Two starters on the Eagles' defense in 2016 appear to be leaving, and both may be staying within the division.
The Dallas Cowboys announced on Saturday that they've agreed to terms on a three-year deal with cornerback Nolan Carroll. It shouldn't come as a big surprise because the Cowboys showed interest when Carroll was on the open market a year ago. Meanwhile, defensive tackle Bennie Logan is reportedly spending Saturday visiting with the Washington Redskins.
The immediate ramification of the Cowboys' move is that the Eagles will have two new starters at cornerback in 2017 with Carroll's departure and Leodis McKelvin's release earlier in the offseason. This is no clear-cut answer waiting in the wings for the Eagles. Second-year corner Jalen Mills was a key reserve as a rookie, while starting two games. Dwayne Gratz was signed late in the 2016 season, and has 25 career starts under his belt. Howie Roseman has noted that this is an extremely deep defensive back group in the draft.
The team's Ed Block Courage Award winner in 2016, Carroll started 25 games over the past two years. He was clearly the team's best cornerback in 2015 when he had 54 tackles and two interceptions before suffering a season-ending ankle injury in Detroit. This past season, quarterbacks were successful throwing at Carroll at a near 60-percent rate and he allowed four touchdowns, per STATS LLC.
A former third-round pick in 2013, Logan has been a dependable player with 51 career starts on his résumé. He was a nose tackle in the Eagles' 3-4 scheme from 2013-15, so he will appeal to both defensive fronts. Stout against the run, Logan has expressed interest in returning to the Eagles, but wanted to seek what he could get on the open market. The Eagles' moves in the first few days of free agency will make any addition tough at this juncture due to the salary cap unless other moves are made.