(Editor's Note: With the offseason in full swing, the focus is now shifting to the 2016 season, where the Cowboys have one of the toughest schedules in the NFL. Not only do the Cowboys face five playoff teams but many of the top players in football. So the writers of DallasCowboys.com have ranked the Top 50 players expected to be on the field this season, including the Cowboys. Today, we continue the list with Eagles center Jason Kelce.)
Name: Jason Kelce
Height/Weight: 6-3 / 280
Experience: 5 seasons
2016 vs. Cowboys:Kelce and his Eagles come to town for an Oct. 30 meeting against the Cowboys at AT&T Stadium, before wrapping up the regular season with a Jan. 1 game at Lincoln Financial Field vs. Dallas.
What's the Deal: While he might not be the best NFL player in his family, rivaling his brother Travis, who is a Pro Bowl tight end with the Chiefs, this Kelce is one of the best at his position.
The 2014 Pro Bowler brings stability to the Eagles' offensive line, and has shown versatility over the years to play multiple positions.
With a new quarterback perhaps playing this year, the Eagles will rely on their offensive line and particularly the center positon to help Carson Wentz with his development.
Expect This: Against the Cowboys, Kelce will likely face a familiar foe in defensive tackle Cedric Thornton, a four-year pro who moved from the Eagles to Dallas in the offseason. The two players have likely squared off in many practices over the last few seasons.
Previous Meetings: In eight games played against the Cowboys, Kelce's teams have a 5-3 record, including last year's split with Dallas. He was part of the Week 2 loss to the Cowboys in Philly where the Eagles rushed for just seven yards, including only two by DeMarco Murray in his first game against his former team.
Bryan Broaddus Scouting Report:
- Undersized center that plays on his feet. Very competitive. Fights to sustain his blocks each and every snap. Doesn't give up on a play.
- Lacks the power to drive his man off the ball but maintains contact and plays with leverage. Would not call him a rough player – very technique sound with his angles.
- Outstanding football intelligence and quickness.
- Very light on his feet. Can recover if the defender adjusts on him. Aware to help on the games inside. Rare to see him out of position on twist stunts. Not fooled. Can get to the 2nd level.
- Understands how to play with leverage. Can reach a one or three technique with ease. Can get outside on the screen. Position blocker. Hands and feet work very well together. Holds more than plays with power. Has a great deal of range as a blocker. Used on the pull. Effective on the edge.
- There are snaps where his lack of strength shows as a blocker. Has a hard time sitting down on his man. Plays with stiffness in his lower body. Has to be careful not to let his head get down when he blocks. Has a hard time with power right on his nose. Has to play with a wide base to hold rusher off. Can be driven back in the pocket. Bull rush gives him problems.
Shows the ability to block two defenders at once. Is always working to finish. Not a nasty or mean player – very consistent in his effort and approach. Best in a scheme where he can play on the edge.