The Cowboys expect defensive end Randy Gregory to return to practice on Monday, tweets Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News. Reports last week also indicated the Gregory was close to to returning to the field, but the NFL subsequently informed the Cowboys that Gregory would not be allowed to practice. Still appealing a one-year ban, Gregory’s status for Dallas’ Week 16 game Lions is still unclear, but his being allowed to practice is clearly a good first step.
Here’s more from the NFC’s two East divisions:
- Despite Dak Prescott‘s struggles against the Giants in a close loss in Week 14, the Cowboys are insistent that they won’t be turning things over to veteran Tony Romo any time soon, as Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram writes. “You can make it as simple or complex as you want to make it,” head coach Jason Garrett said this week. “It’s pretty simple for us: Dak’s going to play quarterback as we go forward.” Meanwhile, a debate is reportedly raging with the Cowboys organization, as some decision-makers believe Romo should be given live game snaps in order to prepare him if Prescott is injured, per Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link).
- Pass rusher Connor Barwin was a better fit in the Eagles‘ 3-4 scheme of years past than the club’s current 4-3 look, opines Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer. For his part, Barwin realizes that he hasn’t played up to his contract, and understands that he could be released at season’s end (a move that would save the Eagles $7.75MM in cap space). “He’s too smart for that defense,” an NFL personnel director told McLAne. “That’s a defense for . . . linemen that can just pin their ears back and not think. He’s neither athletic nor strong enough to consistently win battles against the best left tackles.”
- The Patriots are dealing with injuries at wide receiver in the short-term, and while those issues likely played a role in New England claiming Michael Floyd off waivers today, the club is likely looking taking a long-term view in assessing Floyd’s fit with the team, as Mike Reiss of ESPN.com writes. While the Pats will pay a relatively high price tag for a three-game regular season audition, that time will allow the team to see how Floyd meshes with the organization, and determine if he could be part of the franchise going forward.