Eye On the Enemy: NFC East Roundup

Which Rolando McClain will the Cowboys get?

Which Rolando McClain will the Cowboys get?

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


Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News discusses whether Rolando McClain can have an impact:

Don't assume the Cowboys are getting the guy who had 100 tackles and five sacks in 2011. McClain retired from football after the 2012 season, attempted to return to the league, only to retire for a second time in April. He said that his heart just wasn't into the game anymore. So why should anyone believe that it is now? I really don't have any clue.

Todd Archer of ESPNDallas.com on how Tyron Smith is helping Cowboys second-round pick Demarcus Lawrence:

“I feel like it’s helping me,” Lawrence said. “If you’re going against the best, you ain’t got no choice but to pick up your game and become the best. I feel like he’s helping me out a lot, and he’s getting me ready for the season.”

Lawrence’s education was not unlike the education Smith received from DeMarcus Ware, the man Lawrence is replacing. At training camp last summer in Oxnard, California, Ware had his way with Smith – or any offensive linemen in his way – and Smith ended up having his best season. He was not only named to the Pro Bowl, he earned second-team All-Pro honors.

Adam Levitan of Rotoworld.com lists DeMarco Murray as one of the most undervalued players in fantasy football:

Dez Bryant, Tony Romo, Terrance Williams and DeMarco Murray are all capable of having career-best seasons here – and the only reason Murray’s ADP is second round instead of first round is because of an upright running style that seems to lead to injuries. But the massive per-play production is too much to ignore. Murray has averaged 4.94 YPC and 6.87 YPR through three NFL seasons, and last year he was PFF’s No. 6 runner and was No. 4 in their “elusive” ratings. That ranking included 2.7 yards after contact per attempt (7th) and 37 missed tackles (10th). If we handcuff intriguing third-year back Lance Dunbar to a Murray pick, we’ll have solid protection against injury.

NEW YORK GIANTS

Ebenezer Samuel of the New York Daily News says Stevie Brown expects to be 100 percent for training camp:

The Giants safety, who tore his ACL in preseason against the Jets last year, expects to be able to practice fully.

"It's not a thing at all," Brown said Tuesday, before serving as a coach at Ravens defensive tackle Chris Canty's annual youth football camp at George Washington HS. "I trust it 100 percent.

"I'll probably go every single day (in training camp)," he added. "But I have to listen to the trainers and coaches."

The Giants have seen several key players bid to return from serious knee injuries in recent years, with varying degrees of success.

Phil Simms thinks Eli Manning can excel in the new offense, Paul Schwartz of the New York Post reports:

“Is it a drastic change and all that stuff? Yeah, maybe in the philosophy it could be,’’ Simms said. “I know Green Bay’s offense, I’ve watched it a lot over the last years and talk a lot about it. Of course Eli’s gonna adjust to it. Is it a big adjustment? In my eyes, no it’s not. He’s a pro, he’s won the Super Bowl twice, if you tell him to run on his feet, he does it, if you tell him OK, now we’re gonna start running on our hands, he goes, ‘OK, I can do that too.’ Will there be timing issues and grave mistakes because of it? There might be some mistakes … but I just can’t imagine it’s gonna be that hard.’’

Dan Graziano of ESPN.com examines the state of the Giants' offensive line:

They are hoping Snee can hold up physically and play right guard all year, but they won't know that until it happens. They're hoping Beatty can recover from his broken leg in time for training camp and certainly the start of the season, but they can't be sure that will be the case until they see it, either. And even if healthy, Beatty will have a lot of work to do to bounce back from his disappointing 2013 campaign. Jerry and Brown are the respective backup candidates at those spots, but Jerry missed a lot of spring practice time with a knee injury and could also face a league-imposed suspension as a result of his involvement in the Miami Dolphins' bullying scandal from last year.

WASHINGTON REDSKINS

Mike Jones of the Washington Post dives into his mailbag, including a question about Washington's defense:

I don’t think I’d describe my overall confidence level in this secondary as high at this point. Too many questions still remain unanswered. Coaches and teammates say that Amerson has greatly improved as he enters his second season. He will start opposite DeAngelo Hall. With his length and athleticism, he seems to have the ability to give receivers problems. He has to remain disciplined in coverage, and improve his consistency in the run game, though. The fact that he had a good offseason is a positive, but the true test will come during the preseason, when he’s going against an unfamiliar opponent and unfamiliar offense.

John Keim of ESPN.com explains the little-thought about stat that is key for the Redskins' defense:

But what his story did was force me to do some research on ESPN Stats & Information. And I found a number that absolutely must improve regardless of their sack total – and it’s not always connected to sacks, either.

Yards per pass attempt.

The Redskins have been dreadful in this area the past four years; it’s evident in the number of big plays allowed and it’s why they’re considered a boom-or-bust defense.

