Philadelphia Eagles News

Fokou Could Be In Line For First Start

With starting strongside linebacker Chris Gocong nursing quad and hamstring injuries, seventh-round pick Moise Fokou is in line for his first NFL start Sunday night against the Cowboys.

Fokou acknowledges that Dallas' multi-dimensional offense will likely test him early and often, but the rookie says he's ready for the challenge.

"They'll say 'this is a rookie, this a young guy, let's see what he has,'" said Fokou. "I'm up to that challenge. They're going to find out on Sunday.

"I've been studying this defense and learning what I have to do week in and week out. I feel pretty comfortable with the defense. There's just little things that I haven't seen yet, that probably Chris has seen, that I need to work on, pretty much detail my work."

The 6-1, 233-pound Fokou figures to see plenty of tight end Jason Witten as well as its talented backfield trio of bruiser Marion Barber, scatback Felix Jones and Tashard Choice. As a team, Dallas is averaging 147.6 yards per game on the ground (5.4 yards per carry).

One thing is certain, Fokou will have to study a little harder this week.

"Going into this week, our coaching staff has been trying to simplify things and kind of get to the meat of what they do," Fokou said.

Pass or run, Fokou believes he's capable of handling both.

"I'd say I'm probably equally as good in both, but I do like to contest the run a little bit more."

Fokou played about 11 or 12 snaps last Sunday in relief of Gocong and recorded three tackles.

"You never want to go in there because a guy is hurt. You want to go in there because you earned the spot," Fokou said. "But at the same time, I'm a backup and that's what I'm here for."

Defensive coordinator Sean McDermott says the rookie is ready to step in if needed.

"Moise is one of the first in and last to leave," McDermott said. "He's done a heck of a job preparing himself for this challenge."

Fokou has seen action in all seven games this season, playing mostly on special teams. He ranks third in both special teams tackles (10) and special teams production points (140). Against the Giants, he recovered a Domenik Hixon fumble which the team converted into a field goal.

-- Posted by Bob Kent, 10:26 a.m., November 6

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