After Week 1 of the 2018 NFL season, the NFC East has two haves and two have-nots, with Washington and the Philadelphia Eagles each picking up wins and the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants both coming up winless. Dallas and New York face off on Sunday night, likely ending one team’s brief winless streak, while the Eagles will be tested on the road against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Washington hosts the Indianapolis Colts.
Everything can change on Sunday. And ahead of that, let’s take a look around the division at the biggest news swirling about the Giants’ three biggest rivals.
Dallas Cowboys: The Cowboys managed only eight points in their loss to the Carolina Panthers last week, and Blogging the Boys’ Michael Sisemore has a solution for the team’s offensive and scoring woes: Giving the ball to running back Ezekiel Elliott.
Elliott had only 15 carries for 69 yards and the Cowboys’ lone touchdown in Week 1, and though the Cowboys have issues with their offensive line, Sisemore argues that having quarterback Dak Prescott lead the way is not the right approach. Further, he points to Elliott’s prowess as a receiver as another wrinkle the Cowboys should employ given the team’s lack of weaponry at wideout.
Dave Halprin broke down Wednesday’s Dallas practice and injury report. Defensive ends Randy Gregory and DeMarcus Lawrence were key Cowboys to sit out, with the former still in the league’s concussion protocol and the latter nursing a groin ailment. Neither are expected to miss Sunday night’s game with the Giants. Prescott, meanwhile, has an ankle injury but is practicing through it.
Philadelphia Eagles: Bleeding Green Nation’s Brandon Lee Gowton reports on Eagles head coach Doug Pederson confirming that Nick Foles will again start at quarterback in Sunday’s game against the Buccaneers. Foles struggled against the Atlanta Falcons in Philadelphia’s season-opening win, but the Super Bowl MVP has had better luck, historically, on the road against the Buccaneers.
It’s possible this is Foles’ final start. Though Carson Wentz has yet to be cleared for contact following last season’s knee injury, signs are beginning to point to him returning to the field in Week 3 against the Colts. Gowton’s sources include ESPN’s Chris Mortensen and Philly Fan Life’s Brandon Sommermann, who says that Wentz has a high probably of being cleared on Friday.
Meanwhile, the Eagles are still making changes to their passing offense. They signed receiver Kamar Aiken, once of the Baltimore Ravens and waived receiver Markus Wheaton, once of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Washington: Hogs Haven’s Kennedy Paynter gives a breakdown of Washington’s Week 1 winning performance over the Arizona Cardinals, starting first with the offense and continuing with the defense. On the former, Paynter writes: “It’s quite clear that Jay Gruden feels comfortable throwing anything and everything at his new quarterback [Alex Smith]. The Redskins used some sort of backfield motion on 22 of their 79 offensive snaps, ran 10 RPOs, accounting for over 40% of their offensive snaps.”
Paynter also noted that Washington only blitzed four times on defense against the Cardinals and once against the run. This, “shows that the Redskins can effectively sit back in coverage and get enough pressure with their front-four while also being stout enough against the run without having to send reinforcements against the run.”
Scott Jennings compiled the highlights of Gruden’s Wednesday press conference, which confirmed that receivers Cam Sims and Trey Quick will head to injured reserve. The team signed free agent Brian Quick and promoted Jehu Chesson from the practice squad to fill their roster spots.