There’s been no secret as to fans’ frustration with former 2017 second-round pick Sidney Jones.
His young career with the Eagles has been filled with injuries and inconsistent play with fans waiting for him to have a breakout season.

When was drafted in 2017, the expectation was he was going to miss the whole season due to his Achilles injury and return in 2018 as one of the starting corners for the defense. That didn’t quite happen in 2018 as he missed most of the season to a hamstring injury that kept occurring throughout the season. This season has been some of the same with the hamstring injury bothering him, but he has stayed on the field more, but his play has been disappointing. He has struggled in coverage and was in some parts of the season healthy scratch.

This season started to bring doubt for many fans and the expectation started being whether Jones should be traded as trade bait for picks or other players. It became the idea after Jalen Mills returned from injury as he has played well since his return. Rasul Douglas and Avonte Maddox’s play has not helped for Jones’ case as they were low round draft picks who have stepped up when injuries have occurred.

The turning point for Jones’ season and his future with the team began in the New York Giants game a few weeks ago.

The team is 5-7 and all hope had seemed lost after their devastating loss to the Dolphins the week before. The Giants ran out to a 17-3 lead on the Eagles as they came back to tie the game. Jones hadn’t played in the game and Douglas had to leave the field for cramping on the Giants’ final drive of the fourth quarter. Jones comes on in a third and three with just a 1:35 left in the game. He finds himself going up against Darius Slayton who had been torching the Eagles’ secondary all game with 154 yards and two touchdowns. Jones makes a great pass breakup on a slant that forces the Giants to punt the ball.

Jones came through again on Sunday against the Cowboys when he steps in on a fourth down late in the fourth quarter again to cover Michael Gallup who had been their most successful receiver that day. Dak Prescott throws a deep route to Gallup in the end zone and Jones is able to step in front of Gallup to break up the pass and forced the offense off the field. This play was critical as the Cowboys would never get the ball back again after Miles Sanders breaks out a huge run on third down to seal the win.

It’s hard to believe after all Jones had gone through the past three seasons, he comes through on the biggest defensive plays of the season to keep their NFC East title hopes alive.

Not only has he been playing better shutdown defense in coverage, but his tackling came through on Sunday against the Cowboys as he made a key tackle on Ezekiel Elliott in the third quarter. His confidence has been building the past three weeks and the evidence has shown on the field.

He has proven enough that Jim Schwartz needs and should consider making Jones the starter at the corner and give him another opportunity to show his skills to help the team on the biggest game of the season. He will have to play a key role as the Giants are back in town, but this time they have Daniel Jones who threw for 352 yards and five touchdowns in their win against the Redskins last week. The Giants have been picking up steam the last two weeks and look confident enough that they feel they can go neck to neck with the Eagles.

We know how impressive the offense has been for the Eagles despite all their injuries, but all eyes will be on the defense to see if they can shut down this young, energized offense.
We might see Jones having to make another big play to win the Eagles an unlikely division title.

Featured Image: Heather Khalifa/The Philadelphia Inquirer
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