East Notes: Bills, Pats, Cowboys

The NFL may be a passing league, but Bills coach Rex Ryan is happy to buck convention with his signing of fullback John Conner, Vic Carucci of The Buffalo News writes.

A lot of teams don’t even have a fullback, and we’ve got two of them,” Ryan said Wednesday, after the team announced it had signed Conner as a free agent. “Two of the best fullbacks in the league are on our football team. So I think that may tell you a little bit about the type of style of football that we want to play.”

For his part, Conner acknowledges that making a team as a backup fullback won’t be easy, but he feels his kick-coverage prowess gives him a good chance. More from the AFC and NFC East..

  • The research firm hired by the NFL in the Patriots’ DeflateGate investigation has a history of conflict-of-interest allegations, Mark Daniels of The Providence Journal writes. In the Wells report, Exponent shut down the notion that weather could have been the sole reason for the low inflation levels of the Patriots’ game balls. In the past, the company has been accused of of being a hired gun that skews its findings to suit big-business clients. In 2010, Exponent was widely criticized for finding that second-hand smoke does not cause cancer. In 2009, the firm found that Chevron’s dumping of toxic chemicals in Ecuador did not cause cancer and the study did not disclose that a member of Chevron’s board of directors was also the single largest shareholder in Exponent.
  • Earlier today, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said that addressing Brandon Carr‘s contract is a priority for him. The cornerback, meanwhile, says he wants to stay put in Dallas, David Moore of The Dallas Morning News writes. “I’m a Cowboy. I love being a Cowboy. As long as I’m in this building I’m going to give it my all. I love playing the game of football,” Carr said. Carr is in the middle of a five-year, $50MM contract and has previously refused to accept a salary cut.
  • Despite losing DeMarco Murray, Jones says the Cowboys have a better run game than they did last year, Jon Machota of The Dallas Morning News writes. As it stands, Dallas is prepared to enter the season with a running back stable of Darren McFadden, Joseph Randle, Lance Dunbar, and Ryan Williams. The Cowboys haven’t closed the door on adding another running back, but it also sounds like they’re content to roll with what they have.
  • WEEI.com’s John Tomase wonders if the Patriots are hurting their brand by challenging the NFL.
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