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.
An improved offense, not defense, could be key in a potential Cowboys playoff run this season, Todd Archer of ESPNDallas.com writes:
The Cowboys averaged 27.4 points per game last year, which was fifth-most in the league, but they averaged only 341.1 yards per game, which was 16th. They struggled on third down, converting just 35 percent, and they could not finish games by running the ball or chose not to attempt to run the ball.
Jones believes the offense has a chance to be great in 2014.
Linebacker Bruce Carter has the potential to help Dallas’ defense improve, Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News reports:
Carter isn’t satisfied with how he played in his first year as an outside linebacker. After showing so much promise playing on the inside in Rob Ryan’s 3-4 scheme, Carter never seemed confident in the Tampa-2. Despite starting 13 games, he was benched on multiple occasions.
Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News explains why he thinks the Giants will win the NFC East and the Cowboys will finish third:
Dallas fielded the NFL’s worst defense a year ago and now its three best players are gone — DeMarcus Ware as a cap casualty, Jason Hatcher in free agency and Sean Lee to an injury. The Cowboys will continue to be high-scoring on offense, but the defense is an even bigger question mark than a year ago with so much inexperience in the front seven.
NEW YORK GIANTS
Jordan Raanan of NJ.com on the “studs and duds” in the offseason so far for the Giants:
DUD: OL Chris Snee — The final three full offseason workouts the media was allowed to attend, Snee didn’t participate in team drills. They conceded at the minicamp that his surgically-repaired elbow was still a problem. That’s could prove troublesome moving forward that he couldn’t stay healthy during the “non-contact” portion of the season.
Jameel McClain is ready to fill the void Jon Beason‘s absence leaves behind, Paul Schwartz of the New York Post writes:
Beason is dealing with a ligament tear and a small fracture to the sesamoid in his right foot. He was examined Monday in Charlotte, N.C., by foot and ankle specialist Dr. Robert Anderson. After the exam and a review of Beason’s MRI exam, X-rays and CT scan, it was determined he does not need surgery. Instead, his foot will be immobilized for six weeks — three weeks in a cast and three weeks in a walking boot. Players report to training camp July 21 and, based on Beason’s revised rehab schedule, he should be ready to begin the next phase of his rehab about two weeks into camp.
Dan Graziano of ESPNNewYork.com answers who he thinks the opening day starters will be at linebacker and offense line:
The first-team offensive line in minicamp was, left to right: Charles Brown, Geoff Schwartz, J.D. Walton, Brandon Mosley, Justin Pugh. Which, no, is not good. They believe Chris Snee could play right guard if he had to right now, but he’s working his way back from elbow and hip surgeries and they’re taking it slowly with him. And they’re also hoping Will Beatty is healthy enough to play left tackle in training camp ahead of Brown, who was signed as a backup. Rookie Weston Richburg is in a straight-up competition with Walton for the starting center spot. So it’s possible that by Week 1 it’s Beatty/Schwartz/Richburg/Snee/Pugh, which would look a lot better than what they ran out there this week. But as of now, that’s your starting five.
Theresa Vargas of the Washington Post explains what it means when the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office canceled the Redskins’ trademark Wednesday:
But its effect is largely symbolic. The ruling cannot stop the team from selling T-shirts, beer glasses and license-plate holders with the moniker or keep the team from trying to defend itself against others who try to profit from the logo. And the trademark registrations will remain effective during any appeal process.
A federal appeals court reinstated the NFLPA’s collusion claim against the NFL, which reduced Washington’s salary cap by $36 million over two years, writes Mark Maske of the Washington Post:
In its ruling released Friday, the appeals court wrote that its “holding should not be read as in any way expressing a view on the merits of the Association’s… motion.” The appeals court’s ruling said that “the Association bears a heavy burden in attempting to convince the district court that the Dismissal was fraudulently procured. We hold only that the Association should be given the opportunity to meet this burden.”
Mike Jones of the Washington Post notes that improving the pass rush has been a big focus for the Redskins this offseason:
Baker said both players don’t always know how to play to their strengths, and so, his job is to figure out ways to help them maximize their talents – for Orakpo to better take advantage of his speed, and for Kerrigan to more consistently use his power – and to position them for success.