Dallas Goedert isn’t the Philadelphia Eagles’ most underrated player, is he?
As long as NFL football is played (and we hope that’s forever and definitely in 2020), teams and players will always drift into the category of underrated and overrated. No one knows that better than Philadelphia Eagles fans. How else does a team wind up winning a Super Bowl after being labeled as an underdog in all three playoff games?
Come on. You know you’ve still got a dog mask sitting around somewhere.
Truthfully, it’s hard not to cheer for the guys in midnight green and not get swept up in the whole “us against the world” mentality that comes from living in the “City of Brotherly Love” or being a “Birds” fan taking up residence anywhere else in the country. Seriously, why else would a fictional character, “Rocky”, have a statue? The underdog label is one the Philadelphian, Eagles star, or Eagles fan wears proudly
A Philadelphia Eagles star gets a designation no one wants. He just doesn’t deserve it.
As the sands of the hourglass ran out on the month of June, one of Sports Illustrated’s best writers, Connor Orr, decided to type up an expose on every NFC Team’s Most Underrated Player. Philly’s winner of this less than spectacular designation was their third-year tight end, Dallas Goedert. Here’s a quote.
"The Eagles are .25 yards per rush better when Goedert is on the field blocking and .13 yards better per passing play. NFL’s GSIS stats database lists all this minutiae and while it doesn’t seem significant, it is when the picture is broadened. The Eagles gained almost 100 more rushing yards in a season with Goedert. Add in that he caught 58 balls in 2019 and is a major threat in the red zone. Assuming Goedert continues to develop as a wide receiver, the Eagles may have something incredibly dangerous on their hands."
There’s been no acceptance speech yet, so we don’t know how he feels about it. Hey, being underrated isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes, that fires guys up. That’s how many of the NFL stars got to the league in the first place.
There’s just one thing. Goedert isn’t the Eagles’ most underrated player. Everyone knows how good he is. Goedert is one of the NFL’s ten best tight ends. If we’re talking about the Eagles’ most underrated player, that distinction belongs to one man and one man alone, Brandon Graham. Can you believe this guy has never been voted to a Pro Bowl?
At this point, you almost have to believe that, unless he breaks the NFL single-season sack record, he’s never going to be voted in. Come on. You know those Pro Bowl ballots are popularity contests and about name recognition anyway. We all love Fletcher Cox, but even as Eagles fans, you have to admit that last Pro Bowl nod for “91” was questionable.
“Fletch” racked up 40 total tackles and 3.5 sacks in 2019. Graham tallied 50 tackles and 8.5 sacks, including a three-sack performance in Week 5 versus the New York Jets. Did Graham get a defensive player of the week award for that? Nope. Was Graham voted to the Pro Bowl after another great season? Of course not.
Brandon Graham is a shoo-in for the Eagles Hall of Fame, but Canton is another story. After 143 games with 86 starts, 150 games with 92 starting appearances if you include the playoffs, “B.G.” has 380 total tackles, seven pass breakups, 19 forced fumbles, and 54.5 sacks on his resume, including the most famous strip-sack in NFL history.
For Eagles fans, his greatness was solidified a long time ago. For everyone else, any credit he’s given is met with debate. It’s sad in a way, but he’s an Eagle so there’s no surprise. Sometimes, that’s just how it works. Sometimes, we don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone.