Originally written on Eagledelphia  |  Last updated 10/23/13
Buoyed by improved secondary play and a stronger grasp of the scheme, the Eagles defense has shown signs of growth in recent weeks. Photo Courtesy: TheState.com Just shy of four weeks ago the Philadelphia Eagles defense was shredded by Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos to the tune of 52 points, 472 yards and 35 first downs.  Who'd have thought that in less than a month it would be that same defense that kept the Eagles in a game that had the offense been able to establish any semblence of momentum should have kept their unbeaten division record intact.  The Dallas Cowboys entered Sunday's game at Lincoln Financial Field as the second highest scoring team in the league and the Eagles held them to just 17 points - 13 below their average of 30 per game - and in the process intercepted Tony Romo twice while holding him to his season low completion percentage of 59.6. The Eagles' opponent passer rating, which was 107.2 in the first four games, is 69.1 in the last three. They have held their last three opponents to 3.4 yards per carry. Signs of growth indeed for a unit that had been much maligned and deservedly so after opponents averaged 28 points per game following week four's dismantling at the hands of the Broncos.  "All of it is a growth that is happening," defensive coordinator Bill Davis said yesterday. "Knowing what the strengths and weaknesses of the individual players are now that we have almost half a season under our belt. So that's growing. "More importantly, we as a staff see the players understanding the concepts of the coverage, the techniques within the coverage, and how they work with the concept. All of that is growing." The improvement has helped Davis' unit rise from 31st in the league in points allowed per game to a middle of the road 13th.  While still nowhere near where Davis and company would prefer to be after seven weeks, it is an admirable three week stretch for a team that struggled out of the gate and still is in the midst of installing a new system with a new coaching staff this season. “We’re still a work in progress," cornerback Cary Williams said Sunday. "We lost the game today. Even though the offense scored three points, it’s our job to keep those guys to a goose egg, and we weren’t able to do that. Our good wasn’t good enough." There are still obvious areas that need improvement.  Consistency out of the secondary is just now being seen thanks to strong play in recent weeks from the likes of Bradley Fletcher and improvement from Nate Allen. But perhaps the most glaring weakness has been a pass rush that has struggled to get it's footing through nearly the first half of this season. But, it's certainly hard to ignore the progress made since Davis asked for trust following the Denver game.  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.  Buy Eagles Tickets Here      
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