NFC East Notes: McFadden, Gregory, Eagles

To the surprise of many, the Cowboys did not address their DeMarco Murray-less running back corps this weekend, but they may be in the market for veteran help.

Just because this is our current group of running backs doesn’t mean it will stay that way,” Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said to Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News. “We are always looking to improve our football team.”

But going into the season with Darren McFadden, Lance Dunbar and Joseph Randle doesn’t quite resemble an understaffed corps, considering the Dallas offensive front that lifted Murray to what could amount to an outlier campaign last year remains elite. Although Jerry Jones did note the team wanted to draft a tailback, indicating the corps could well see a notable addition before the season.

We would have liked to have drafted a running back,” the Cowboys owner and general manager told Machota. “But at the same token, we didn’t think at any given time that we should pass at the player that was there, even with the running backs [available].”

ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. noted to Machota the spot for the Cowboys to add to their backfield came in the third round in ex-Michigan State runner Jeremy Langford, when the team instead selected former Florida tackle Chaz Green, who the ESPN prospects guru viewed as a reach.

Here are some additional news items from the NFC East.

  • The Cowboys landing Randy Gregory at No. 60 is “worth the risk,” according to ESPN’s Todd McShay, via Machota. With Greg Hardy out for 10 games, Dallas had a need for a pass-rusher despite its depleted backfield.
  • With Dwayne Harris gone, the Cowboys have a need at returner. Jason Garrett mentioned to Rainer Sabin of the Dallas Morning News that McFadden could be an unlikely candidate to do so. The former No. 4 overall pick has three career kick returns.
  • For the first time in the draft’s 80-year history, the Eagles went two years without selecting an offensive lineman. After letting veteran Todd Herremans go and openly putting All-Pro Evan Mathis on the trade market, the Eagles face questions on their front, reports’s Reuben Frank. “We hadn’t drafted DBs in recent years, so it’s just kind of you can’t take them all,” Chip Kelly told Frank. “You only have a certain amount of picks.” The Eagles invested significantly at cornerback this offseason, signing Byron Maxwell and Walter Thurmond and now drafting Eric Rowe in Round 2, and they have a solid line that saw four players — Mathis, Jason Peters, Jason Kelce and Lane Johnson — receive top-13 grades at their positions last season, according to Pro Football Focus.
  • Philadelphia did add four undrafted offensive linemen, and Kelly’s blueprint for adding to an aging offensive front isn’t that different from how the league’s four championship-qualifying teams have done so, reports Mike Sielski of the Philadelphia Enquirer. The Eagles now house 16 offensive fronters, with 50% of them undrafted. That similar to the Patriots, Colts, Seahawks and Packers, whose rosters collectively have 49% of their blockers coming into the league undrafted, according to Sielski.
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