"It's good to have a guy you can talk to. Especially about how they're feeling about how they're going to call the game. You can use that to your advantage. Sometimes it's tough when the refs don't necessarily speak to you or tell you what's going on or what you did wrong or what they felt was a negative play on your part."
Parry's crew let the Eagles' corners play last week. And it was a big reason why the defense was able to hold Dallas to three points in the first half and quarterback Tony Romo to a season-low completion percentage.
Williams and the Eagles' other two corners, Bradley Fletcher and Brandon Boykin, were able to mix it up with the Cowboys' big-and-tall-shop wide receivers. Inside linebacker DeMeco Ryans was allowed the freedom to knock receivers off their routes as they came across the middle even if the contact occasionally was beyond the allowable 5-yard limit.
"For the most part," Boykin said, "they let us be physical. That's what you want to be able to do. Get your hands on guys and be physical with them. Because that's what they do to us.
"I like it when they keep it fair. As long as we're not preventing them from getting out of their breaks or whatnot, I think it's fair."
The Eagles didn't get a total free pass. Williams and Boykin each were called for an illegal-contact penalty in the game. And Fletcher was flagged for interfering with Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant in the end zone on a third-down play in the third quarter that set up Dallas' first touchdown.
But if the corners could have every game called as liberally as last week's, they'd be ecstatic. It evened the playing field a little in a league that heavily favors the offense.
"Sometimes we get the calls and sometimes we don't," Williams said. "You try to complain about it. But when you've got receivers out there constantly asking for something, it makes [the officials'] job a little harder. They have to appease some of those players, especially if they have a bigger name. I hate to say it, but that's the reality of the situation.
"It's more of an offensive-driven league. Wide receivers being able to touch you further than 5 yards downfield. Push you a little bit. That little slight push slows you down and alters your momentum and helps them catch the ball. Those things never get called."
Neither Williams nor Fletcher is a shutdown corner who can rely on speed to stay with receivers. They are tall corners with long arms who need to be able to mix it up.
Defensive coordinator Bill Davis said it's important to find out early in the game how much contact the zebras are going to allow.
"We go into every game telling them that in the first quarter we'll know how the officials are going to call it," he said. "If they're letting you get away with more, then play physical. If they're not, you have to back off.
"You have to understand how they're calling the game and play the techniques accordingly. So absolutely, it helps us. Everybody wants to be more physical. The rules have taken that away from us, so it's nice when we can play a little bit."
Keeping d-line fresh
The Eagles' defense has been on the field an NFL-high 72.7 plays per game in the first 7 weeks. Given the nature of Chip Kelly's up-tempo (they're averaging a play every 22.6 seconds), score-fast (12 of their 18 touchdown drives have been five plays or fewer) offense, that probably isn't going to change a lot in the next 2 months, even if Bill Davis' unit continues to improve.
To keep their defensive linemen fresh, Davis and defensive-line coach Jerry Azzinaro have been rotating six players up front - Fletcher Cox, Cedric Thornton, Isaac Sopoaga, Bennie Logan, Clifton Geathers and Vinny Curry.
All but Curry, who is used mainly as a pass-rush specialist, have logged at least 100 snaps already, and Curry, who was inactive for the first two games, has 90 after playing a season-high 26 snaps last week against the Cowboys.
"I've been in this system a long time with Chip," said Azzinaro, who was Kelly's defensive-line coach at Oregon. "When you look at play total, you say, 'We know there are going to be [high] play totals because our offense is going to score really fast. So how do we divide those play totals up among defensive linemen in the NFL?' When you're only carrying six or seven guys, you've got to divide that up and figure out a way to keep guys fresh and healthy.
"I think that's a big reason why our injury list [on the line] is down. I think that's pretty much the way our operation has gone the last 4 or 5 years. When defensive linemen get tired, they get fatigued. When they get tired and fatigued, they get injured. They're not as fast. Their lower extremities get hurt. Their necks and shoulders get hurt. If you have a chance to keep them fresh, you have a chance [to keep them healthy]."
The Eagles have not had a defensive lineman miss a game due to injury yet this season. There rarely has been one on the injury report.
The Eagles have lined up in both three- and four-man fronts this season, moving their linemen all around. Cox has lined up at both sides in a three-man front. He has played the three-technique in a four-man front. He has lined up on the nose.
