Media rights summary:
  • Image trent_cole_skins645-usp-111713.jpg must be uploaded to the network.

Syndication Flag: FALSE
Linking Flag: FALSE
Content is published: TRUE
Original Source is empty: TRUE
Article may be syndicated: No
Article may be linked: No
4-3 to 3-4 for Trent Cole? He's getting there
Share This Post

For Trent Cole, it was quality over quantity.

In the Eagles' 24-16 victory over the Redskins on Sunday, Cole was credited with three tackles.

Eight Eagles had more. But few Eagle defenders made the same impact as Cole.

Each of Cole's tackles were solo.

Each of Cole's tackles were for a loss of yardage.

And two of the three tackles were sacks.

One of the primary storylines of the offseason concerned if and how well Cole would be able to transition from being a 4-3 defensive end to a 3-4 outside linebacker.

The question remains unanswered, but if Sunday is any indication, progress has been made.

Cole entered the game with only one sack this season, the lowest 10-game total of his career. Sunday marked his first multi-sack game since Dec. 11, 2011 at Miami.

Asked about his performance, Cole chose not to talk about himself. He said it was "an all-around great game" and the Eagles "played as a team" and sacks are "going to come" and he's "just glad to see we're all on the right track and things are coming together well."

That they are.

In the seven games following the debacle in Denver, the Eagles have held opponents to 17.4 points per game. They're the only NFL team to have held its opponent to 21 or less in its last seven games. (The Chiefs had their nine-game streak broken Sunday night -- in Denver, of course.)

"In the NFL, if you make it 17 or in the teens, you're going to be OK," defensive coordinator Bill Davis said.

Back to the 31-year-old Cole, who with 74 sacks in his nine seasons is just two behind Clyde Simmons for second place in franchise history.

"Trent's been great all year," fellow linebacker Connor Barwin said. "If you watch the film, it's the same Trent. I mean obviously sometimes he's in a little different position than you guys are used to seeing. He sets the edge. He continues to dominate in the run game, and he gets some pressure. I was really happy to see that pressure pay off and get the sacks this week."

But there's more to defense than sacks.

“I know everybody is tracking Trent with his number of sacks, but it’s not how we track it," Davis said. "We know all season that Trent has had that consistent pressure and put stress on the quarterback and (offensive) tackles he’s going against. It’s nice to see him get rewarded with the final sacks, but that’s not how we judge him. This game doesn’t change how we look at Trent just because he had two sacks. We are very happy with Trent.”