Eye On the Enemy: NFC East Roundup

Tony Romo, Robert Griffin III

For the next several Sundays, we’ll take a spin around the NFC East to check in on what’s going on with some of the Eagles’ division rivals.

DALLAS COWBOYS

The moment in the first round of last month’s NFL draft that generated the biggest buzz was when the Cowboys were on the clock and had a chance to take Johnny Manziel. Dallas owner Jerry Jones said previously that the team was not giving serious consideration to taking Manziel, but he recently changed his tune. Via the Dallas Morning-News:

Question: Did you say a second ago that was a really hard decision about Johnny Manziel?

Jerry Jones: “Well, it was. Yes, it was. First of all, I couldn’t believe he had fallen there. And secondly, we had spent a lot of time, I’d spent a lot of time. He’s the kind of player that can be that kind of difference-maker. There’s no doubt in my mind that he’ll be a successful player. We have in Romo what I consider to be the better quarterback. But there’s also the future, there’s also insurance if you don’t have him. If anybody could have adjusted to Manziel’s style, we could have because we’re a lot like that with Romo.”

The Cowboys will be without linebacker Sean Lee for the season because of a torn ACL suffered in OTAs. Shortly after the injury, a video surfaced of the play in which Lee went down. There were questions about whether the Cowboys were practicing illegally, but according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the team has been absolved of any wrongdoing:

The NFL and the Players Association decided the Cowboys didn’t commit a practice violation during the non-contact workouts.

However, the league did offer up some pointers to reinforce how the OTA workouts should be handled.

“They have evaluated a couple of our practice sessions and given us some pointers, but I don’t think we’ve done anything (wrong),” executive vice president Stephen Jones said at the team’s annual golf tournament on Tuesday. “Jason (Garrett) has always done a good job of playing by the rules and I think obviously they looked at that and say that we were but at the same time I think we all have to take notes and get better. We need to do it better and hopefully do it to where you don’t have anything unfortunate happen.”

NEW YORK GIANTS

Antrel Rolle isn’t happy with the Giants’ secondary after this week’s suspensions, Dan Graziano of ESPNNewYork.com notes:

“It’s too easy to do right to keep doing wrong,” Rolle said on the topic of two members of the Giants’ secondary receiving drug suspensions in the course of a week. “We don’t need to have that pub, people asking, ‘What’s up with the secondary?’ That’s a bad reflection. It doesn’t look good.”

Cornerback Jayron Hosley is out for four games, while DB Will Hill has been released.

Eli Manning is the 14th-highest paid player for 2014. Jordan Raanan of NJ.com notes that the Giants will have to make a decision on how much their QB has left some time in the next couple seasons:

Manning, 33, has two seasons left on a deal that was renegotiated in March of last year. He is scheduled to make even more ($17.5 million) next year in the final year of his contract.

The Giants have a decision to make some time in the next two years. It’s no secret they will need to see Manning play better before determining if they’d like him to be around longer than two more seasons.

WASHINGTON REDSKINS

Jason Reid of the Washington Post writes that the Redskins will need to improve their pass protection this season:

Last season, some on the coaching staff privately suggested the line received too much blame for the protection problems. Obviously, the line wasn’t the league’s best, the coaches acknowledged, but Griffin “played his way” into many sacks. With a better understanding of pocket presence, Griffin could help the big guys who are supposed to help him.

The line is accomplished at run blocking, as evidenced by running back Alfred Morris’s 3,043 yards — with a 4.8-yard average — in his first two seasons. Gruden would be foolish to scrap Shanahan’s outside-stretch-zone-blocking system. We hear he’s not foolish.

For the Redskins, this season will be all about trying to rebuild Griffin’s game. An offensive line that’s solid in pass protection could only help.

And of course, since we know none of you is tired about hearing from DeSean Jackson. Via the Washington Post:

McGinest, who was evidently looking for a juicier answer, followed up by asking if Jackson plans to “give them the business and show them that they made a mistake.”

“Oh yeah, definitely,” Jackson said. “I think about that every time I step on the field, especially with the legacy I have in Philadelphia and the things I’ve done for that organization. I left back a lot there, but I have to take it to D.C. now where we’re out here in Washington and I think there are some great players in addition to myself with Pierre, Santana, J-Reed, Alfred Morris, so the list continues. Here we have a group of guys that’s young, that’s energized, and that wants to win. And two years ago they won our division, so they’re familiar with that, but when that game comes, all I’m going to say is I’m going to do my thing and I’m going to put up what I need to put up. So I ain’t going to give nobody no extra things to talk about, but you know I’m going to do what I need to do.”

-Josh Paunil and Sheil Kapadia

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