NFC East Roundup: Cowboys Still Looking For an RB?
Here’s our weekly look at what’s going on around the rest of the division.
Tim Cowlishaw of The Dallas Morning News thinks its a good sign that Greg Hardy’s appeal is taking this long:
I take this as a good sign for Cowboys fans. The league is trying to figure out when they can announce a reduction in games that will get the least attention. The morning of Fourth of July? Final round of the British Open? Actually, it has to be coming soon, it has been nearly a month.
Todd Archer of ESPN Dallas doesn’t think the Cowboys will sign a veteran running back before the beginning of the season:
I wonder if we have been looking at this running back thing all wrong. Every time a veteran gets released, he is immediately linked to the Cowboys. Take Shonn Greene. I’m told there is no interest in Greene right now. Just as there is no interest in Ray Rice, Chris Johnson, Ben Tate and Herschel Walker (hopefully that brought a chuckle.) But owner and Jerry Jones made an interesting comment at last week’s minicamp. To summarize because it was far too long of a quote: any back the Cowboys sign now would be a backup variety because they like what they have. So that fourth runner better be able to play special teams. If he can’t then adding a veteran now makes no sense. If the Cowboys aren’t as pleased in camp and through the preseason, then that’s when they’ll look at a veteran. I don’t wonder this. This is something I know: when the Cowboys scouts go on the road this summer for the preseason games they will be looking hard at running backs.
Doug Farrar of SI.com would rather have Odell Beckham Jr. over Dez Bryant:
This is a tough one. Not only are Bryant and Beckham the two best receivers in the NFC East; you could make a convincing argument that they’re the two best in the NFL. Bryant has been amazing for a number of years, of course, and Beckham stormed into the NFL as a rookie last season with 91 catches for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns in just 13 games. Beckham showed the ability he flashed at LSU and at the ’14 scouting combine: He has unusual route awareness for a young player, his field speed is spectacular, and his ability to contort his body to make catches is pretty special.
Why would I take Beckham over Bryant? For the same reason I’d take [Andrew] Luck over [Aaron] Rodgers, I’d want the player with the higher potential for greatness over the player who has already established himself as great. Bryant is a truly outstanding receiver, but Beckham has already displayed the kind of skills rarely seen even in this era of game-breaking wideouts.
John Clayton of ESPN is worried about the Giants’ ability to protect Eli Manning’s blindside:
With Will Beatty out indefinitely with a torn pectoral muscle, the Giants are hoping first-round pick Ereck Flowers can handle the left tackle position for most of the season. Unfortunately, with no live pass rushes and minimal contact in practices, the Giants will have to wait until training camp and preseason games before seeing whether Flowers can protect Manning’s blind side.
Liz Clarke of The Washington Post thinks Pierre Garcon is bound to have a bounce-back year:
Pierre Garcon was dubbed the Redskins’ “forgotten man” last season.
“Pierre Garcon disappearing in Jay Gruden’s offense,” proclaimed a headline on one NFL.com story noting the diminished role of the wide receiver who in 2013 led the league with 113 catches.
Though it’s unwise to make sweeping inferences from a few offseason workouts, there were signs, as the Redskins wrapped up last week’s minicamp, that Garcon will be featured more prominently in the 2015 game plan as Coach Jay Gruden attempts to rally from his 4-12 debut as a rookie NFL head coach.
Rich Tandler of CSN Washington gives five ways Washington can improve in 2015:
Passer rating is far from a perfect way to gauge a pass defense but when it’s as bad as the Redskins’ was last year it means something. Quarterbacks had a field day against the Redskins last year. They compiled a passer rating of 108.3, the worst in the NFL by a healthy margin. To put it in perspective, the average QB that faced the Redskins had a better rating than Ben Roethlisberger 103.3 passer rating) or Peyton Manning (101.5). You can blame the defensive backs if you want and they deserve their share of it but it takes a total team effort to put up numbers that bad.