His is a story of perseverance and responsibility, of chasing a dream and not stopping. Defensive end Cameron Malveaux has been in the NFL since 2017, when he played in four games with Miami and registered a quarterback sack and three tackles for loss in 107 defensive snaps. Now, Malveaux is seeing meaningful reps for the Eagles at a time of need for the position and is bringing energy and production. The journey he's taken from Miami to Philadelphia is one to note for a man with a family and a goal.
And he wasn't about to let a series of moves – Malveaux spent time with six teams before becoming an Eagle in 2021 – stop his desire.
"I think the main thing is just trying to stay resilient," said Malveaux, signed to the Eagles' practice squad on September 29 and elevated to the gameday roster to play 39 snaps against the Giants and 5 last Sunday at Washington. "I've had to stay at a lot of practices and do a lot of extra work when I'm not going to play, so I had to stay mentally tough from that standpoint. I'm thankful for that journey because it made me tough. It made me very mentally strong to deal with a lot of things.
"I'm thankful for that process. It made me who I am. I'm just a hard worker. Whenever I'm tunnel-visioned and focused on something, I never give up on it."
Anyone who says that Saturday night's game against Dallas is "meaningless" because it doesn't drastically alter anything in terms of the postseason for either team hasn't considered the likes of Malveaux and every single player who steps on the field in prime time in Week 18. These 60 minutes are vital for every player who sees action. And while we don't yet know how Head Coach Nick Sirianni is going to play it as far as his starters, the likes of Malveaux are cherishing the opportunity.
Every rep means something.
Malveaux, jersey No. 59, is a 6-foot-6, 265-pound end who calls himself the "craziest underdog story ever." He played collegiately at Houston and played in nine games over two seasons (2017-18) with Miami, then played 42 snaps with Arizona in 2018. Since then, Malveaux has been waiting for that big chance. He played 18 snaps spread over two games in Cleveland last year and then did everything he could do to stay sharp – extra reps on the practice field, scout-team work, anything the coaches needed.
The Eagles elevated Malveaux to the active roster as a COVID-19 replacement and there he was, on the field against the Giants in a critical game the Eagles needed late in the season. Every chance he gets, says Malveaux, is one that can positively impact his career.
"He has a lot of the skill sets we're looking for in a defensive lineman, and what he showed on the practice squad and scout teams was he was doing a good job with effort and technique and motor, and we felt really good about him going in the game (against the Giants) and playing solid for us, and that's what he did," Defensive Coordinator Jonathan Gannon said. "So excited about him because he's such a good worker. It's nice to see when a guy works and works and keeps working that he got some production and got in the game and did a good job for us."
Saturday night means more chances to impress for every player who steps on the field. The fluidity of NFL rosters has given players like Malveaux the opportunity to make a play and advance his career. He has a dream and Malveaux won't stop until he's entrenched in the NFL.
"I feel like there's nothing that I can't do now," Malveaux said. "I'm thankful for everything and I'm going to continue to work hard and do everything I can to keep elevating myself. I feel like the Eagles have given me my shot. I feel like the Eagles are a great organization to keep that train going for me."