Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham have been the hear and soul of the Eagles defensive line for a long time.

The other half of the front four in Derek Barnett and Malik Jackson however, are key to a win over Washington on Sunday.

Both Barnett and Jackson are hoping for bounce back seasons. Jackson is looking to regain his 2017 form where he had 8 sacks.

Barnett was having a breakout second season in 2018 until a shoulder injury forced him onto the injured reserve list after seven weeks.

In the final month before his season-ending injury, the Tennessee product had 2.5 sacks, 8 quarterback hits, and 4 tackles for a loss.

 

The season opener against Washington represents an excellent opportunity for the two to start those bounce back seasons immediately.

While Redskins veteran LT Trent Williams continues his holdout, Washington plans to start 36-year old Donald Penn in Williams' spot.

Penn was signed in late July after being a free agent throughout the spring and summer.

Jay Gruden's offensive line will also feature Ereck Flowers at left guard. You might remember that name.

Flowers was the 9th overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft by the New York Giants. He has become one of the biggest tackle busts you can find in NFL history.

Now, he has made the move inside where he will start next to Penn.

Barnett and Jackson will likely have the matchup against the two if Cox and Graham line up against the right side of the offensive line as they have in the past.

Barnett vs Penn and Jackson vs Flowers could be mismatches the Eagles take advantage of all game.

If they can consistently get to Case Keenum, it is hard to see Washington keeping pace with the Eagles offense.

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