camp gold. If he can perform at this level in the regular season, could he gain the title of lead shutdown corner?
To gain said title, he would have to out-perform the 3x pro bowler, and prized 2011 free agent acquisition, Asomugha. Many consider Asomugha to be the 2nd best corner in the league behind Darelle Revis. However, Asomugha had a tough year getting adjusted to the new system. He has also struggled with injuries this preseason, most notably a recent collision with safety Nate Allen. Combine the fact that he has not played particularly well (by his elite standards) this preseason and that he is now 31, could Rodgers-Cromartie be the guy that shadows the Andre and Calvin Johnson’s around the field? It certainly is possible, especially with Asomugha taking the tight end in 3rd and long situations.
Here are what reporters and players had to say about Rodgers-Cromartie this offseason:
“I think I’ve thrown three interceptions in this camp and two of them, on the same route, have been to him,” – Michael Vick
“Quarterbacks don’t throw much to Asomugha’s side. That means passes will come Rodgers-Cromartie’s way….[He] has yet to pick off a pass as an Eagle. I definitely think that will change.” – Tommy Lawlor
“The first play of the wide receiver-defensive back one-on-ones was the best, as Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie ran stride-for-stride with DeSean Jackson and intercepted a deep ball directly over his head. Rodgers-Cromartie was the standout player of Saturday’s practice, as he broke up around six passes throughout practice.” – Bo Wulf
Is he the best cornerback on the Eagles in your opinion?