Eagles’ Jenkins: Cowboys players are why defense is bad

Former Saint Malcolm Jenkins says defensive coordinator Rob Ryan wasn't the problem in Dallas.

Mark L. Baer/Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Malcolm Jenkins has not yet played a game in the NFC East. The veteran safety signed a three-year, $16.25 million deal with the Philadelphia Eagles last month.

But he isn’t wasting any time taking shots at his new NFC East rivals, particularly the Dallas Cowboys.

During a Monday night appearance on NFL Network, the former New Orleans Saint didn’t seem concerned with the Cowboys defense improving upon its historically bad season a year ago.

"A couple years ago, their scapegoat was Rob Ryan, and they got rid of him, and he was the cause of all their problems," Jenkins said, according to Philly.com Eagles writer Jimmy Kempski. "He went to New Orleans and took the worst defense in NFL history and turned them into a top 5 defense. So he couldn’t have been the problem."

Jenkins, the 14th overall pick in 2010, mentioned how the losses of standout defensive linemen DeMarcus Ware and Jason Hatcher aren’t going to help a defense that ranked last in the league. After all, he watched his Saints offensive teammates torch the Cowboys defense for an NFL record 40 first downs during a 49-17 victory in November.

"I had the best seat in the house when I watched the Saints get 40 first downs in one game. Forty. In one game," Jenkins said. "So it must be the players."

And adding 2012 Pro Bowl defensive tackle Henry Melton isn’t doing much to change Jenkins’ mind.

"The offseason comes and you don’t do anything in free agency to get any big name players to come help you out," he said, "so I really don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel for this defense in improving when you got the same guys and the same coaches."

Jenkins started every game he played over the last four seasons in New Orleans. In five years, he has six interceptions and 38 pass deflections. Jenkins, 26, recorded a career-high 94 tackles in 2012.