Irvin: Murray Makes Eagles Team To Beat In NFC East

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Irvin isn’t buying the plug-and-play theory. Good offensive line or no, he feels that DeMarco Murray was critical to Dallas’ attack, and believes his decision to sign with the Eagles has altered the NFC East hierarchy.

“Philadelphia upgraded immensely in [the running back] department,” Irvin said during an appearance on 97.5 the Fanatic Wednesday. “LeSean McCoy is a bad man. He’s a great player and he beats defenses; he shakes you off, he fakes you out, he runs around you, he gets to the end, to the corner, everything.

“I call LeSean McCoy a guy that beats defenses; I call DeMarco Murray a defense-beater. That’s the difference. He ain’t running around nobody. He’s running through you, and now you’ve got all these defensive backs on the football field trying to tackle a defense-beater, not a guy that beats defenses.”

Defenses can get worn down trying to stop a physical, downhill runner, Irvin says, “and when that happens, you have to put everybody at the line of scrimmage to stop DeMarco, and now your passing game can do whatever it wills. All 31 teams have to play chess while the Philadelphia Eagles get to play checkers.”

The Cowboys, in turn, will go back to playing chess and relying more heavily on Tony Romo and the passing game.

The dynamics have shifted for both offenses, Irvin believes, to the point that he now considers the Eagles the team to beat in the division.

“Philly is the favorite in the NFC East,” he said. “I have to be able to separate my head from my heart. You can’t convince me that you can just stick anybody back there. And if they had drafted a Melvin Gordon or a Todd Gurley, then wait a minute, this team may be something.

“But right now, I see Philly and then Dallas in the NFC East.”