When the Philadelphia Eagles decided to trade Kevin Kolb to the Arizona Cardinals, they demanded to get Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in return. In his first three seasons with Arizona, Rodgers-Cromartie played in all 48 games and had 13 interceptions, four returned for Touchdowns and 61 passes defended.
That same offseason, the Eagles signed perennial Pro-Bowler Nnamdi Asomugha to join forces with Asante Samuel and form the best cornerback trio in the NFL. They spent that offseason adding high priced free agents like Jason Babin, Cullen Jenkins, Ronnie Brown and Steve Smith as well as re-signing quarterback Michael Vick to a six-year extension.
Backup quarterback Vince Young had declared the Philadelphia Eagles the “Dream Team”. Unfortunately for the Eagles, it turned into a nightmare very quickly. The started the season 1-4 and ended up having to win their last four games to make it to .500. Their final record was 8-8, and the only free agent that really worked out was Babin.
In 2012, the Eagles scuffled again finishing 4-12 and started the rebuilding process by firing long time Head Coach Andy Reid. The Eagles hired Oregon Coach Chip Kelly who began to clean house by cutting Jenkins, Asomugha and a group of veterans. Rodgers-Cromartie’s contract expired and the Eagles showed no interest in bringing him back, so he packed his bags and left.
On March 13, 2013, Rodgers-Cromartie signed a one-year, $5 million deal with the Denver Broncos. The Broncos were one play away from getting to the AFC title game last year, but they were burned on a deep pass by Jacoby Jones. The signing of Rodgers-Cromartie gave them a very skilled corner to go with Champ Bailey.
On Sunday, Rodgers-Cromartie got to face his old team for the first time and was matched up against Pro Bowler DeSean Jackson. Through the first three games of the season, Jackson had 19 catches for 359 yards and two touchdowns. On Sunday, Rodgers-Cromartie held him to two catches for 34 yards and no scores.
The Philadelphia Eagles are ranked 31st this year in passing defense. Some of that may be due to Chip Kelly’s fast paced offense, but the other part of that may be due to losing a skilled corner like Rodgers-Cromartie.