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The Eagles are sending a fifth player to the Pro Bowl

Philadelphia’s third all-star replacement.

Philadelphia Eagles v New York Jets Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images

Josh Sweat will be joining Jason Kelce, Darius Slay, Javon Hargrave, and Jake Elliott in representing the Philadelphia Eagles in this year’s Pro Bowl.

Sweat was officially named as a replacement with Nick Bosa dropping out due to injury.

First of all, it’s good to see that Sweat is well enough to attend after going through a “life-threatening situation” that caused him to miss the Eagles’ playoff game last month.

Unlike the Eagles’ other Pro Bowl attendees, though, one could argue this is a bit of a generous inclusion. There are 12 NFC edge rushers who had more sacks than Sweat in 2021. Pro Football Focus graded Sweat as their 24th-ranked edge defender and he finished 42nd in their Pass Rushing Productivity metric.

This isn’t to suggest Sweat is a bad player. He was Philly’s best edge rusher last season (though he didn’t have the stiffest competition) and he set career highs in sacks (7.5), total tackles (46), and quarterback hits (13).

One could parse through Sweat’s 2021 stats and point out that he had 0.5 sacks in games against playoff teams (49ers, Cowboys, Chiefs, Buccaneers, Raiders) and near-playoff teams (Saints, Chargers). Six of his sacks came in games against the Lions, Jets, Giants, and Washington. And NYG and WFT were missing their starting right tackles in those matchups.

Sweat has undoubtedly exceeded expectations as a fourth-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Both he and the Eagles should be commended for that much. But more should be expected of Sweat now that he’s no longer playing on that rookie contract and is instead the NFL’s 22nd-highest paid edge rusher on an annual basis.

Sweat is a good starter for the Eagles. It would be nice to see him make the leap to becoming a truly great one.

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