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Byron Murphy Has Career Day Against Cowboys

Multiple defensive players earn high marks from Pro Football Focus

CB Byron Murphy celebrating with his teammates during the 38-10 win over the Cowboys.
CB Byron Murphy celebrating with his teammates during the 38-10 win over the Cowboys.

Cornerback Byron Murphy Jr. earned the best Pro Football Focus grade of his young career on Monday night against the Cowboys, finishing with an overall mark of 81.6.

Murphy was given an elite 90.4 grade against the run and an impressive 77.5 mark in coverage. He finished the contest with eight tackles and a fumble recovery, while also breaking up a couple of passes.

It was a tough rookie season for Murphy in 2019, as he played out of position at outside cornerback and regularly faced No. 1 receivers while still learning the NFL ropes. The experience was valuable, as the former second-round pick has improved across the board this season as he settles into the slot cornerback role.

Other Pro Football Focus observations from the blowout win over Dallas:

  • Budda Baker certainly passed the eye test, and PFF agreed that he had a whale of a game against the Cowboys. He finished with a team-best 92.6 overall grade, including 91.9 in coverage and 79.0 rushing the passer. It was the sixth-best defensive performance in the NFL this week. Baker's 80.0 grade on the season is tops on defense.
  • Left tackle D.J. Humphries followed up a dominant effort against the Jets with another sterling effort. Despite a back issue that left him questionable to play, Humphries logged an 86.9 overall grade, which was the best on offense. Humphries' run-blocking grade of 93.2 was second-highest in the NFL this week behind the Giants' Matt Peart.
  • Outside linebacker Haason Reddick did a great job in the Cardinals' first game without Chandler Jones, logging a pair of sacks and earning a 76.4 grade on 36 pass-rush snaps. He has a team-leading four sacks on the season, which few would have predicted back in training camp.
  • Rookie linebacker Isaiah Simmons played the most snaps of his career with 21, and made them count. He finished with the second-highest defensive grade on the team at 86.3. Simmons was in coverage on 15 snaps and allowed just one completion for six yards on a pair of targets.
  • Defensive tackle Jordan Phillips also picked up the slack, with an 81.9 overall grade. Phillips was stout against the run while adding a forced fumble and fumble recovery.
  • Wide receiver Christian Kirk had his highest-graded game of the season at 73.9, which was second-best on offense behind Humphries. He has trended up in all five games this season in both overall and receiving grades.