Welcome to this week’s edition of the NFC East Notebook, where we take a look at the news around the division. Today we will start in Dallas where the Cowboys join in on the throwback train.
Thanks to the NFL finally getting rid of the one helmet rule, we have been treated to so many new uniform combinations. The Dallas Cowboys officially joined in and released their throwback uniforms using the alternate white helmet for the upcoming season. The cowboys will wear them on Thanksgiving when they play the New York Giants.
Cowboys trading Amari Cooper call worst NFL off-season move.
Jean-Jacques Taylor of the Dallas Morning News says trading Amari Cooper to the Cleveland Browns was the worst move the Dallas Cowboys have made this offseason. Jean-Jacques Taylor had some strong words on the matter going on to write:
The Cowboys took their strongest position group and made it one of their weakest when they traded Amari Cooper to Cleveland.
It was a dumb move then, and it’s still a dumb move now.
It definitely could be viewed as a misread of the market on the part of Dallas. Shortly after surrendering Cooper to the Cleveland Browns for only a fifth-round pick the wide receiver trade market exploded with the Titans and Chiefs getting 1st round picks plus for their star guys respectively.
Doubling the sting is after the wide receiver market exploded the Cooper contract ended up being a pretty reasonable contract and one the Cowboys could have kept on the roster.
- See SB Nation’s Blogging The Boys for more about the Cowboys
Asante Samuel and LeSean McCoy knew Nnamdi Asomugha was a bust from day one.
Asomugha was the biggest free agent of 2011 after establishing himself as a premier cornerback with the Raiders. When Philadelphia landed him on a five-year $60-million deal it was supposed to help push the Eagles another step closer to their Super Bowl quest. According to McCoy and Samuel, it took all of one practice for the hype to wear off. Talking on the ‘I Am Athlete’ podcast, the two former Eagles spoke about the experience of Asomugha’s first practice. McCoy spoke about Asomugha’s first 1-on-1 during practice. Tight end Brent Celek beat him on a post-corner route and the players knew he was overhyped.
Eagles players knew Nnamdi Asomugha was a bum when Brent Celek burned him the first practice of training camp pic.twitter.com/CkrnjI85Yv— Crossing Broad (@CrossingBroad) July 19, 2022
Bleeding Green Nation dropped their all NFC East rosters.
The folks over at Bleeding Green Nation came out with an NFC East first-team and second-team roster for both offense and defense. The Giants didn’t have much representation on offense with only Saquon Barkley and Andrew Thomas getting second-team consideration.
The defensive side of the ball had a few Giants make first-team consideration. Leonard Williams, Adoree Jackson, and Xavier McKinney all made the first team. Here is what Brandon Lee Gowton had to say about each of these players.
Leonard Williams, Giants: Leonard Williams’ NFL career has felt somewhat under the radar. After being a high draft pick for the Jets, Williams played solid, but unspectacular football for a few years before being shipped to the Giants where he thrived in Patrick Graham’s defense. Now under the tutelage of Don “Wink” Martindale, Williams should continue to be a force in the Giants’ underrated defensive front.
Adoree’ Jackson, Giants: Adoree Jackson has had a huge career turnaround since joining the Giants. His athleticism and instincts make him an asset in the Giants’ secondary with the ability to run with anyone on an opposing defense. It will be interesting to see if he can maintain 2021’s high level of play with a new defensive coordinator in town and James Bradberry in Philly.
Xavier McKinney, Giants: Xavier McKinney took a huge step forward in his second season last year. The former Alabama star proved to be a playmaking coverage safety, picking off five passes in 2021. His instincts and athletic ability allow him to line up all over the Giants’ secondary and make an impact wherever.
- See SB Nation’s Bleeding Green Nation for more about the Eagles
Hogs Haven breaks down what a “best case scenario” season looks like for the Commanders.
With training camp right around the corner hogs haven did a breakdown of what a best-case scenario season looked like for the Commanders. There was a deep dive on each position group and then wrapped up with an overall outlook.
With Wentz healthy and playing well, and an ability to avoid - or at least minimize - other key injuries, I think the Commanders can be an 11-6 team in 2022. While most naive, outside observers will expect the strength of the team to be the defense, I actually think it’s the offense that ends up surprising, but in a way that is well-balanced and relatively absent any “super stars.”
Scott Turner’s scheming, finally assisted by a competent cast of players, attracts league notice, and quiet discussions begin about whether he might be Ron Rivera’s heir apparent once Ron is ready to turn over the reigns.
The Commanders get into the playoffs as the NFC East Division champ and win their first playoff game in over 15 years. They play well in their second playoff game, but the team’s most notable weakness - its secondary - isn’t quite capable of stopping the high powered passing attack of their superior opponent, and they fall in the divisional round.
But, 2023 looks bright, with Wentz appearing to be a longer term solution at QB, and relatively few tough contract decisions for the coming year. The draft and a fairly healthy cap situation leave the team well-positioned to fill its few remaining holes for a deeper playoff run.
This would be a big jump over the current 7.5 projection odds for the Commanders’ win total. Again, this is if all things break right for the Commanders. Let’s see if Wentz can revert to top form.
See SB Nation’s Hogs Haven for more about the Commanders