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Around the NFC East: Cowboys, Redskins, Eagles Storylines

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News, notes and nuggets about the Giants’ NFC East rivals

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NFL: New York Giants at Washington Redskins Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

With the NFL season quickly approaching, there are headlines across the NFC East. Let’s take a look at what’s going on with all of the New York Giants division rivals this offseason in this week’s Around the NFC East.

Washington Redskins

Options if Kirk Cousins Moves On

What if Kirk Cousins leaves the Redskins after the 2017 season?

Options for Redskins if Kirk Cousins walks in 2018 | Fan Rag Sports

Teddy Bridgewater: Some things have to happen for this scenario to occur. First, Bridgewater has to show he is healthy after his gruesome knee injury he suffered last August. Then, the Minnesota Vikings must decide they’d rather keep Sam Bradford and let Bridgewater walk. If these things happen, Bridgewater could be on the Redskins’ list, but I doubt he’d be a top choice.

Jimmy Garoppolo: If New England doesn’t give Garoppolo the franchise tag (or trade him during this season), he will be popular on the open market. Cousins will likely get paid more than Garoppolo because he’s proven himself more. Yet, Jimmy G. will get paid. The Redskins would likely love him as a consolation prize for losing Cousins.

Mike Glennon: He very well could be available via a trade or as a free agent if he is released by the Chicago Bears. Surely, the plan in Chicago is for Mitchell Trubisky – who was the surprise No. 2 overall pick – to start in 2018. Glennon’s 2018 value is dependent on how he plays this year, but he should be an option for the Redskins.

Brett Hundley: Aaron Rodgers’ backup will likely be traded in 2018. He is set to be a free agent in 2019 and the Packers will likely want to flip him for value while they can. Hundley is a talented player and he could come at a decent price (third-round pick, maybe). Any team that trades for him will probably give him a new deal as well to keep him for more than a year. Because he doesn’t have much NFL experience, the trading team would need to have a lot of faith in Hundley. It will be worth the Redskins’ time to investigate.

A.J. McCarron: McCarron could be a restricted free agent next year. Some teams like him in the same way they like Hundley. Andy Dalton’s backup could be an attractive sign-and-trade candidate next year. And, like Hundley, he probably wouldn’t be overly expensive, either, because there are a lot of unknowns about the former Alabama star because of a lack of NFL snaps.

Redskins No. 25 in Power Rankings

The Washington Redskins were primed for a playoff berth last season until a late-season collapse. After losing some key players this offseason to free-agency, there is doubt about the Redskins’ chances this season.

PFT preseason power rankings No. 25: Washington Redskins | NBC Sports

Biggest positive change: While the offense was a strength in Washington last year, the defense was less impressive. The Redskins changed defensive coordinators with Greg Manusky replacing Joe Barry and they were aggressive in the offseason by adding players to the unit. First-round defensive end Jonathan Allen, linebacker Zach Brown and safety D.J. Swearinger highlight the new additions and will be counted on to spearhead improvement on the field this season.

Biggest negative change: In many circumstances, the departures of McVay, Garçon and Jackson would take the prize in this category but the winner has to be the departure of General Manager Scot McCloughan. The drama that was synonymous with the franchise quieted during McCloughan’s time in Washington, but it came back in full force with the awkwardly handled ouster of a guy who had done a lot to get the team back on track after the ugly end to the Mike Shanahan era. Doug Williams moved to the top of the football operations department, but it feels like the shift moved power back to president Bruce Allen when all was said and done.

Coaching thermometer: There’s no fire, but that doesn’t mean it’s chilly. Jay Gruden is 21-26-1 through three years in Washington and changes to a front office often come with coaching changes, especially if they aren’t sold on their starting quarterback. A rocky start will likely be accompanied by an uptick on Gruden’s thermostat.

