Welcome to this week’s edition of the NFC East notebook. The division continues to impress boasting the best-combined record amongst all the divisions in the NFL. With so many teams having success, it is no surprise that a few of them have been active in the trade market so far. The New York Giants made their own headline-making move when they traded Kadarius Toney to the Kansas City Chiefs for draft compensation. So let’s take a look around the division and see what other rumblings are happening.
The Dallas Cowboys stand at 5-2 currently and boast one of the most formidable defenses in the NFL. With the team currently in the thick of the playoff and division race, the Cowboys decided to add a familiar face to Giants fans this week. The Las Vegas Raiders traded defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins and a 2024 seventh-round pick to Dallas for a 2023 sixth-round pick.
Hankins will shore up a sizable hole in the middle of the Cowboys’ defensive line to aid in run support. Giants fans will remember Hankins for the tough run defense he provided for New York from 2013-2016. With this trade, most around the league will have eyes on what the Cowboys do with 2020 third-round pick Neville Gallimore. It appears that he has fallen out of favor in Dallas and with still a few holes left on the roster if Gallimore could be used to help facilitate some extra reinforcements for the Cowboys. It does not seem there is much else in the world of Cowboys trade rumors.
The Cowboys finally looked like they were going to be healthy on offense after missing Dak Prescott since he got knocked out of Week 1. It looks like that isn’t going to last long with running back Ezekiel Elliot trending to miss the game this week against the Bears. One person who is confident that there won’t be a drop-off in production is Tony Pollard.
In the event Ezekiel Elliott can’t go vs the Bears, Tony Pollard says he’s ready to carry/touch the ball as many times as the #Cowboys ask him to.— Patrik [No C] Walker (@VoiceOfTheStar) October 26, 2022
“If they call it, I can haul it.” pic.twitter.com/tLV7B1ILKl
There has long been a narrative that Tony Pollard would not be able to handle a full workload without Zeke. So this will be a big opportunity for Pollard to prove that he has true three-down back ability.
Another player with plenty of confidence coming into this game is linebacker Micah Parsons. Parsons has been one of the best defensive players in the NFL this season and will look to continue that pace against the Bears. Going against a dual-threat quarterback for the second straight week, Parsons was asked about who he thought was faster between Jalen Hurts and Justin Fields. Parsons took it as an opportunity to remind everyone of his athleticism.
Cowboys LB Micah Parsons if Justin Fields is faster than Jalen Hurts: None of them are faster than me so I don’t really think that’s a problem. At the end of day we just got to get them to the ground.— Clarence Hill Jr (@clarencehilljr) October 26, 2022
Crazy enough, Parsons to his credit is not wrong. Parsons ran a 4.39 40-yard dash at Penn State’s pro day. Fields meanwhile, was timed at a 4.44 40-yard dash at Ohio State’s Pro Day.
The Philadelphia Eagles are still the lone remaining undefeated team in the NFL coming off the bye week. With one of the most talented rosters in the NFL and an aggressive GM, it is of no surprise that the Eagles made another move to try to help with the pursuit of a Super Bowl run.
The Eagles traded their fourth-round pick to the Chicago Bears in exchange for pass rusher Robert Quinn.
Even after trading for Robert Quinn today, C.J. Gardner-Johnson, A.J. Brown, and moving up in the draft to select Jordan Davis, the Eagles still are scheduled to have six picks in the 2023 draft, including two first-rounders courtesy of the Saints.
After the trade, Howie Roseman and Quinn reworked the defensive end’s contract to void the final two years of the deal, making Quinn an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. Quinn’s contract did not have any guaranteed money after this season. The pass rusher was scheduled to make $13.9 million and $12.9 million over the next two seasons, though neither of those years had any guaranteed money.
The Eagles will seemingly be linked to every player that might be on the move between now and the trade deadline. With Jay Glazer stating earlier in the week that he could see the Eagles could make a move for a running back, jersey swaps started to commence.
With CMC already traded to the 49ers, it seems like all eyes are on another NFC South running back. Some rumblings were going around on social media, though none by anyone close to the team, that the Eagles reached out to the Saints about running back Alvin Kamara.
According to a report from Pro Football Talk though, this is not true. As Mike Florio noted, there’s been a rumor going around that the Eagles are interested in Kamara and the Saints are asking for their first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft back in return.
This rumor made very little sense from the Eagles’ perspective. The team has not valued the running back position and trading for a running back on his second contract with an injury history seems to go against what Howie Roseman does. Until the trade deadline passes though, I’m sure this won’t be the last fake rumor we see.
At 2-5 on the season, it would be no surprise if teams were placing calls to Washington to see if anyone was available for trade. After losing the starting job to Brian Robinson and having to split work with J.D McKissic as well, it seems like Antonio Gibson is generating some interest around the league.
Antonio Gibson would command a nice return in a potential trade, sources tell @theScore. He’s on the third-year of his rookie deal and already a terrific receiving back as well. Again, I’m told the #Commanders would prefer to keep him, nor are they shopping him…Just listening rn https://t.co/1iVjOzD4Z7— Jordan Schultz (@Schultz_Report) October 28, 2022
Ron Rivera made the team’s stance clear following these reports.
Commanders Ron Rivera says, "We have no intention" of trading Antonio Gibson. Said it "Bums me out" that someone is putting that out. Believes in the two-back set.— David Harrison (@DHarrison82) October 28, 2022
Gibson does remain a part of the Commanders game script. The running back ran 10 times for 59 yards and caught three passes for 18 yards in last Sunday’s win over the Packers. Even where the season currently stands for the Commanders, it looks like they are not yet ready to give up on this season.
A couple of other names that have been swirling around the trade rumor mill are DL Daron Payne and CB William Jackson as teams try to gauge what direction the Commanders are looking to go in. Payne would have a robust trade market and could net a day-two pick in 2023 according to people with knowledge of the market. Jackson has long been rumored to want out of Washington and the Commanders’ corner could gather interest from teams that will suit Jackon’s man-style scheme fit.
Ron Rivera interestingly enough seems to be going through a bit of an internal struggle when it comes to trades. Last week, Rivera told The Athletic that he was trying not to be “close-minded” and weigh out all possible trade scenarios. It seems like there has been a change of heart as now Rivera reportedly has no intention of trading anyone unless an outlandish offer comes along according to Ben Standig.
When you contemplate about going in two different directions it often leads to no direction. With the indecision in Washington with players that don’t seem to have a long-term place with the Commanders, many will continue to question just what the goal is over in Washington.