NFC East Notes: Cowboys, Eagles, Redskins

     

Cowboys

Cowboys C Travis Frederick played in an NFL game for the first time since his diagnosis of Guillain-Barré syndrome a year ago. The veteran center got nine snaps in Dallas’ preseason opener and said he feels good. Frederick is also coming back from offseason shoulder and sports hernia surgeries, so this is welcome news for the Cowboys. 

“There was some thought there, but again, my goal of the whole thing is to try to make it as normal as possible and get it back to normal,” Frederick said via ESPN’s Todd Archer. “So for me, having a normal opportunity to go back out there, play that normal amount, nine plays, one series whatever it was, that was good. That was exactly what I wanted and needed emotionally, mentally and physically.”

  • Cowboys UDFA LB Luke Gifford (high ankle sprain) and OL Brandon Knight (torn plantar fascia) both had solid chances at making the final roster impacted by their injuries. (Archer)

Eagles

According to several projections, the Eagles cost themselves a compensatory pick when they signed S Andrew Sendejo in free agency this offseason. That’s led to a lot of speculation Sendejo could be on the roster bubble, however, the veteran appears to be a key part of Philadelphia’s plan to play more three-safety packages. “We’re fortunate to have him,” DB coach Cory Undlin told reporters.

“Andrew is just a pure football player,” safeties coach Tim Hauck added via NJ.com’s Mike Kaye. “He’s smart, he’s been there and done it. He’s played in a few different schemes and really just understands football … and he brings experience to a bunch of young guys in our room. Just another guy they can look up to and emulate.”

  • The Philly Voice’s Jimmy Kempski believes Eagles’ fifth-round QB Clayton Thorson will be waived and re-signed to the practice squad. 
  • Kempski mentions that the Eagles are unlikely to bring in another veteran to bolster the backup quarterback spot because they can currently move on from Cody Kessler at no cost once Nate Sudfeld returns from his broken wrist. 
  • If the Eagles signed a veteran, they’d be responsible for his entire salary the rest of the year if he made the final roster. 

Redskins

Redskins HC Jay Gruden said he’s hoping to name a starting quarterback after the Redskins’ third preseason game against the Falcons. Washington drafted QB Dwayne Haskins in the first round this past April, but so far veterans Case Keenum and Colt McCoy have the edge on the rookie, meaning Gruden will likely be deciding between those two. 

“I’d say the vets probably have a little bit of a leg up on him, just because they’re vets and they’ve played,” Gruden said via Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer. “Case has played a lot of football, of course he’s new to the system. Colt’s an experienced guy in the system, he’s coming off that injury, we just have to see how he is running around. He got a little nicked today on it, from a confidence standpoint, from a stability standpoint. But they have a little bit of a leg up on [Haskins], just because of their knowledge of third down and red zone concepts. There’s a lot Dwayne still has to learn, but he can get there.”

Haskins has flashed the potential that made him a first-round pick, but in the preseason opener he also showed how far he still has to go. Haskins threw two interceptions and also missed a protection call that resulted in a sack. The rookie says he’s listening in to the two veterans ahead of him when they’re calling plays in the huddle to help acclimate to what’s expected of a starting NFL quarterback. 

“It’s just going to happen naturally, organically,” Haskins said via ESPN’s John Keim. “I had to come to terms with that. Now that I’ve been here for a little bit, it’s like, man, it’s a process. … By no means am I settling. I know that I want to be great and I know I will be great. It’s just that I have to be in a place where I know what I’m doing.”

  • According to Breer, third-round WR Terry McLaurin is already locking up a role in Washington’s offense for his ability to play multiple positions.  
  • Redskins fifth-round LB Cole Holcomb could also be a surprise contributor at inside linebacker. 
  • Breer mentions Geron Christian and Donald Penn are battling to replace Trent Williams at left tackle, while Wes Martin and Ereck Flowers are competing to start at left guard. 
  • Breer notes the Redskins believe they can play S Landon Collins at every level of the defense. 
  • Williams isn’t the only Redskins player to have issues with the medical staff, as former Redskins and current Broncos S Su’a Cravens says he’s still embroiled in a dispute with the team: “2 years later and I’m still fighting the Skins on something they’ve continued to do countless times. Which is why the best tackle in the game refuses to play for them now. Same reason I left. Mishandled injuries and withheld info. All evidence points to them being guilty!” (NBC4 Sports)
  • Cravens alleges the Redskins cut off his insurance, froze his payments, refused to pay his salary and tried to recoup money from him because they thought he was making up an injury. 

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