Imagine if the Cowboys went ahead and traded DeMarco Murray … for Sean Lee.
That’s essentially what the Eagles did Tuesday in a shocking transaction that had to prompt smiles from Valley Ranch throughout the fandom of America’s Team.
Philadelphia traded away a top 5 running back in LeSean McCoy, in exchange for a talented young linebacker coming off a major injury that cost him the entire 2014 season.
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McCoy, the NFL’s rushing champ in 2013, has only 40 yards less than Murray over the last two seasons and for years has sliced Dallas’ defense in NFC East matchups. When, like me, you researched who the heck Kiko Alonso was, you learned he’s a talented linebacker with tons of potential. But after a good rookie season in 2013 he’s coming off a position switch and a torn ACL. Lee ring a bell?
It’s easy to see what the Bills love about this trade. New coach Rex Ryan doesn’t have a trustworthy quarterback, but now he has an elite running back who can carry the ball 300+ times. It also means C.J. Spiller will be available in free agency.
For the Eagles, it’s another sign that coach Chip Kelly remains infatuated with his college days. With Alonso being the ninth former Oregon player now on Philly’s roster, the Eagles should tweak the bird beak on their logo to a duck bill.
I’m not saying Alonso isn’t a great prospect. He was the 46th pick in 2013 and won a couple of Rookie of the Week honors. But it’s difficult to fathom that the Eagles couldn’t get more for McCoy. It’s clear that Kelly doesn’t value running backs and that freeing up $9 million in salary-cap room is important.
Wait, what if the Eagles are making room for a run at Murray?
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.