NFL Rumors: 'Big Dom' suspension could've gotten Eagles coach Nick Sirianni fired

According to recent reports, the Philadelphia Eagles' late-season collapse was caused by the loss of Dom DiSandro, the Eagles head of security, who was suspended after a scuffle during the team's Week 13 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

San Francisco 49ers v Philadelphia Eagles
San Francisco 49ers v Philadelphia Eagles / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages

The San Francisco 49ers waited more than 10 months for another chance to play the Philadelphia Eagles, and they finally got the opportunity in Week 13 of the 2023 NFL season. The highly anticipated game was pivotal for both franchises. Philadelphia entered the game with a 10-1 record and a chance to position themselves for a breezy path to the NFC's No. 1 seed. San Francisco entered the game with an 8-3 record, hoping to tighten the race for the top seed in the NFC.

The Niners went to Philadelphia and trounced the Eagles, 42-19, at Lincoln Financial Field. It was a significant moment of vindication for a San Francisco team that had been tortured by the abrupt end of their 2022 campaign. The Niners ultimately secured the NFC's No. 1 seed on their way to another Super Bowl appearance.

The drama-packed game was highlighted by a sideline scuffle between 49ers linebacker Dre Greenlaw and Dom DiSandro, the Eagles head of security. The sideline squabble resulted in DiSandro and Greenlaw getting ejected from the game. The league then suspended the Eagles' chief security officer for the remainder of the regular season.

Dom DiSandro's suspension caused Philadelphia Eagles' collapse

Philadelphia went into an uncontrollable tailspin after their humiliating loss against the Niners. Head coach Nick Sirianni couldn't stop the team's collapse, and the Eagles lost five of their last six games to finish the regular season.

According to recent reports, many of the Eagles' late-season struggles were a byproduct of DiSandro's missing presence on the sidelines. DiSandro would reportedly keep Sirianni's emotions in check during games. In his absence, Sirianni got into multiple arguments with players and other coaches during games.

“[Dom DiSandro] controls Sirianni’s emotions on [the] sideline,” a source told Derrick Gunn of JAKIB Sports. "In his absence, Nick gets in numerous arguments with players/coaches during games."

Eagles linebacker Nakobe Dean told the Philadelphia Inquirer that DiSandro played a "fix-it" role on the team. Kicker Jake Elliott called DiSandro a "do-it-all guy."

“Well, to be honest, you don’t really notice the significance that he played on our team till he was gone,” left tackle Jordan Mailata said. “And it’s like, [expletive]. We haven’t been executing since he was gone. We’re getting our [expletive] beat since he was gone. ... Believe it or not, he’s actually a very positive person. Especially on game days. He’ll get you locked in.”

After serving his suspension, "Big Dom" returned to the sideline for Philadelphia's playoff game, but his presence didn't make any difference. The Eagles were put out of their misery with a 32-9 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC Wild Card.

Sirianni has been known for being an emotional coach, but it's hard to believe that a team that began the season with a 10-1 record experienced such a drastic collapse simply because nobody else was around to control the head coach's emotions.

Root of the Eagles and 49ers rivalry

The Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers rivalry stems from the unusual circumstances that surrounded the Eagles' 31-7 victory in the 2022 NFC Championship Game.

The 2022 NFC Championship Game was similar to watching a nature documentary of a wounded gazelle next to a pride of hungry lions. The Philadelphia Eagles cruised to a 31-7 victory after a series of unfortunate injuries left the San Francisco 49ers without a quarterback who was capable of throwing a forward pass. The unusual circumstances gave birth to an unexpected rivalry.

The game was followed by years of back-and-forth verbal jousting. The 49ers believed they should have won that game. Running back Christian McCaffrey said it felt like "something got stolen" from them. Wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk said the Niners "were going to expose" the Eagles' defense. Wide receiver Deebo Samuel said the Niners were the better team and there "would've been a different outcome" if not for quarterback Brock Purdy's injury. He also called Eagles cornerback James Bradberry "trash."

"Talk is cheap," Eagles linebacker Haason Reddick said prior to the Week 13 game against San Francisco. "[The 49ers] get to come back [to Lincoln Financial Field]. It was a lot of boohoos last year, a lot of crying, a lot of 'what if?', a lot of this, a lot of that. They get a chance to come back in here, line that s--- up and prove it again."

The Niners lined up and proved it, and now the Eagles are the team facing an offseason of what-ifs.

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