CSNWashington.com's Redskins experts discuss how big of a concern Jason Hatcher's knee injury is:

If Hatcher’s recovery goes according to plan and he's in the starting lineup Week 1, no one will remember that he even had surgery. But I do agree with Tandler when he says everyone needs to be cautiously optimistic, with the operative word being cautiously. Hatcher is almost 32, and despite not playing starter’s minutes until 2011, he’s a huge man who’s been putting NFL-level strain on his joints since 2006. It’s also a little troubling that he says the injury is the result of years of pounding and not a single, awkward twist or something like that.

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  • PhillySean

    The same Phil “Braniac” Simms that put the Eagles O among the worst five units in the league last October? Eli must be walking on air after a vote of confidence from that guy.

    • JosephR2225

      Right. This Phil Simms.

      http://i.imgur.com/gVbFBNW.gif

      • PhillySean

        haha!
        nice.

      • Reasonableeaglefan

        That is hilarious. Almost as funny as Simms saying Eli can run on his hands if he they asked him. What does that even mean

        • Warhound

          I know! That made think “Phil, what are you babbling about?”

        • John E. Zang

          This is coming from the guy who can’t stop saying “eem” during football broadcasts.

        • myeaglescantwin

          i think he means, Eli might throw less int’s if he uses his feet to throw this season.

          • Amar

            ha ha….that is true.

      • Matt Broad

        I have to fast forward through half of Inside the NFL every week because of this freaking guy.

  • Addicted2MAmula

    Jordan Matthews just called me and wished me a Happy Birthday! Oh yea and he called me the Pope Jr

    • mtn_green

      Happy birthday!

      • Addicted2MAmula

        Thank you

    • NickS1

      Happy b-day A2M

  • Andy124

    I just can’t imagine it’s gonna be that hard.

    Says a lot about his imagination.

    • Amar

      I just can’t imagine it’s gonna be that hard.

      That’s what she said.

  • Max Lightfoot

    One of these days Jerrah is going to sign a guy that is technically, well … dead … but has some tremendous intangibles.

    • FluxCapacitor

      …and Cowboy fans will talk about how they now are true contenders because of the brilliant move…

  • 76mustang

    What’s the over/under on the number of defensive players the Cowboys will pick up off the waiver wire through training camp, 4, 5, more??

    After the draft and free agency, the Giants had 42 players left on their team that were on the roster last year at some point – a lot of rebuilding going on, how many pick ups / selections did they get right? How quickly will their O, D, and ST units gel?

    The Skins appear to have a healthy RG3 back this year – question is for how long? Can he adjust his game to avoid unnecessary hits, or is he the next Michael Vick in his durability? How well will the new staff handle adversity?

    The Eagles have the fewest questions and the most continuity in the NFC East – pretty hard not to pick them to repeat, and it’s really not that close going into training camps…

    • EaglefaninAZ

      Agreed. With recent developments, I can see the Birds looking at picking up some OL reserve if they can catch a good one.

  • Chipadelphia22

    Between Cary and Bradley Fletcher who do you keep next year if you could only have one?

    • Javi Echie

      Tough call on that one since they’re both getting up there in age but if I had to pick one I’d say Cary since he is pretty durable as compared to Bradley

      • NickS1

        Fletcher just turned 28 and Williams turns 30 in December. Cary is “getting up there” but Fletcher has a couple more years before the magic age. And while Cary may be more durable, his play in no way justifies his cap hit next year ($8.17mil), which is why he either won’t be back, or will be on a restructured deal. I’d keep Fletcher, though.

    • Jernst

      Ugh…who’s a FA CB next year. There both serviceable but man could we use better play from our starting CBs.

    • NickS1

      Fletcher.

  • Wiztopher

    We’re looking at going 5-1in the division at LEAST. Improved on all three phases of the game, but of course we don’t get any credit n why should we?

  • Dominik

    Of course Eli’s gonna adjust to it. Is it a big adjustment? In my eyes,
    no it’s not. He’s a pro, he’s won the Super Bowl twice, if you tell him
    to run on his feet, he does it, if you tell him OK, now we’re gonna
    start running on our hands, he goes, ‘OK, I can do that too.’

    Thanks, Phil, for remembering me about one of the things I don’t miss during Offseason. That is, the bs you are saying all the time.

    And I keep thinking about a great Tweet from Sheil in January:

    I really feel like 2015 could be the year Phil Simms completes a sentence.

  • Charliefoxtrot

    Chip, responding to the Phil Simms of the world:

  • Engwrite

    I presume English is not Phil Simms native tongue. Wish I knew what he meant to say.

  • paul from nc

    It seems like every paragraph mentioned injury or age.
    That’s probably why we should take the division by default

  • Joe Thomas

    “Will there be timing issues and grave mistakes because of it? There might be some mistakes … but I just can’t imagine it’s gonna be that hard.’’

    Lol, he might be disappointed.

  • TripSquadMonopoly

    Whats the consenses on Mcclain I don’t see anyone talking about him. He seems like a DRC type (lazy AF) but maybe he could actually give the Cowgirls something?

  • myeaglescantwin

    9 & 7 could win this division.

    the schedule disparity will keep this close all year, , , again.