In the Cowboys game before the bye week, Dallas Goedert returned from injury to catch one pass for 15 yards. Granted, it was a big catch.
But that’s not exactly a great stat line.
So why then did Goedert on Thursday say he thought he played a “really good game” against the Cowboys?
Because for the Eagles’ third-year tight end, it’s not all about the stat sheet. And in that game, even after missing a month, he still showed off his elite blocking skills.
“I think I did a great job last week blocking,” Goedert said. “I definitely think it's a strength of mine and I think it can help this offense a lot in multiple different ways, whether it's the run, play-action and stuff like that. I think it can make a big impact.”
That’s the thing that makes Goedert so unique. There aren’t very many tight ends in the world who can go off for 100 yards receiving like Goedert did in the season opener and then put on the type of blocking clinic he did a couple weeks ago against the Cowboys.
Just watch what Goedert does to defensive end Randy Gregory on this play. He gets such a push on Gregory that he sends him into the lap of Leighton Vander Esch as Boston Scott picks up a big gain.
That play worked so well the Eagles went back to it later in the game and Goedert had an even more impressive play.
At 6-5, 256 pounds, Goedert is able to block Gregory with such force that he actually ends up with a pancake here. This play wasn’t a big gainer but that’s just because the other defender didn’t bite on the motion. Goedert’s blocking was great.
And it was also great on this play where he completely wiped his man out of the shot:
And on this play where he was 1-on-1 against two-time Pro Bowler DeMarcus Lawrence:
“Yeah, he’s special at the point of attack,” Eagles tight ends coach Justin Peelle said. “He does a really nice job. Natural strength, good hands, good demeanor. He really likes to get after it a little bit. It was fun to see him do a couple of those things the other night.”
When Goedert entered the league in 2018, he was already billed a true dual-threat tight end with real blocking skills. But he has taken that to a new level since he’s been in the NFL.
Some of that was out of necessity.
“When I first got to the league, obviously Zach (Ertz) was here, so blocking was my way onto the field,” he said. “I’ve just been able to get better and better at it, learn little things. But I take a lot of pride in it. I like to think I'm one of the people in the trenches, you know? I get to hang out with the O-line, I get to hang out with the wide receivers. I get the best of both worlds.”
After Goedert’s rookie season, the Eagles realized they needed to get him on the field more and in 2019 they led the NFL in 12 personnel usage. They had issues at wide receiver but they also needed to find ways to get Goedert on the field.
But for at least the next few weeks, Goedert will be the Eagles’ top tight end as Zach Ertz deals with an ankle injury of his own. It’ll be a chance for Goedert to really prove that he’s a top tight end in the league and that he can produce without Ertz getting a ton of attention.
Even against the Cowboys, Goedert said he felt the defense playing him a little bit different.
After this season, Ertz and Goedert will both have one season left under contract and the Eagles will have a decision to make about their future at the position. Goedert can help make that decision easier if he plays at a high level the rest of 2020.
Of course, Ertz has been one of the most productive receiving tight ends in NFL history so it would probably be unfair to expect Goedert to ever live up to that standard. But Goedert does other things better.
Like we saw a couple weeks ago, even when Goedert isn’t catching the football, he can have a huge impact.
“He definitely is strong,” Brandon Graham said. “When we go against each other it's always a battle. I don't win every time but I do know he's giving a little more in the game because some of those his I'm like 'whoa OK, Goedert,' I didn't know he had it in him, but I know at this point once he got healthy he had it in him because he's shown previous years, but now, I'm seeing him. I know what the game is slowing down for him and he's out there showing what he can really do."
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