Logan, the rookie third-round pick, has played the nose and five-technique in a three-man front and tackle in four-man fronts. Same with Thornton and Geathers.
"That's the system Chip and Billy want," Azzinaro said. "They want versatile athletes. Athletes that are good learners and have a good work ethic. Athletes that can do a lot of jobs.
"When you find those kind of guys, it benefits you in the long run. You don't have to pigeonhole them into one job description. Those guys have not only been able to do the techniques, but also learn what those techniques are about."
Figuring the Eagles
* Eagles opponents have converted 23.3 percent of their third downs of 10 yards or more. The Chiefs, who lead the league in that category, have only allowed opponents to convert 5.7 percent of their third-and-10s or more.
* Chip Kelly's up-tempo offense has averaged a play every 22.6 seconds this season. The only team with a faster tempo is the 0-7 Jaguars, who are averaging a play every 21.7 seconds.
* The Eagles are fourth in the league in plays per game. They're averaging 69.1 per game. The Broncos are first at 71.6, followed by the Texans and Patriots (71.4) and Bills (71.1). During his six seasons as head coach (2009-12) and offensive coordinator (2007-08) at Oregon, the Ducks' offense averaged 75.5 plays per game. A year-by-year breakdown:
Year G Plays Avg.
2012. . . 13 1058 81.4
2011. . . 14 1015 72.5
2010. . . 13 1024 78.8
2009. . . 13 885 68.1
2008. . . 13 958 73.7
2007. . . 13 1028 79.1
* The Eagles have run the ball on 46.1 percent of their offensive plays. That's the sixth-highest run percentage in the league. The five teams that have run it more often: 49ers (54.1), Seahawks (52.5), Panthers (51.7), Bills (48.2) and Jets (46.8). All six of those teams have quarterbacks with at least 25 rushing attempts.
* The Eagles have scored on 35.6 percent of their possessions in the first seven games, scoring 18 touchdowns and 14 field goals in 90 possessions. That's only the 12th-best percentage in the league. The Broncos are first at a not-of-this-world 50.5, followed by the Chargers (44.4), Packers and Saints (both 44.3). The Cowboys are ninth at 38.3. The Giants are 30th at 23.9.
* The Eagles have blitzed on 123 of 509 plays (24.2 percent) in the first seven games. Opponents have a 74.9 passer rating when they have blitzed. In the last three games, opponents only have a 54.2 passer rating vs. the blitz and a .465 completion percentage. A look at how many times the Eagles' inside linebackers, safeties and corners have blitzed this season (total number of snaps in parenthesis), according to Pro Football Focus:
DeMeco Ryans. . . 82 542
Mychal Kendricks. . . 65 536
Brandon Boykin. . . 30 357
Nate Allen. . . 14 491
Patrick Chung. . . 10 236
Earl Wolff. . . 9 382
Bradley Fletcher. . . 2 450
Cary Williams. . . 1 526
* Eagles quarterbacks have been under pressure on 40.8 percent of their dropbacks this season. That's the fifth most in the NFC. The Giants' Eli Manning has been pressured on 42.7 percent of his dropbacks.
This and that
* One of the things that jumps out at you about the 7-0 Chiefs is that many of the players behind this amazing outhouse-to-penthouse turnaround were drafted by the Chiefs' former vice president of player personnel, Bill Kuharich. Linebacker Tamba Hali, who is fourth in the league in sacks, was drafted by Kuharich (first round, 2006). So was running back Jamaal Charles (third round, '08), who is second in the league in yards from scrimmage and third in rushing. So was cornerback Brandon Flowers (second '08), whose unit has allowed just six touchdown passes. So was left tackle Branden Albert (first, '08) and linebacker Derrick Johnson (first, '05) and wide receiver Dwayne Bowe (first, '07) and Pro Bowl punter Dustin Colquitt (third, '05). Kuharich was unceremoniously fired in May 2009 by Scott Pioli after he was hired as the team's general manager. Four years later, he still hasn't been able to find another job in the league, which speaks volumes about the number of incompetent people running NFL personnel departments.
