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NFC East notebook: Eagles continue to push their chips in

Your weekly source for news and notes around the NFC East

New Orleans Saints v Washington Football Team Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Welcome back to the weekly edition of the NFC East notebook, your source for news and notes around the division! From a familiar NFC East face in Dallas, to the Eagles continuing to push the chips in, Let’s dive into this week’s news.

Dallas Cowboys

There were some rumblings that the Dallas Cowboys would kick the tires on 40-year-old Jason Peters. Well, it looks like this is progressing more into reality as it looks like the Cowboys have entered negotiations with the long-time Eagle to fill in the left tackle void left by the Tyron Smith injury.

A longtime Eagle apart of the 2010 All-Decade team, even though Peters is 40 he could still be a contributor in the league. Last season with the Chicago Bears, Peters posted a 77.5 overall PFF grade good for 22nd in the league. While injury concerns are always present for Peters, he currently is an upgrade over the depth at tackle there now.

RJ Ochoa over at Blogging The Boys made his case for why picking up Peters is a no-brainer for the Cowboys.

“At the present moment, the only legitimate left tackle options on the Dallas Cowboys are the aforementioned Tyler Smith, plus Josh Ball and Matt Waletzko.

We all believe in Smith’s potential with this team, but for the reasons listed above kicking him out to tackle is playing with fire. He could obviously thrive, but he could also play poorly and have his future with the team and in the NFL in general damaged in the process.

Jason Peters walks into this locker room as the best left tackle on the team no questions asked. That alone is enough of a reason to justify bringing him in.”

The NFC East is absolutely loaded with pass rushers including the Giants duo of Azeez Ojulari and Kayvon Thibodeaux. The Cowboys are looking to ensure their franchise quarterback is protected this season.

Blogging The Boys also made a case for the Cowboys to trade for a name Giants fans know quite well. Darius Slayton seems to have fallen out of favor under the Schoen and Daboll regime. Brian Martin makes a case for the Cowboys to pick up the phone and give Schoen a call.

“In Darius Slayton, the Cowboys would be adding a proven WR who could step in from Day 1 and be an upgrade over anyone outside of CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup. And as an added bonus, joining the Cowboys would mean he’d get to face-off against his former team twice a year, which could fuel the fire to prove the Giants were wrong about him.”

With Joe Schoen stating that he is “open for business” and sitting in the red at -$5,568,873 over the salary cap according to Spotrac, it might not be the worst idea to see if Dallas might want to part with a late day three pick for Slayton if he is not apart of the team’s plan.

Philadelphia Eagles

The Philadelphia Eagles continue to push their chips in for contention after an off-season full of splash moves. On Tuesday the Eagles traded a 2023 fifth-round and 2024 sixth-round pick for New Orleans Saints secondary Swiss Army Knife Chauncey Gardner Johnson and a 2025 seventh-round pick. A versatile player that played in the slot and at safety, the Eagles continue to push while in acquiring talent thanks to Jalen Hurts inexpensive contract.

After being able to point at holes in the roster around wide receiver, linebacker, and the secondary, Philadelphia has heavily invested and now the Eagles look to be in a prime position to challenge. John Stolnis over at Bleeding Green Nation made the case that with how Roseman has attacked this offseason, the Eagles don’t need Hurts to be a Pro Bowl quarterback to push deep into the playoffs.

“The addition of Gardner-Johnson to the safety group leaves head coach Nick Sirianni with no obvious weakness. Miles Sanders and Boston Scott, if healthy, should provide plenty of production out of the backfield. Dallas Goedert is a premier pass-catching tight end. The offensive line is the best in the NFL. Brandon Graham returns to a front four that figures to be one of the strongest in the league. The linebacker room suddenly is filled with playmakers, and the cornerback trio of Darius Slay, Bradberry, and Avonte Maddox is one of the best around.

Suddenly, Jonathan Gannon’s defense has the ability to be dynamic, aggressive, and confounding to opposing offenses. The O-line can pass block and run block with the best of them, and there are a ton of playmakers at the offensive skill positions.

The only real question mark remains Jalen Hurts under center. No one is sure if he’s going to be the long-term answer at quarterback, but one has to wonder if the 2022 Eagles are so good around him that they no longer need him to be a Pro Bowl caliber thrower in order to make a deep playoff run or, dare we speak it out loud, a Super Bowl team.”

With the influx of talent coming in a few people would be left as the odd man out. On Wednesday the Eagles traded Jalen Reagor to the Minnesota Vikings for a 2023 seventh-round pick and a conditional 2024 fourth-round pick. The new vocal point of frustration for Eagles fans after the departure of Nelson Agular, Reagor was often compared to Justin Jefferson, who was taken just one pick after Reagor. It was moments like the ones he had against the Giants last season that left most Eagles fans frustrated.

Washington Commanders

After an impressive start to camp and the preseason, Washington Commanders running back Brian Robinson was unfortunately moved to the NFI list after being shot in the leg in an attempted carjacking. This has been another unfortunate development around the Washington franchise that has been in the news cycle time and time again with most of it being negative. Mike Tirico of NBC sports feels Rivera has done an excellent job of keeping the team’s focus on football.

“With everything going around the organization a lot of it’s been negative having Ron Rivera there has been a godsend,” Tirico told NBC4’s Moises Linares.

“Ron Rivera is one of the most respected, one of the most stable, one of the most honest guys in the league,” Tirico stated. “I think Ron’s veteran presence and experience has kept this from getting onto the field. I think if there are other issues with the franchise, as there have been played out very publicly, a lot of times that can seep into the locker room and the field. I think Ron has done an exceptional job of keeping that at bay.”

From the Dan Snyder issues to problems around the front office and senior leadership roles, Rivera continues to do his best to keep the team focused on the field.

Speaking of mess in the front office, it looks like we are starting to see more people questioning the team-building method. Looking around the media world, most people have the Washington Commanders linebacker core ranked near the lowest in the NFL. After initially releasing all linebackers on the roster besides Cole Holcomb, Jamin Davis, and Milo Eifler. While most fans and media were looking forward to seeing the team make an attempt to upgrade the position, it seems like the team had other plans, instead opting to bring back familiar faces.

This drew the ire of many, continuing to question the strategy of the front office.

David Mayo, a name Giants fans know all too well, continues to be one of the worst pass defense linebackers in the NFL after he posted a 30.1 coverage grade last season. This will be a position group to keep an eye on as it’s something Brian Daboll and company might be able to exploit especially if they can get Saquon Barkley heavily involved in the passing game.

  • See SB Nation’s Hogs Haven for more about the Commanders