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NFC East Notebook: Romo-watch 2017 drags on

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Tony Romo’s status still uncertain, Eagles HC leaves door open for Joe Mixon

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

There isn’t a whole lot going on with the New York Giants as they prepare for April’s NFL Draft, which is generally a good thing. Doing the nuts and bolts work of teambuilding shouldn’t usually create headlines. The same doesn’t ring true for the rest of the division, with tough decisions and high-drama scenarios playing out in Dallas and Washington in particular. Let’s spin the NFC East.

Dallas Cowboys

Is retirement Tony Romo’s best option? | BtB

There is an old saying, attributed to Bill Parcells, that once a football player starts thinking about retiring, he already is. Multiple reports indicate that Romo is clearly thinking about it. And with no real initiative being shown by any teams to acquire him, that may be easier and easier to consider. Had a team contacted the Cowboys about a possible trade earlier, that may have headed off such thoughts. But the time that is passing may be damping those competitive fires.

One month ago, yours truly predicted no team would trade for Tony Romo, despite reports the Dallas Cowboys we’re looking to strike a deal as opposed to releasing him. Giving up pieces to acquire an oft-injured, 36-year-old quarterback while inheriting a $14 million cap hit in 2017 isn’t so alluring, it turns out. It’s extremely unlikely Romo does indeed retire — not with three years and $73.6 million left on his contract — but it’s just as unlikely he starts next year on Dallas’ roster, however that unfolds.

Philadelphia Eagles

19 takeaways from Doug Pederson’s press conference | BGN

Jeffrey Lurie didn’t seem to rule out the Eagles drafting Mixon and neither did Pederson. But he did talk about the importance of character:

We know the New England Patriots have ruled out Joe Mixon, Robert Kraft made his feelings clear earlier this week. The Eagles, however, aren’t the Pats. Head coach Doug Pederson sounds open to the idea of welcoming Mixon — and the media firestorm he’d bring with him. The Eagles have the 14th pick of the draft and many NFL execs predict Mixon won’t go sooner than round two.

Washington Redskins

Jay Gruden talks McCloughan, Cousins | HH

"I was disappointed. I liked Scot. I liked working with Scot. He’s a good person, and a great talent evaluator,"

"Any time you lose somebody that you become close with, whether it’s a coach or a GM or a player it's disappointing but at the end of the day in pro football, anybody that’s been around it long enough understands, change is going to happen and you have to react and adjust to it and move forward with a positive outlook,"

I’m not going to say ‘it had to be made.’ It was made, that’s all that I can live with,” Gruden said.

When news of the Redskins parting ways with Scot McCloughan first broke, many unnamed players had the ousted GM’s back. It appears Jay Gruden was fond of McCloughan as well. Gruden’s “I’m not going to say ‘it had to be made,” translates to ‘I don't like it, but can’t do much about it.’

Gruden didn’t mince words when it came time to speak about his quarterback either. The Redskins will gladly pay Kirk Cousins $20+ million per season — just for one season at a time until they find something better, it appears. The team franchised Cousins for the second consecutive season, a very public ‘we aren’t totally on-board with this guy’. While it may or may not be “coach-speak,” for Gruden to back Cousins, there’s much on the line for the fourth-year coach and third-year starter in Washington. Starting 2017 on the same page was the easy part.