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NFC East Roundup: Eagles rising

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Here’s the need-to-know news around the NFC East this week

Washington Redskins v Philadelphia Eagles
Carson Wentz and the Eagles faced adversity in Week 1. And they responded.
Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Halftime of the season opener.

The Eagles trail their bitter rivals, 20-7. The Redskins’ lead was as large as 17 points in the first half.

Carson Wentz and his teammates were facing adversity for the first time this season. They probably did not expect it this soon.

But they responded.

The Eagles scored the next 25 points in a 32-27 victory.

The Super Bowl hangover of 2018 is over. And Wentz (completing 28-of-39 passes for 313 yards and three TDs) seems ready to take the next step, a step he seemed primed to take in 2017 before he got hurt.

That is very good news for a talented and deep team in a division with two formidable powers.

Will Philadelphia be good enough to get back to the Super Bowl?

Here are some of the other big stories around the NFC East this week.

Dallas Cowboys

Optimism is contagious in Dallas after the Cowboys’ victory over the Giants. Blogging The Boys’ RJ Ochoa explains (and there’s a chart!).

They head to Washington on Sunday to face the team that spurred their playoff run last fall. It was the game that changed Dallas’ season — motivating it to trade for WR Amari Cooper and igniting the second-half charge that probably saved Jason Garrett’s job.

Speaking of the coach, do you know who really (really!) likes new Cowboys WR Randall Cobb? Garrett, that’s who.

But you know what he didn’t like? How the Cowboys finished in their 35-17 victory over your Giants. Garrett’s mantra early this season has been for Dallas to win the NFC East and let everything else fall into place.

What he’s really saying is “Beat Philly.” This should be fun.

Dallas remains mostly healthy heading into Week 2.

WR Tavon Austin (concussion) has not practiced this week. DE Tyrone Crawford (hip) sat Wednesday, but returned Thursday in a limited capacity. G Zack Martin (back) also was limited.

One final note: Could disappointing 2017 first-round pick Taco Charlton be on his way out?

Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles passed their first test.

Now they face a quasi-desperate team in the Atlanta Falcons. who don’t want to start 0-2 after struggling the past two seasons since blowing a 28-3 lead over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI.

Bleeding Green Nation’s Brandon Lee Gowton breaks down the matchup with Dave Choate of The Falcoholic.

The Eagles have a secret weapon in their player evaluation. Well, it was a secret. Now it’s not because you know.

Don’t overlook the Falcons. Matt Ryan had a rough Week 1, but let’s not forget he was the 2016 MVP and performed well on a bad team last season. And let’s also not forget that he has Julio Jones.

So enjoy the Wentz-Ryan Show.

Meanwhile, Wentz will be throwing to the newly christened “DNA Boys.” (I don’t want to ruin it for you, but it sounds dirtier than it really is.) It can’t be said enough how important having a deep threat — (cough) DeSean Jackson (cough) — is for Wentz and the offense this season.

The Eagles came out of their victory against Washington mostly healthy.

DE Derek Barnett practiced fully Thursday after being limited Wednesday. DT Fletcher Cox and backup QB Nate Sudfeld were limited again.

And LB Kamu Grugier-Hill (knee) has made progress, performing some rehab work on a side field. But he has not practiced since suffering an MCL injury in early August.

Washington Redskins

As if blowing a 17-point lead over a division rival in Week 1 wasn’t enough… RB Derrius Guice underwent knee surgery Thursday to repair a torn meniscus and is out indefinitely.

It’s another difficult development for Washington, but also for Guice, the talented young back who lost his rookie season to a torn ACL. Dr. James Andrews performed the procedure.

On the positive side, Washington likes its rookie receiver Terry McLaurin. Coach Jay Gruden told reporters “If we were smart, we would’ve drafted him in the first round,” according to Hogs Haven.

Who did they draft in the first round? Their franchise quarterback of the future, Dwayne Haskins, and DE Montez Sweat.

Maybe Gruden is feeling the pressure?

But in a rare piece of good news, the Redskins might get their top receiver back this weekend. TE Jordan Reed could play Sunday after suffering his seventh documented concussion in the preseason.