NFC East Roundup: Cowboys All In On Peterson?
Here is what is happening around the rest of the division.
Tim Cowlishaw of the Dallas Morning News believes that the Cowboys are all-in on trying to acquire Adrian Peterson:
I think it’s beyond wishful thinking now. I think it’s a real deal. I think all these signs point to them trying to make this happen if it can. I don’t think you would do all this restructuring and one-year deal on Greg Hardy, which is just a rental, and a one-year deal on Rolando McClain if you’re gonna have Darren McFadden running the ball for you next year in this offense. They’re all in. Now it’s gonna depend on convincing the Vikings and the people with the Vikings who might wanna move on from Peterson. Cause I think [Mike] Zimmer would like to keep him around, but I’m not sure everybody would like to keep him around, and not at almost $15 million a year.
Todd Archer of ESPN Dallas reports that the Cowboys know it will be hard to replace return specialist Dwayne Harris after he signed with the New York Giants:
The departure of Harris will not change the balance of power in the NFC East but it does affect how the Cowboys construct their roster, especially on game day. Harris could fill a number of roles. He even lined up as a running back on a handful of plays and he could have been the emergency quarterback with the Cowboys dressing only two quarterbacks during the season.
[Jason] Garrett heaped so much praise on Harris — “Great returner, cover guy. Leads our team in tackles. Has a role on offense. Willing to do anything. All the dirty work, very valuable role for us” — because he knows those players are hard to find.
Greg A. Bedard of The MMQB profiled how Giants coach Tom Coughlin is feeling after a pair of sub-.500 seasons:
Tom Coughlin looked no worse for the wear at the recent league meetings. Despite coming off back-to-back losing seasons for the first time since the end of his Jacksonville tenure (when he had three straight from 2000-02), the Giants’ head coach appeared relaxed as he noshed on breakfast and swapped tales of high technology with reporters, including his distrust of Apple’s Siri.
But after going 7-9 in 2013 and 6-10 a season ago, Coughlin is anything but tranquil heading into off-season workouts.
“How does it sit with me? It doesn’t sit well,” he said. “It’s very frustrating, very difficult to live with, quite frankly, and the losses stay with you forever. So that’s where I am.”
Don Banks of SI.com thinks the Giants will address their offensive line needs Brandon Scherff in the first round:
If an elite pass-rusher slips to them, the Giants will probably pounce, because New York always seems to win when it brings the heat on the opposing quarterback. Top cornerback prospect Trae Waynes of Michigan State could also be tempting, as might a trade downward. But in the end, Scherff is the draft’s best offensive lineman, and the Giants’ issues there have been crippling in recent seasons. Scherff’s versatility is another plus, in that he projects at both tackle or guard.
Mike Jones of the Washington Post reports on the acquisition of safety Dashon Goldson:
Washington had targeted Goldson for weeks, but [Scot] McCloughan was hesitant to part with draft picks, and the team had hopes that Tampa would cut him. However, the price the sides eventually reached proved minimal.
The Redskins are now expected to focus on other needs, foremost among them outside linebacker, offensive line, running back and possibly quarterback in this month’s draft.
Goldson, meanwhile, gets a fresh start after failing to fit into the Bucs’ new defensive schemes last season under first-year head coach Lovie Smith.
“I think being in there and sitting down and talking to Jay [Gruden], and talking to everybody that’s involved, I think it’s [evident] that Jay has done what he thought was right in naming [Griffin] the starting quarterback,” Williams said. “But at the same time, Jay also said that we hope that he can improve. This is a young guy that’s got some talent. And it’s an adjustment that he has to make, I think, given time. And that’s one of the reasons why nobody has given up on him, is the fact that with the talent that he does have, you’re hoping that these last couple years with the injuries and everything is out the way, that he will develop into the guy that we all hope for him to be. I think it’s fair to give him that opportunity.”
Williams suggested that the Redskins’ decision to hire a quarterbacks coach will benefit Griffin in his second season in Gruden’s offense.
“I think it’s [clear] that Jay came from a system with more of a West Coast nature than anything,” Williams said. “And Robert [came] from more of a read-option-type situation. I think that’s one of the adjustments that has to be made with a mixture of whatever he can do, but I think the base of it is going to be what Jay wants and I think with Matt Cavanaugh coming in as his sole quarterback coach is going to help him tremendously and give Jay the opportunity to free himself up to look at the whole picture.”