Dallas Cowboys

Report: Cowboys interested in Justin Durant as possible veteran insurance at linebacker | Blogging the Boys

Justin Durant, who will turn 32 in September, is a name that hadn't garnered a lot of consideration, but now it looks like the Cowboys are looking at him as an option once again. The Cowboys know Durant well; he was in Dallas from 2013-2014, and even became a defensive captain in 2014 before leaving for Atlanta in 2015, only to re-up in Dallas in July last year - and we could be seeing a repeat of that this year.

Durant knows the Cowboys scheme well, so he'd be an immediate fit once he gets his conditioning right. If nothing else, Durant will provide the Cowboys with some cheap insurance and an additional option as they head into camp. The Cowboys had him on a one-year deal a year ago, so why not bring him in on another one-year deal?

Durant didn't start any games last year, but played 282 snaps in 13 games.

Probe into incident involving Ezekiel Elliott suspended | NFL.com

The Dallas Police Dept. has suspended its investigation into an incident at a Dallas bar on Sunday night involving Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott.

"The assault offense that occurred on July 16th at the Clutch Bar located at 2520 Cedar Springs Road has been suspended due to the lack of a complaint," Dallas Police spokeswoman Melinda Gutierrez wrote in a statement obtained by NFL Network's Tom Pelissero on Wednesday. "Dallas detectives made several attempts to contact the victim through various ways but at this time have not been able to make contact. To date no witnesses have come forward to provide any additional information about this incident."

Elliott was not arrested and police did not name Elliott or anyone else as suspects in the alleged assault. Elliott's exact involvement in the incident remains unknown. Although the investigation has been suspended, Dallas police could still reopen their probe. In addition, an NFL spokesman told NFL Network's Mike Garafolo that the league is still looking into the matter.

Dallas Cowboys DB Jourdan Lewis to stand trial for domestic violence charge

Dallas Cowboys rookie defensive back Jourdan Lewis will stand trial for one charge of domestic violence next week.

Lewis attended a pretrial hearing Thursday morning, where he and his attorney made it clear they intended to fight the charge.

Philadelphia Eagles

Eagles Front Seven Recognized

The Philadelphia Eagles were named by Pro Football Focus as the third-best front seven in the NFL. Fletcher Cox and Jordan Hicks were both ranked in the top five of their positional grades.

Eagles News: PFF says Philadelphia could have the league’s best front seven | Bleeding Green Nation

Ranking all 32 team's front seven units headed into the 2017 season - PFF3) This 2017 Eagles unit could easily challenge for the No. 1 or No. 2 spot on this list as the season progresses, as there are no real weakness to this front seven. Fletcher Coxand Jordan Hicks both ranked in the top five in their positional grades, while Brandon Graham finished with a 93.3 overall grade, second best of all edge defenders. They added PFF’s No. 3 overall prospect in the 2016 draft in edge defender Derek Barnett, as well as veteran Timmy Jernigan, who had the best stop percentage last season among all 3-4 defensive ends (10.8 percent).

Eagles New Receiving Corps

The Eagles made a ton of offseason signings and have improved tremendously from last year, especially in their receiving group.

Eagles have an actual NFL wide receiving corps now | Bleeding Green Nation

Signing Jeffery was such an awesome, unexpected move for the Eagles. They badly needed receiver help and they ended up getting the best one on the market. The Eagles finally have a bonafide No. 1 wide receiver once again.

There are some obvious concerns with Jeffery. He’s dealt with a number of soft tissue injuries over his career that have either kept him out of games entirely or hampered his ability to be fully effective while suiting up. Jeffery is also one PEDs suspension away from missing 10 games, just like Lane Johnson did last season.

So far, those issues haven’t come up. Jeffery made it through spring practices with a clean bill of health. Even better, he was really impressive on the field. He made tough, contested catches look easy. He made big plays down the field. He didn’t drop a single catchable pass. It was clear he’s the team’s best wide receiver, by far.Signing Jeffery was such an awesome, unexpected move for the Eagles. They badly needed receiver help and they ended up getting the best one on the market. The Eagles finally have a bonafide No. 1 wide receiver once again.