Rookie linebacker Moise Fokou will experience something this Sunday that he's never dealt with before as a professional football player. For the first time in his NFL career, he will play defense against a team for the second time.
Fokou, who has taken over as the SAM linebacker in the base defense, made the first start of his NFL career in the week 9 matchup between the Eagles and Cowboys at Lincoln Financial Field. Playing for an injured Chris Gocong, Fokou recorded one tackle on defense in the Eagles' 20-16 loss on November 8.
This Sunday, Fokou will again be one of several Eagles charged with covering the Cowboys' productive tight end Jason Witten, who has 88 catches on the season.
"With every game I'm feeling more and more comfortable," Fokou said. "In this defense, whatever role I have on this team I'll gladly take with a lot of confidence and try to do my best.
The first-year University of Maryland product regained the first-string spot at strongside linebacker two weeks ago against the San Francisco 49ers, but only played sparingly because the Eagles played almost exclusively nickel on defense. Last week against the Broncos though, Fokou played most of the game and said he felt more productive than he's felt as a pro.
"This is football, you can always do better," he said. "I thought I had some good points in the game but also things that I can always improve on in terms of the little things, little technique things."
What Fokou remembers most about his first start against the Cowboys is the preparation he put in.
"I think it's going to be interesting because, first of all, I spent a lot of time studying, really getting prepared for that week when I started," he said. "Going against them again, you have to fine-tune what it is that you know about them and know how to attack their weaknesses. It's going to be a lot of fun going back against the Dallas Cowboys.
"The first time, I didn't really know what to expect. It was my first time starting and I was very excited and nervous, but now I've gotten more comfortable and I know my opponent. I think I'm going to be more relaxed and more effective."
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 7:30 a.m., December 30