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Around The NFC East: Cowboys, Redskins, Eagles Storylines

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

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Dallas Cowboys Tim Heitman-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

Chris Carter’s motor will earn him a roster spot; Redskins front 7 continues to impress | Hogs Haven

Chris Carter isn’t one of the bigger names when you talk about the Redskins pass rushers, but to this point he’s displayed versatility. Carter isn’t just a special teams contributor, as most thought of him heading into training camp—he’s shown to be a solid pass rusher as well. The first two weeks of the preseason, Carter has been able to apply pressure on multiple occasions as he’s tallied six combined tackles and 1.5 sacks.

This play was the highlight of Carter’s night against Green Bay, and a display of the exact definition of relentlessness. Despite being picked up on the stunt by Green Bay’s left guard, he’s able to stay alive in the play by spinning away from him, and close in on the quarterback. His effort to this point has kept him alive in many plays, and you need that mentality from every member of your front seven. When down in Richmond for training camp, Carter was one of the better pass rushers in 1-on-1’s, but it was really hard to pay close attention to him with Junior Galette and Jonathan Allen taking their reps too. Carter’s training camp has translated from practice into the games, and has easily created a lane to earn a roster spot...especially following the season-ending injury of Trent Murphy.

Scot McCloughan ‘probably’ would have drafted a quarterback for the Redskins in 2017 | Washington Post

Former Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan continued his media tour this week with an appearance on Adam Schefter’s “Know Them From Adam” podcast, and the personnel man continued to drop interesting nuggets about his time with the Redskins.

He said, for example, that he was scouting a great number of college quarterbacks while he was still with the club last season, “just because of the uncertainty” involving the future of starter Kirk Cousins. Which prompted Schefter to ask whether McCloughan might have drafted a quarterback in last spring’s draft had he remained in Washington.

“You know what, probably,” McCloughan said. “Probably. Just because of the uncertainty. If it was worth it. Now, I’m going to take the best player; I’m not gonna force the issue for need, maybe until later on in the draft. The first four or five rounds, I’m taking the best football player, but you’ve still got to have in the back of your mind what might happen. Because Kirk was on the [franchise] tag, and you never know for sure. It’s not a perfect science. [If] you say ‘Okay, we’ve got him no matter what for the next three or four [seasons],’ then I would have changed, probably watching more defensive linemen. But I paid attention to probably 20 quarterbacks.”

Philadelphia Eagles

ESPN 2017 NFL QB Tier Rankings | Bleeding Green Nation

ESPN’s Mike Sando gathers a group of "league insiders" every offseason to create tiered rankings of all 32 NFL starting quarterbacks. This year’s panel consisted of 50 insiders, including general managers, head coaches, offensive coordinators, defensive coordinators, personnel directors, analytics directors, scouts, and other executives. These insiders assigned each quarterback a grade from 1 (best) to 5 (worst). The rankings are compiled into an average and the quarterbacks are divided into five different tiers.

Last year, Carson Wentz wasn’t featured in these rankings since Sam Bradford was still projected to be the starter. He was at No. 28. Bradford has since improved to No. 23 overall which is two spots behind ... you guessed it ... Carson Wentz. Here’s what was written about Wentz via ESPN In$ider.

Wentz is the lowest-ranked player considered by voters to have an especially bright future, which is why he has nearly as many Tier 2 votes (11) as all the lower-ranked players combined (14) -- despite a rough finish to the 2017 season. Multiple voters thought he could threaten Tier 1 down the line.

"Wentz, I think, is a 2 and has a chance being a 1 this year," a GM said. "What I saw last year, he is exactly what you are looking for. Toughness, movement, arm, quickness, decisiveness, accuracy. I think he is, of all the young quarterbacks in the league, the pick of the litter."

Pederson sees Blount as 'big part' of Eagles' offense |

Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson dismissed speculation that LeGarrette Blount could be on the roster bubble.

"I mean, the guy is a beast of a runner," Pederson said Tuesday when asked about Blount's roster security, via the Philly Voice. "I don't know what else to tell you. [He had] 18 touchdowns, 15 in the red zone, last year. That's the production. You saw yesterday the style of running that he can do.

"And the other thing is, we're not game-planning these [preseason] games, so it's really hard going into a game saying, 'This is best against this team.' We're trying to execute our plays. As coaches, we might be doing our players an injustice by putting them in bad situations. But you saw what he's done the last couple of days.

"I'm excited he's here, and he's going to be a big part of our offense."

The coach's comments come on the heels of Blount's preseason struggles, and some beat reporters have suggested the Eagles could part with the bruising back and install Wendell Smallwood as the lead back with Darren Sproles playing a large role in the offense.

Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys News: Dak Prescott pronounces himself ready for regular season | Blogging the Boys

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott had a sensational rookie season, and is looking to build on it.

And Prescott has no concerns of a possible “sophomore slump.”

“All I’ve ever known is hard work, and hard work pays off,” Prescott said. “That’s what I did in this offseason as I’ve done every offseason in my career. I don’t see, that’s never been anything in my mind. I don’t know anyone around me who would think that. It’s just the preparation, everything that goes in eliminates that for the most part.”

Prescott is fully confident in his abilities to lead the team even further this season. He isn’t worried about being a fourth-round guy and what outsiders may think of that. Or even being the eighth quarterback taken in the 2016 draft.

All of those are just underlying reasons that continue to motivate him.

The biggest surprise of the Cowboys' preseason; impressions of Jaylon Smith's debut | SportsDay

Overall impressions of Jaylon Smith's debut?

Hairopoulos: Obviously we were all happy for the guy. He's overcome such a serious injury and very real concerns that he would never be able to play football again. He can diagnose plays well and he appeared to move well and with good speed. The next step is playing more snaps at a time, getting into real football shape and improving in always being in the right positions on plays.

I think the camp he and his brother, running back Rod Smith, are having is one of the best stories on the team.Overall impressions of Jaylon Smith's debut?