* In the 10 quarters he has played since Michael Vick injured his hamstring, LeSean McCoy has averaged a puny 3.3 yards per carry. Kelly and center Jason Kelce both have insisted that there is no link between Vick's absence from the lineup and McCoy's precipitous drop in production. But one opposing coach and one opposing play suggest otherwise. "[The read option] is less effective [without Vick]," Giants defensive end Justin Tuck said earlier this week. "Because [Nick Foles] isn't a quarterback that can run a 4.3 or 4.4 like Vick." McCoy was held to 55 yards on 18 carries last week by the Cowboys. When I asked Cowboys defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin whether it was easier to defend McCoy and the Eagles' favorite inside zone read play without Vick, he said, "There's a difference. But coach Kelly has done a great job in the past without a mobile quarterback. He still has zone reads. But he throws the football. He's very balanced." Said Kelce: "I don't know that defenses treat [the zone read] any differently [without Vick]. I think we got similar stuff from Kansas City, from the Giants, from San Diego. What it's evolved into is man-free coverage, stacking the box, bring another safety down in the box. It's just the way teams have kind of answered it."
* The NFL trade deadline is Tuesday. A club source used the old Joe Banner possible-but-not-probable line when asked whether the Eagles might make a deal before the deadline. "Lots of talk, but little action," he said.
* Funny how things work out. Jon Beason lost the starting weakside linebacker job down in Carolina to former Giant Chase Blackburn. Now, Beason has found a home as the Giants' starting middle linebacker, a spot once occupied by Blackburn before he signed with the Panthers during the offseason. "[Beason] has been a godsend for us," said Giants defensive end Justin Tuck. "There are so many times out there on the field he sees things before they happen. He's getting guys in the right spots and he is very vocal. That leadership is something we needed."
FROM THE LIP
* "If they could have a supplemental draft today and someone would take him, that'd be awesome." - UCLA coach Jim Mora on Oregon QB Marcus Mariota
* "Just because a guy's got money and owns an NFL team doesn't make him smart. You don't trash an icon. He's got to regret what he said. There are a lot of teams out there that would love to have a Super Bowl ring and would love to go to the playoffs 11 straight times and build a new stadium. Does he realize what Peyton Manning did for Indianapolis? You don't trash him." — Fox Sports analyst Jimmy Johnson on Colts owner Jim Irsay's comments about Manning
* "We'll do whatever it takes. We'll trade guys, we'll cut guys, we'll sign guys, we'll coach guys, we'll change schemes, it doesn't matter. We have to find a way to get better. This [bye] week's a chance to really focus on that." — Ravens coach John Harbaugh on his 3-4 team
* "Losing sucks, and especially to the Jets." — Patriots QB Tom Brady on last week's 30-27 loss to the Jets
BY THE NUMBERS
* Thirty-one teams have started 7-0 in the Super Bowl era, and all 31 made the playoffs. Fifteen of those 31 made it to the Super Bowl. Nine won it.
* In the first 7 weeks of the season, 29 of 106 games, or 27.4 percent, have been won with a fourth-quarter comeback.
* The Chiefs, who have given up a league-low 81 points this season, have held their first seven opponents to 17 points or less.
* NFL teams have combined for 4,928 points this season, which is the most through 7 weeks in NFL history. The previous high was 4,803 points last year.
* Eleven teams are averaging 25 or more points per game.
* The 49ers are 23-3 under Jim Harbaugh when leading at the half.
Domo's NFL rankings (through Monday)
1 Chiefs 7-0 (2 last week)
2 Broncos 6-1 (1)
3 Seahawks 6-1 (3)
4 49ers 5-2 (4)
5 Saints 5-1 (6)
6 Colts 5-2 (8)
7 Packers 4-2 (7)
8 Patriots 5-2 (5)
9 Bengals 5-2 (9)
10 Cowboys 4-3 (14)
11 Lions 4-3 (10)
12 Bears 4-3 (11)
13 Chargers 4-3 (16)
14 Panthers 3-3 (19)
15 Titans 3-4 (12)
16 Jets 4-3 (23)
17 Ravens 3-4 (13)
18 Dolphins 3-3 (15)
19 Eagles 3-4 (17)
20 Falcons 2-4 (24)
21 Bills 3-4 (26)
22 Cardinals 3-4 (18)
23 Rams 3-4 (20)
24 Steelers 2-4 (25)
25 Browns 3-4 (22)
26 Redskins 2-4 (29)
27 Texans 2-5 (21)
28 Giants 1-6 (30)
29 Raiders 2-4 (28)
30 Vikings 1-5 (27)
31 Bucs 0-6 (31)
32 Jaguars 0-7 (32)
On Twitter: @Pdomo