NFC East Notes: Cowboys, Eagles, Giants, Redskins

     

Cowboys

After battling injuries for parts of the past three seasons, Cowboys OT Tyron Smith says he’s feeling healthy heading into 2019. 

“Every year you always have little nicks here and there, but it feels good coming into this year with no injuries,” Smith said via Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News. “I’m coming back faster and stronger.”

Eagles

Giants RB Saquon Barkley said the Eagles got the best running back in the draft when they selected his former Penn State teammate, Miles Sanders, in the second round. 

“What he went through, coming here as a five-star to sitting back and waiting for his spot and his moment, when he got his moment he took advantage of it,” Barkley said via John McGonigal of the Centre Daily Times. “To be the second running back taken in the draft — and in my opinion, the best running back in the draft — he’s going to prove that to the league this year. I’m really excited for him.” 

Giants

  • Giants HC Pat Shurmur says QB Eli Manning is the starter and will take the first-team reps. (Matt Lombardo)
  • Shurmur adds first-round QB Daniel Jones will work with the No. 2 and No. 3 offenses. (Lombardo)
  • Jones will get “the majority” of the practice reps behind Manning. (Ryan Dunleavy)
  • The Athletic’s Dan Duggan says first-round DT Dexter Lawrence will likely line up as the Giants’ nose tackle in their base defense. 
  • Duggan adds DT Dalvin Tomlinson will play the three-technique and B.J. Hill will play as a five-technique defensive end in the Giants’ base defense.
  • Giants DC James Bettcher is excited about Lawrence’s pass-rushing potential as he continues to recover from toe surgery following his freshman year: “I think the sky is the limit. He’s finally healthy and getting that opportunity to go rush the passer. A lot of his time here, other than his freshman year, he wasn’t 100 percent. That’s going to be a big key, just keeping him healthy.”
  • Shurmur said sixth-round rookie CB Corey Ballentine is making progress as he recovers from a gunshot injury. He’ll make a full recovery, it’ll just be “a little bit of time.” (Duggan)
  • Giants OT Mike Remmers is “working his way back. He’ll be ready to go once the season starts.” 
  • Giants OT Nate Solder had a minor clean-up on his ankle after it flared up and will be ready for training camp. (Duggan)
  • Second-year QB Kyle Lauletta is working his way back from a “knee clean-up.”
  • Veteran CB Janoris Jenkins says he was injured at the start of the 2018 season and played the year at less than 100 percent. He added this year, “I’m 110 percent. How about that?” (Dunleavy)

Redskins

Redskins QB Dwayne Haskins impressed the team with his ability to recall plays during the pre-draft process and put that ability on display during minicamp.

“It’s not like we gave him a cheat sheet before he got here,” HC Jay Gruden said via ESPN’s John Keim. “This is something we want to challenge him and see how he translated the meeting to the field. He did a pretty good job.”

Gruden added Haskins still stumbled on some terminology and protections in the playcalls, but during the regular season the coaches will be trying to make things easier. For now, he has a good base to build on. 

“At Ohio State, they’re far along as far as protections and schemes, so he’s got a good base foundation,” Gruden said. “Now we just have to expand because we obviously see more fronts and a lot more blitzes that he’s going to have to learn.” 

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