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Study: Eagles must tackle cornerback problem

When the Eagles traded for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and signed Nnamdi Asomugha last summer, it appeared to be a coup that would give the team the best cornerback rotation in football.

Rodgers-Cromartie was a Pro Bowl pick with the Cardinals in 2009. Asomugha had earned a reputation as one of the best cover men in the NFL, racking up three Pro Bowl selections and four All-Pro nods. The Eagles already had four-time Pro Bowl cornerback Asante Samuel in-house.

They seemed to be loaded at the position.

There was one glaring problem, however. None of those players could tackle, according to a study by examining the best and worst tackling cornerbacks last season.

Asomugha missed 12 of his 52 tackle attempts in 2011, a percentage that ranked him 100th out of 101 cornerbacks. He missed a tackle every 4.3 attempts, a number "bested" only by the Redskins' Kevin Barnes (3.9).

Rogers-Cromartie wasn't much better, ranking 98th on the list. He had seven misses in 32 attempts, missing a tackle every 4.6 attempts. Even Samuel could be found at the bottom of this list, ranking 91st with a 5.3 tackle efficiency.

Making matters worse, the Eagles allowed Dimitri Patterson -- ranked as the fourth-best tackler on this list -- to leave for the Browns after the 2010 season. Patterson played two years in Philadelphia, starting nine games in 2010.

Plenty of factors went into the failure of the "Dream Team," but the collective whiffing of its vaunted secondary obviously played a role.

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