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NFC East notebook: Settling in after the draft

Here are the biggest stories from around the division

NFL: NFC Wild Card Playoff-San Francisco 49ers at Dallas Cowboys Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

We are now entering the dead zone of the NFL offseason.

No more mock drafts. No more trade rumors. The post-draft giddiness is wearing off as teams prepare for the start of training camp.

That doesn’t mean, though, that all is without controversy in the NFC East. All four teams are scrambling to build public trust in their rosters and front offices as they try and avoid another year as the NFL’s most lackluster division.

After a brief hiatus, the NFC East Notebook is back. Let’s take a look at some of the division’s top storylines from this week.

Dallas Cowboys

Dallas learned this week that it will be facing the Green Bay Packers in Week 10 of the 2022 season. We’ll finally get to see head coach Mike McCarthy’s long-awaited return to Lambeau Field, nearly four years after the Packers fired him.

McCarthy, of course, led Green Bay to a 125-77-4 record and the Super Bowl XLV championship during a 13-year tenure. His time in Dallas has been slightly more rocky, but this will still be one of the most anticipated revenge games of the year — if only because Aaron Rodgers is sure to make some not-so-subtle digs at his old coach in the weeks leading up to it.

The Packers have dominated this rivalry as of late, winning eight of the teams’ nine last matchups. That includes the infamous 2015 playoff game where Dez Bryant’s potentially game-winning catch was controversially ruled an incompletion. Cowboys fans are still sore about that one, and apparently so is Dallas’ social media team. Maybe Dez should have tried pinning it to his helmet.

According to ESPN’s Todd Archer, the Cowboys were in consideration to face the Packers in London, but the New York Giants will get that spot.

Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles have spent a good a part of their offseason trying to rebuild their ravaged front office. Multiple members of GM Howie Roseman’s team were poached by other franchises. Brandon Brown, their director of player personnel, is now the Giants’ assistant GM. Two others with Brown’s title also departed along with vice president of football operations Catherine Reiche.

Philadelphia interviewed a plethora of candidates last week for unspecified front office jobs. Jim Nagy, who has 18 years of scouting experience with various NFL franchises, is seen as a strong candidate to replace Reiche.

Steelers scouting coordinator Brandon Hunt also interviewed, but he could stay in Pittsburgh for the opportunity to take the team’s vacant GM spot. However, that position might be filled by Eagles vice president of player personnel Andy Weidl, who earned a second interview for the job.

Washington Commanders

Washington’s offseason has revolved around the acquisition of Carson Wentz, who, as of late, has not been a very good football player.

But last week, Wentz’s former teammate Torrey Smith launched a nine-minute defense of the quarterback on “Good Morning Football.” Smith was on the Eagles in 2017 when Wentz broke out with an MVP-caliber season.

“[Wentz is] a deep threat,” Smith said. “All he needs is a guy with some speed, and he has a couple of them in Washington. He still has the ability to [throw] the ball down the field .... That arm strength is still there.

“A lot of guys may question Carson, but you can never question his [selflessness]. Here’s a guy right in his face. [He has] athletic ability, showing that his feet are still there, throwing on the move. [He’s] able to make plays with his feet; he’s not a statue back there. Everyone can’t do that — Carson is the modern NFL quarterback.”

Head coach Ron Rivera also reiterated that the team is “very, very confident” in Wentz. He sees Taylor Heinicke as a clear backup and fifth-round draft pick Sam Howell as a “developmental guy that’s gonna have nothing but time.”