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Inside Or Outside, DRC Just Wants To Play

Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie had started 41 consecutive games prior becoming an Eagle just before the start of the 2011 season. He has started just two games as an Eagle, both in place of injured corner Asante Samuel, including in last week's win over Dallas, and may make his third if Samuel is again unable to play this Sunday because of a hamstring injury.

In late July, Rodgers-Cromartie was traded to Philadelphia from Arizona, along with a 2012 second-round selection, in exchange for quarterback Kevin Kolb. Set to start alongside Asante Samuel, Rodgers-Cromartie was excited to make an impact as a starting corner on a championship-caliber team. That all changed when the Eagles signed the premier free agent of the 2011 class, Nnamdi Asomugha, just two days after trading for Rodgers-Cromartie.

Now sitting behind two perennial All-Pros in Samuel and Asomugha, Rodgers-Cromartie was moved inside in the nickel alignment, a position he had never played extensively before. The transition was a difficult one, but one that the four-year veteran handled admirably.

"It's tough not being a starter," he said. "For a long time I just had to keep my head down and keep grinding; that's how I've always been. I'm not going to complain, I'm not going to say too much, I'm just going to keep working hard.

"You can put me anywhere as long as it's on that field. It doesn't matter to me, inside, outside, I just want to play."

Sunday against the Cowboys, he was targeted just three times according to Pro Football Focus, allowing two catches for 32 yards and largely shutting down his side of the field. He will hope to have similar success when the Redskins come to town for the regular-season finale.

Even though this is a chance for the 6-2 corner to show what he can do as a starter and perhaps earn himself more playing time on the outside next season, Rodgers-Cromartie is putting all his attention on the task at hand this week and not looking into the future.

"This game is just like any other. I just want to go out and play my best," he noted.

Whether he's mindful of it or not when he steps out on the field Sunday, everybody is being evaluated this weekend to see how they can contribute next year. With an impressive performance, Rodgers-Cromartie could solidify a more expansive role in the outside position for himself in 2012.

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