Over the course of the next two weeks we will examine each of the Philadelphia Eagles 2013 free-agent signings and off-season additions and look at how they contributed to this year's NFC East championship team both on and off the field.
P Donnie Jones
Donnie Jones simply delivered for the Eagles this season.
Week in and week out, the Eagles were able to flip the field on opponents because of the strong punting by free agent pickup and former Houston Texan Donnie Jones.
In the regular season finale in Dallas, with the game hanging in the balance and momentum slowly shifting in the Cowboys favor, Jones drove the final nail in the coffin with a 56-yard punt. Two plays later Brandon Boykin intercepted Kyle Orton making Chip Kelly the first Eagles head coach to win a division championship in his rookie season.
It was like that all season for Jones and the Eagles.
Jones averaged a franchise record 44.9 yards per punt and punted the ball 82 times this season for a total of 3,681. Perhaps most impressive about Jones' season was the fact that he landed 40.2 percent of those punts inside the 20-yard line.
“I think Donnie’s really underrated, and the thing about this team is, it is a team, and that victory yesterday, I think kind of amplified it,” Kelly said the day after the Eagles topped the Cowboys.
“It was offense, defense and special teams and that punt was huge for us. … Donnie all year long has just ‑‑ he's been outstanding and I don't know why, but he doesn't get enough credit.”
In 2013 Jones ranked seventh in the NFL in net average and had just five touchbacks, and did not have one of his 20 punts result in a touchback in the Eagles final nine games this season.
Signing Grade: A+
It's not often that a punter has the kind of game-changing impact that Jones did time and time again in 2013. Despite his age, 33, Jones has plenty of leg left in him and while he is scheduled to be an unrestricted free-agent, the front office would be wise to get a deal done immediately. It's a crime that Jones was neither an All-Pro or Pro Bowler after the campaign he just turned in.
2013 Free Agency Review
Matt Lombardo is the Editor-In-Chief of Eagledelphia and also an on-air personality on 97.5 FM The Fanatic in Philadelphia. Join the conversation and follow Matt on Twitter.