Weekend Reading: The Dion Jordan ‘What If’

Dion Jordan

During the offseason, there were plenty of rumors about the Eagles’ potential interest in acquiring Miami Dolphins edge defender Dion Jordan.

But Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald recently provided more details about the team’s interest:

Not long after Dennis Hickey became general manager of the Miami Dolphins he got a phone call from the Philadelphia Eagles. They were interested in making a trade for Dion Jordan.

The Dolphins were not interested.

It was a short conversation and that was that. Reports that the Dolphins were actively shopping Jordan (and others) were not correct. But one team — the Eagles — were indeed interested in the third overall selection of the 2013 draft.

And so they reached out to Miami.

Per Salguero, the Dolphins said thanks, but no thanks because of cap implications and what the Eagles were offering.

Jordan has recently been suspended for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

The Jordan trade provides an interesting “what if” scenario. The team says it doesn’t draft for need, but that’s only true to a point. Had they acquired Jordan, would they still have traded down and picked Marcus Smith II? The guess here is probably not.

Either way, Jordan (24) will go through treatment and try to get clean. It’s not out of the question that the Eagles would have interest in him down the road.


Neil Paine of FiveThirtyEight.com has an article up about how the Eagles are winning. He uses a metric created by Chase Stuart of Football Perspective called Game Scripts. The point is to measure how a game played out, not just the final score.

Against Indianapolis, the Eagles had a Game Script of -4.8, meaning they trailed by nearly five points at any given moment in the game. Needless to say, teams that post a Game Script of -4.8 tend to lose. Historically, only about 17 percent of teams with that particular Game Script win the game in question. But that’s nothing compared with Philadelphia’s game vs. Jacksonville — the Eagles won despite a -7.1 Game Script. Teams with such a negative Game Script tend to win only 9 percent of the time.

Adding those two winning percentages up, we’d expect the Eagles to have won just 0.26 games so far this year, based on the degree to which they’ve trailed and the amount of time they’ve spent trailing. That represents a huge difference from their actual win total (two). Through two games, it’s the biggest difference between actual wins and Game Script-predicted wins of any team since 1978 (when the league expanded to a 16-game schedule in 1978).

Based on the way the Eagles won their first two games, Paine is predicting that the team finishes with a 9-7 record.


Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times writes about what Darren Sproles was like when he was younger:

“He was 8 years old, and they had a mercy rule,” his father said. “If you got three or four touchdowns ahead, they called the game. We didn’t want to humiliate the kids. Every time Tank would touch the ball, he’d score. There were times when he didn’t even get tackled and they’d call the game.”

Opposing parents complained because Sproles’ games would be over before halftime. Their kids weren’t even getting a chance to play because the mercy rule kicked in so quickly. That lasted for two weeks. Finally, the coaches agreed to a new rule: Sproles could no longer receive pitches or run sweeps. Everything had to happen between the tackles.

“That’s how he became an in-between-the-tackles runner,” Larry said. “He had very strong legs, so he’d run over guys when they’d get near him, then he’d run away from you.”

Earlier this week, Chip Kelly called Sproles probably the most fit player on the Eagles.