Inside the Numbers: No Ramp Up Period for Darby, Brilliant Season Continues for Robinson
(973espn.com) — If you thought Jim Schwartz was going to take it easy on Ronald Darby, think again.
The Eagles' defensive coordinator had his most talented cornerback on the field for the first time since Darby dislocated his ankle 18 plays into the season opener at Washington and he used him.
The Florida State product, who made news earlier in the say by defending his friend and former college teammate Jameis Winston from the sexual assault allegations of an Uber driver, was one of three Philadelphia defenders who were on the field for all 63 snaps in the team's 37-9 blowout win in Dallas.
There was a slight tweak when it came to the rotation at cornerback, a nod to the performance of emerging second-year player Jalen Mills, who has played very well as the team's CB1 in Darby's absence. Before the injury Darby was the team's left corner -- typically where the top options lines up because NFL quarterbacks are predominantly right-handed -- while Mills was the RC.
Against the Cowboys, Mills was on the left side for 60 of his 63 reps while Darby stayed on the right side for 56 of his 63 snaps.
As far as the domino effect, Patrick Robinson returned to his role as the slot corner and continued to play very well, grading out with a game-high 91.2 by ProFootballFocus.com, after allowing three receptions on seven targets for just 16 yards in coverage with only one of those yards coming after the catch. That's called lockdown coverage.
Robinson also recorded two pass breakups against the Cowboys and now has eight PBUs in 55 targets on the season. Overall, Robinson has allowed just 54.5 percent of the passes thrown in his direction to be completed, a great number in today's spread, dink-and-dunk world.
Rookie Rasul Douglas, meanwhile, was the odd man out of the mix. In Darby's absence, the third-round pick was forced into significant action but did not see even one defensive snap in Dallas.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen