The New York Giants may be long shots to be NFC East champions at this point, given their 1-6 record. But the remainder of the division is still jammed together with Washington boasting four wins and the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles both at 3-4 through seven weeks. Further, Washington hosts the Giants on Sunday, making the goings-on around the division still compelling for New York’s fans.
Here are some of the biggest stories around the NFC East for this week.
Dallas Cowboys: Easily the top news out of Dallas this week is the Cowboys’ trade for Oakland Raiders receiver Amari Cooper. Cooper took part in practices on Wednesday but won’t be suiting up again until the team reconvenes next week after their Week 8 bye.
A week off doesn’t mean a week off from talking about Cooper’s potential impact in Dallas, though. Blogging the Boys’ Connor Livesay reviews the film and comes away with three ways Cooper can help Dallas’ offense, while Dave Halprin argues that the addition of Cooper is as much a response to how the Cowboys’ defense has been performing as much as its offense.
The bye week is also a good time for reflection, especially when it comes at the season’s halfway point. David Howman breaks down five changes the Cowboys need to make during their week off.
Philadelphia Eagles: Bleeding Green Nation’s Brandon Lee Gowton has the Eagles’ Wednesday injury and practice report.
Like last week, quarterback Carson Wentz was limited with a back injury but is not expected to miss Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Most notably, however, is that defensive end Derek Barnett is done for the year with a shoulder injury. Gowton predicts that means Michael Bennett will start in his stead.
There’s already some trash talk in the Eagles’ camp when it comes to their Jaguars opponents for this Sunday. According to Gowton, Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins took a jab at Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles following Philly’s Wednesday practice. Said Jenkins, “I can turn on the tape this week of our opponent and see that Colin Kaepernick deserves a job.”
Washington: While Washington gears up to host the Giants on Sunday, Hogs Haven has yet to dip into previews of this week’s game. But found in Scott Jennings’ recap of Washington head coach Jay Gruden’s Wednesday press conference are these thoughts on Giants running back Saquon Barkley:
“It’s good that our front is doing a very good job against the run without having to bring a lot of safeties in a lot of times, but Saquon [Barkley] is a different guy. He’s a combination of [Alvin] Kamara who can catch it out of the backfield and the quickness and Zeke Elliott who’s got the power and the speed. He’s got both. So, definitely a guy you have to figure out how to stop because their offense runs through them.”
Washington quarterback Alex Smith, meanwhile, was asked about the Giants’ two big trades on defense this week (corner Eli Apple to the New Orleans Saints and defensive tackle Damon Harrison to the Detroit Lions). He had little to say, except, “Maybe it will fire them up. Who knows the psychology of all that?” and that it won’t impact their preparation much at all, if any, this week.