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The Eagles are the NFC’s No. 1 team. The trade for Jay Ajayi makes them better.

The trade for Jay Ajayi gives the Eagles another effective runner. (Chris Trotman/Getty Images.)
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The Philadelphia Eagles have been very good this season.

They have clearly been the NFC’s top team, with a 7-1 record halfway through their season. They have established themselves as the conference’s Super Bowl favorite. They have a league MVP candidate in second-year quarterback Carson Wentz.

In other years, that would have meant sitting back and watching things play out of the rest of the season, hoping that being the NFC’s best team for half a season would translate into becoming the conference’s final team standing in February.

Not this year.

The Jimmy Garoppolo and Duane Brown trades were big but there was more to come

The new way of the NFL, apparently, is to keep bolstering your roster right up until the calendar turns to November. The Seattle Seahawks, another leading NFC contender, upped the ante Monday when they fortified their offensive line by trading for Duane Brown, the three-time Pro Bowl left tackle for the Houston Texans. The Eagles’ response came Tuesday when they dealt a fourth-round draft choice to the Miami Dolphins for running back Jay Ajayi.

Welcome to the new NFL and its modified approach to roster construction.

It is making for an interesting time, indeed, leading up to the leaguewide trading deadline Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET.

The Eagles already had an effective running back in LeGarrette Blount. Now they have two effective running backs in Blount and Ajayi, a nearly 1,300-yard rusher last season who ran for 465 yards in seven games for Miami this season. Ajayi is not the pass-catcher out of the backfield that the Eagles lost when Darren Sproles suffered season-ending injuries. But he is considered very good in pass protection.

The Seahawks upped the stakes in the NFC with their deal for Duane Brown

The Eagles still aren’t a perfect team. They lost their left tackle, Jason Peters, to a season-ending knee injury. They have good wide receivers but lack a true No. 1 wideout. Their defense is very good against the run but has had some issues against the pass this season.

But they are a better team at this moment than they were when Tuesday began. They answered the Seahawks’ big move with one of their own. And, who knows, they might not even be done for the day quite yet. It’s the way the NFL now works, isn’t it? The good teams need to keep getting better, and deadline-beating trades are now very much in play as part of the process.

Read more on the NFL:

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New England Patriots agree to trade quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to 49ers

The saga of JuJu Smith-Schuster’s stolen bike lives on in a touchdown celebration

In trading for Duane Brown, the Seahawks have upped the ante in the NFC