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Around The NFC East: Cowboys, Redskins, Eagles Storylines

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

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles-Minicamp Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

With the NFL preseason underway, 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 in this week’s Around the NFC East.

Washington Redskins

Jim Tomsula: The “V8” Engine on the Redskins’ Coaching Staff | Hogs Haven

That’s the kind of person I want coaching up my defensive line: a piston, a spark plug, a V8 engine. Tomsula returned to the NFL this year after taking a season off following his firing from the 49ers, and his passion and expertise for the positions he now oversees are attributes that should pay dividends for the Redskins. The Redskins need it, too. They struggled up front last year, ranking 29th in sacks, for example.

On the practice field, Tomsula’s passion drives him to find somewhat unconventional ways to bring players’ skills up to his standards. During training camp, he garnered plenty of attention for putting his linemen through boxing drills after practice sessions. Tomsula explained that boxing is an aggressive, high speed, cardio-intensive action and he needs his players to demonstrate that during games. Ultimately, the production he gets from players like rookie Jonathan Allen and veterans Phil Taylor, Ziggy Hood, Stacy McGhee, and Terrell Mclain, will matter the most, but fans are justified in their excitement about seeing this well-regarded coach barking instructions at the guys in burgundy and gold uniforms.

Redskins safety Su’a Cravens undergoes knee surgery | Fox Sports

Washington Redskins safety Su’a Cravens had knee surgery and there’s no official timeline for him to return.

Coach Jay Gruden says Cravens had a knee scope to clean out some issues with his meniscus. Gruden says Cravens was injured on the third play of the Redskins’ first preseason game last week at Baltimore.

With Cravens out, Deshazor Everett has taken most of the snaps as the first-team free safety and could start there when the Redskins host the Green Bay Packers on Saturday.

Philadelphia Eagles

Eagles players with the most to gain and lose in Philadelphia's second preseason game | Bleeding Green Nation

The Eagles safety tandem is among the best in the league. Listen in to find out why the Ronal Darby trade should make Jenkins and McLeod even better.

One of the players with the most to prove is Nelson Agholor, especially in the wake of JMatt trade. Can Agholor finally translate his practice success to game action? Listen in to find out. Plus, the guys address the rest of the wide receiver group, including Alshon's potential to play and the battle for roster spots.

The guys discuss the running game, and whether they have any worries about the backs and/or the offensive line. Spoiler alert: The crew has varying levels of worry.

Jeffery set to make preseason debut | Press of Atlantic City

The Eagles signed Alshon Jeffery to a one-year deal this offseason and he has yet to make his debut with the team. He will make his anticipated debut on Thursday night against the Buffalo Bills.

Eagles coach Doug Pederson is sticking with the same game plan he used last week for Thursday's preseason game against Buffalo at Lincoln Financial Field.

Quarterback Carson Wentz and most of the other offensive and defensive starters will only play a series or two against the Bills. Last Thursday, the offense scored a touchdown on its opening drive - a 35-yard pass from Wentz to rookie wide receiver Mack Hollins - at Green Bay, then took a seat.

"We've got four of these (preseason) games," Pederson said Tuesday after the final practice of training camp at the NovaCare Complex. "If you can get all or our starters and the quarterbacks to kind of get them into game shape, game mode, that's good."

Dallas Cowboys

Ezekiel Elliott developments: Harold Henderson to handle appeal, plus other details from the investigation | Blogging the Boys

The NFL and Roger Goodell have announced that Harold Henderson has been named to handle Ezekiel Elliott's appeal. Henderson has handled other appeal cases for the NFL and is viewed by some as being league-friendly. Mike Florio at Pro Football Talk says:

Henderson, by virtue of the fact that the league regularly hires him to provide appeal services, is viewed as someone who will be inclined to rubber stamp the decision from the league — even if he hasn’t always done that.

As a practical matter, the chances of Elliott completely overturning the suspension have dropped significantly. (At best, he’ll get a mild reduction.)

The Cowboys have tight end depth, but they’re having to use it all right now | Blogging the Boys

On Tuesday the Cowboys made a few roster moves, including the waiving of Connor Hamlettcoupled with the signing of M.J. McFarland. This was a swap out of sorts with tight ends, because the Cowboys kind of need one right now.

As we noted here at BTB on Tuesday, the depth of the tight ends in Dallas is starting to raise our blood pressure just a bit:

  • Jason Witten is on Gold Jacket status ... so he gets rest.
  • Geoff Swaim is coming off of surgery, so the Cowboys are taking it easy with him.
  • James Hanna is in the same boat as Geoff Swaim, he just got in earlier.

None of it really felt like it mattered before Tuesday’s practice though, thanks to the greatest tight end in human history Rico Gathers being on this team. Rico’s spot on this 53-man roster is as etched in stone as it can be, but even he now has an issue we have to deal with.