NFC East Notes: Cowboys, Eagles, Giants

     

Cowboys

  • According to NFL Media’ Ian Rapoport, Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott has not yet “firmly decided” if he will hold out from training camp. 
  • Rapoport says if Elliott shows up, it’s an indication he trusts the way contract talks are progressing. If he doesn’t, it means negotiations are not going well. 
  • CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora says he continues to hear a holdout for Elliott is unlikely. 
  • NFL Media’s Gregg Rosenthal lists WR Tavon Austin as a potential cut candidate, as the team brought in WR Randall Cobb and RB Tony Pollard to play similar roles. 
  • Cowboys DE Randy Gregory changed agents, replacing Steve Weinberg with Pete Schaffer. (Ian Rapoport)

Eagles

Most onlookers have penciled in Eagles LB Zach Brown as the second starter at linebacker since Philadelphia signed him in free agency. However, Eagles LB coach Ken Flajole says to keep an eye on third-year LB Kamu Grugier-Hill, who he says is ready to make a leap from special teams duty to a more full-time role. 

“He’s made incremental progress every year that we’ve had him here,” Flajole said via Jimmy Kempski of the Philly Voice. “I fully expect him to be able to take the next step, and be more than just a special teams guy and a spot player on defense. I’d like to think that he can be a real factor for us.”

“He runs great, he’s a great space player, so the way we’re getting offenses nowadays where everybody spreads you out and forces you to defend all of the field, this really plays to his game,” Flajole added. “He’s done a nice job as far as trying to get his body weight up, and his strength up, so he’s not a safety playing linebacker anymore. He’s actually getting fit into a linebacker body, so that’s good to see.”

  • NJ.com’s Zack Rosenblatt writes that S Malcolm Jenkins did not hold out from minicamp after a conversation about a new contract with Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie. However, Jenkins still doesn’t have a new contract ahead of the start of Eagles camp and currently is the 12th-highest-paid safety in the NFL. 
  • According to 94WIP’s Eliot Shorr-Parks, Eagles RB Darren Sproles will play a major role this season on passing downs and in the hurry-up offense. 
  • Sproles won’t affect RB Jordan Howard, who’s still expected to see the bulk of the carries and work on early downs for the Eagles. 
  • However, Sproles does provide a safety net if second-round RB Miles Sanders isn’t ready to contribute right away. 
  • Per Shorr-Parks, Sproles also creates more competition for roster spots between Corey Clement, Wendell Smallwood, Josh Adams and Boston Scott. It’s conceivable only one makes the final roster, with Clement being close to a lock if he’s healthy. 

Giants

  • According to SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano, Giants first-round QB Daniel Jones could be signed before Tuesday’s first rookie practice. 
  • NFL Media’s Mike Garafolo says there is no real quarterback competition in New York and Giants QB Eli Manning is expected to start Week 1 barring an injury.
  • Garafolo says previous comments by HC Pat Shurmur that didn’t close the door on Jones starting were intended to make sure the rookie didn’t get complacent and prepared each week to be ready to play in case he’s needed.
  • Former Giants QB Phil Simms says multiple teams had their eye on Jones between the Giants first-round picks at No. 6 and No. 17: “Just to dispel any myths… He was not going to be there. Everybody just trust me… I know for a fact he would not have been there on the 17th pick that the Giants had. It’s a quarterback. What are we going to argue ‘Oh, I had him slotted at No. 9.’ Who’s they? Oh, writers and [Twitter trolls]. Trust me, not one, multiple teams were going to draft Daniel Jones before pick 17. I gave you a scoop. Nobody talks about it. I do, though.”
    (Rob Lep

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