NFC East Notes: Cowboys, Eagles, Giants

     

Cowboys

Though both Randy Gregory and Robert Quinn are dealing with suspensions, the Cowboys still are deep at defensive end. That’s led to some speculation they could consider trading former first-round DE Taco Charlton, who has yet to find his stride at the NFL level. Charlton has progressed well this preseason, however, and flashed playmaking ability that’s not easily replaced. 

“Yes, I think we have really good numbers, but you have numbers and then you have playmakers, like the last couple of passes that he has knocked down,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said via ESPN’s Todd Archer. “Well, some of the unique things about him allow you to do that. Having a sense of timing as well as the length to do it, so that’s a good one for him. Everything that Taco does in his repertoire is really outstanding. We just want him [to have] and he wants to have a bigger repertoire.”

  • Jones said in a radio interview Wednesday the Cowboys are less concerned about having RB Ezekiel Elliott for the start of the season than they are for having him at the end: “We’ve got a marathon here. We want Zeke when we get to the playoffs. We want Zeke when we’re in the dog days of the season.” (105.3 The Fan)
  • Jones said there were no further updates on contract talks with Elliott and there’s no deadline to do a deal with Week 1 looming: “We have to be prepared to play without any given player. …We may very well play without a player that’s not coming in on his contract. We’ll play and we’ll play well.” (Jon Machota)
  • Jones also said negotiations would be easier in person with Elliott if he were in Dallas and he didn’t have to deal with his agent and his “agenda.” (Machota
  • According to one NFL agent, Jones and the Cowboys are notorious for trying to go around agents directly to the players to try and persuade them being a Dallas Cowboy is worth taking less money. (Mike Garafolo)
  • Cowboys EVP Stephen Jones still hopes to do a deal with Elliott before the start of the regular season but acknowledges negotiations have been quiet. (Todd Archer)
  • Jones adds the team is comfortable with fourth-round rookie RB Tony Pollard filling in while Elliott is gone: Tony Pollard is even better than we ever expected he’d be, so we’ll be prepared to go to work with (the running backs we have) if that’s what we have to do.” (Machota)
  • Jones says he has not been told by QB Dak Prescott and WR Amari Cooper that they will cease extension talks after the regular season starts: “We’re open for business.” (Archer)
  • Jones mentions other teams have made trade inquiries about Dallas’ backup offensive and defensive linemen: “I think there’s a possibility for sure that we could move somebody.” (Machota
  • Jones told reporters the team is confident in K Brett Maher: “We have all the confidence in the world in our kicker. I don’t see anything changing there.” (Machota)
  • Cowboys WR Randall Cobb played some quarterback in college before switching positions in the NFL. He took some reps back at quarterback in practice recently, though: “It’s been a while, it definitely felt good. It felt like home for me. It was a lot of fun. (OC) Kellen (Moore) is going to mix it up a little bit so we’ll see what happens.” (Calvin Watkins)
  • Cowboys’ UDFA OT Mitch Hyatt practiced with the first-team offense on Tuesday due to RT La’el Collins out due to groin injury. (Archer)
  • Archer added Cowboys’ second-year OT Jake Campos filled in for Collins on Monday. 

Eagles

Eagles OC Mike Groh said WR Mack Hollins has done a “good job” in his return from a groin injury. Groh added that the Eagles’ staff is looking forward to Hollins playing in Thursday night’s preseason game. 

He’s gone out there … done some good things,” Groh said via Mike Kaye of NJ Advance Media. “Looking forward to seeing him again Thursday night.

  • According to NJ.com’s Zack Rosenblatt, the Eagles were willing to let QB Josh McCown continue coaching high school football despite signing on as the team’s backup.
  • McCown lives in Charlotte and coaches for Myers Park High School. He’ll return to Charlotte on Friday night’s after practice to help coach the team during games. 
  • Being able to continue coaching was one of McCown’s conditions for unretiring, which also included playing for a contender, good coaches, players and organizational structure and a team close to home.
  • The Athletic’s Zach Berman says a potential Eagles trade package for LB Jadeveon Clowney could consist of an offensive tackle, a wide receiver and a second or third-round pick.
  • Berman believes the Eagles will keep RB Corey Clement and try to drum up interest for RB Josh Adams, though the latter will likely ultimately be waived. 
  • Assuming full health, Berman projects Sidney Jones and Ronald Darby as the two starting outside corners, with Avonte Maddox in the slot. 
  • Eagles WR DeSean Jackson is expected to see a hand specialist on Wednesday and the team is confident that he’ll be able to play in Week 1. (Tim McManus

Giants

Giants sixth-round CB Corey Ballentine experienced a rollercoaster of emotions shortly after New York made him the first-ever draft pick out of Division II Washburn University in Kansas. That very night, he and teammate Dwane Simmons were both shot at a party. Simmons did not survive, while the bullet that hit Ballentine is still lodged in his hip.  

“Bones heal,” Ballentine said via Paul Schwartz of the NY Post. “I’m just glad it wasn’t worse. It could have hit an artery or something like that. I’m really just glad I could recover from it and I’m still here.”

That hasn’t held Ballentine back, though. Doctors told him it would be six weeks before he could run after the bullet entered his buttocks and impacted against his hip, fracturing the bone. He beat the timetable by two weeks, and has gone from a fringe roster option to someone who could potentially earn a role on the defense in 2019. 

“I don’t think it’s been smooth,” Ballentine said. “I’ve been learning a lot. There’s a lot being thrown at me and it’s just up to me to be a pro. It looks smooth, but there’s a lot of work that goes into it as well. A lot of long nights staying up watching plays.”

  • Dr. David Chao says there’s no reason to remove the bullet if it’s imbedded deep and not doing harm, as digging it out could actually hurt more than help. 

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