An Old Bird to a New Bird

Longtime Eagles tight-end Zach Ertz played in his first game for the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.


Star Tribune

Shane Olexa

Longtime Eagles Tight-End Zach Ertz appeared in his first game with the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. Ertz was traded to the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for cornerback Tay Gowan and a 2022 fifth-round pick last Friday. In his first game with Arizona, Ertz had three receptions for 66 yards and a touchdown and helped Arizona win its sixth consecutive game. Arizona is currently the only undefeated team in the league. Ertz caught a 47-yard touchdown pass from Kyler Murray. According to Jeff Kerr, Ertz is the first player in NFL history to catch a touchdown pass for two different teams in back-to-back weeks. Led by head coach Kliff Kingsbury and quarterback  Kyler Murray, the Cardinals added Ertz to a Cardinals offense that was already fuming with talent. Arizona now has an offense with the talents of DeAndre Hopkins, A.J. Green, Christian Kirk, Rondale Moore and now, of course, Zach Ertz. 


The Eagles certainly missed Ertz’s presence on and off the field on Sunday afternoon. The Las Vegas Raiders easily defeated the Eagles with a final score of 33-22. The Eagles are now 2-5 on the season. It was Dallas Goedert’s chance to shine on Sunday due to Ertz being traded. Goedert ended the game with three receptions for 70 yards. He certainly didn’t get much help from his quarterback though. Jalen Hurts’ numbers may look good on paper, but many fans would agree that it wasn’t his best game. Hurts threw for 236 yards and completed two touchdown passes. Goedert is currently set to become an unrestricted free-agent in the 2022 offseason and, according to multiple reports, contract talks have stalled. With contract rumors swirling, it’s Dallas Goedert’s chance to show Howie Roseman and the Eagles front office why he is a top-ten tight-end in the league. Goedert certainly has some big shoes to fill after Ertz’s departure.


The Eagles took Ertz with the 35th overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. Ertz had 579 receptions, 6,267 yards, and 38 touchdowns in his nine years with the Eagles. Ertz’s 579 receptions are the 12th most in NFL history behind Jason Witten, Tony Gonzalez, Travis Kelce and Jimmy Graham. According to NBC Sports Philadelphia, Ertz is the first player to catch at least one pass in the last 101 games he played as a Philadelphia Eagle.That streak started after Ertz didn’t complete a pass in 2014 in a 33-30 win over the Dallas Cowboys. Legendary Eagles Wide Receiver, Harold Carmichael holds that record with a 130-game streak.


Ertz was a fan-favorite. He caught one of four touchdown passes from Super Bowl MVP, Nick Foles in Super Bowl LII and it was a memorable one. The Eagles trailed New England 33-32 with 2:25 left in the fourth quarter. It was third and seven. The Eagles were driving down the field and were at the Patriots’ 11 yard-line. Former head coach Doug Pederson found a play he liked and didn’t look back. Foles found the play 145 on his wrist and yelled, “Gun trey left, open buster star motion, 383 X follow Y Slant.” Ertz was on the left side of the formation. The Eagles put former running back Corey Clement in motion and Clement played the decoy role well. Patriots safety Duron Harmon went for the bait and Ertz was left in single man coverage resulting in an Eagles score. 


Ertz recently spoke to the media after the trade. Ertz was extremely emotional. He stated how great Philadelphia is and how passionate the organization and the fan base is. “This is home. Philadelphia is home. And that was tough. Just to kind of articulate that to people that I love this place. I’ve said it all along. And it’s a great opportunity to be here and I loved it here. I did the best I could every day and I can leave knowing that, and this isn’t going to be the last you’ll see of me here in this city.”


On Thursday night, John Clark of NBC 10 noted that Ertz was extremely emotional walking off the field after the team’s 28-22 loss to Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Ertz knew it was his last game in Philadelphia and many fans would agree that he performed well. In his possible final game with the Eagles, Ertz had four receptions, 29 yards, and a touchdown. He’ll look to keep up  that production as the season progresses. A new era begins in Arizona as Ertz attempts to bring home a championship for his new team and for its fan-base.