PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Eagles Monday released kicker Luis Zendejas, who had missed four of his last eight field-goal attempts, and signed Steve DeLine to take his place.
Zendejas had made nine of 15 field-goal attempts this year but missed four of seven from 40 yards or longer, including a 41-yarder in Sunday's 28-24 victory over the Denver Broncos.
'We had to do something before it became fatal,' Philadelphia Coach Buddy Ryan said from San Diego, where the Eagles, 6-2, are practicing this week for Sunday's game against the Chargers, 2-6.
'He's a helluva kid and you'd like for him to be your kicker but he's been missing those 39-, 40- and 41-yarders.'
Zendejas was signed by the Eagles as a free agent last year and was successful on 19 of 24 field-goal attempts.
DeLine, originally a seventh-round draft pick by San Francisco out of Colorado State in 1987, played five games for the San Diego Chargers last year and made six of eight field-goal tries with a long of 45 yards.
DeLine, who was with the Eagles briefly in 1987, came to Philadelphia for a tryout last week and will join the Eagles in San Diego.
'I was impressed with the way he hit the ball and he kicked with us before,' Ryan said. 'We anticipated making this move if Luis missed another easy one.'
DeLine will be Ryan's fifth kicker in the last two seasons. Paul McFadden, Dean Dorsey and Dale Dawson all kicked for the Eagles last season before Zendejas was signed.
McFadden kicked for Ryan during his first two years as Philadelphia's coach and kept his job despite periods of inconsistency.
'When I lived with McFadden for two years, we didn't think we were going to the playoffs and so I was willing to give him a little more time than I was Luis,' Ryan said.
Despite Philadelphia's impressive victory over the Broncos, in which the Eagles ran for 215 yards against a defense that had been tough against the run, Ryan said his team still had room for improvement.
'We still can't run the clock out when we have a win assured,' Ryan said. 'We still play defense scary even though we made the plays we needed to win the game. I don't like those kind of games where you have to sweat them out all the way to the end.
'And we're not the type of team that puts people away. We had them ready to go down if we could have done anything. A combination of the penalties and the things that we did, we just couldn't put them away and I think you have to go for the jugular if you're going to be a great team.'
Ryan Monday also praised Keith Byars, who ran for 93 yards against the Broncos, the fourth-best performance of his four-year career.
'We finally gave him a chance to (run the ball),' Ryan said. 'He's been a great running back all along. What you have to do is give him the football.'