NFC East Notes: Cowboys, Eagles, Williams

Two players linked to the Cowboys in recent weeks are not in the team’s plans, it appears. Jadeveon Clowney has the Cowboys and Saints at or near the top of his figurative list, but the pass rusher who has been connected to nearly half the league this offseason is off Dallas’ radar, Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram notes. That also applies to David Njoku, the Browns tight end connected to the Cowboys after his trade request surfaced recently. The Cowboys signed Aldon Smith and have Tyrone Crawford and four recent draft picks joining DeMarcus Lawrence at defensive end. They also are looking likely to carry Dak Prescott‘s $31.4MM cap number on their books this season, limiting funding for a Clowney deal. At tight end, the Cowboys lost Jason Witten but extended Blake Jarwin. Beyond Jarwin, however, the team is fairly thin at this spot.

Here is the latest from the NFC East:

  • One member of the Cowboys’ D-end contingent may not have a chance to supplement Lawrence. The Cowboys have continued to hope for the NFL to reinstate Randy Gregory, but as of Monday, Hill adds that the team has largely given up on this notion. The NFL banned Gregory indefinitely for substance abuse, and although the new CBA’s suspension structure is focused more on PEDs, the former second-round pick was suspended four times under the previous CBA’s discipline structure. Despite being drafted in 2015, Gregory has played 28 career games.
  • Returning to the Clowney news cycle, the free agent edge rusher wants to join a winning team, veteran Seattle-based NFL reporter John Clayton said during an ESPN 97.3 radio interview (via Eliot Shorr-Parks of 94WIP.radio.com), adding that the Eagles will appeal to the free agent. Clowney’s hesitance about the Browns stemmed from their modern history as a losing team; his Dolphins reluctance did as well, Clayton adds. The Eagles were unwilling to approach Clowney’s lofty asking price earlier this offseason, but with the Browns bowing out and the Seahawks not expected to match their previous offer, his price may now be reduced. And Philadelphia has not been shy about loading up along its lines.
  • Although the Giants plan to pay at least $16.1MM to see if Leonard Williams fits into Patrick Graham‘s defensive scheme, they have not given up on a long-term fit. Big Blue and Williams did not come close on an extension agreement, but Ralph Vacchiano of SNY notes the team can still see a Williams accord coming to pass after the 2020 season. To secure the kind of money he seeks, Williams will need to improve on his half-sack (in 15 games) showing of 2019.
  • The Eagles are ready to increase T.J. Edwards‘ role. Despite the second-year player arriving in the league as a UDFA, the Eagles are penciling him in as their starting middle linebacker, Shorr-Parks notes. A Wisconsin alum, Edwards played just 11% of Philly’s 2019 defensive snaps. But the Eagles cut Nigel Bradham and do not have a host of high-profile names at linebacker. The team did draft two linebackers — in Rounds 3 and 6 — this year, however. But the COVID-19 pandemic has made this a bad year for rookie development.
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4 comments on “NFC East Notes: Cowboys, Eagles, Williams

  1. I think Jerry will manage to get Randy Gregory one last chance. It would be interesting to see how a natural star with so many years away from the game fares back in the trenches.

  2. wagner13

    Is there a dearth of talented linebackers league-wide? It seems as though every other team in the association has a blackhole at the position. I know it’s not as crucial in today’s pass-happy league, but it’s still concerning nonetheless. Just off the top of my head, I wouldn’t be confident with the linebacking units for the Browns, Bengals, Jaguars, Eagles, Chiefs, Rams, Panthers, Falcons, or Lions

    • Ak185

      Seems that way, certainly. I actually think you have a good list, too. I tried to pick out one I disagreed with and couldn’t-except the Jags. They have what could possibly be the best cover linebacker in football in Myles Jack, and signed another very good one in Joe Schubert. If Telvin Smith weren’t off doing…whatever he is doing (being charged with underage sexual accusations and whatever else), they’d certainly have the best coverage unit at the position. I hope that didn’t sound callous, as a disclaimer, I certainly think whatever is happening with him is more important than his football career.

      But, as I was saying…If Shaquil Quarterman works out, likely at middle, they’ll have a solid unit I believe. Of course, the questions at EDGE and corner make that unit a much bigger target now.

      • wagner13

        Im going to be honest: I completely forgot Jack existed. Now that I think about it, Schobert and Jack sounds like a pretty good duo. Thanks for correcting me.

        At corner and end, Jacksonville at least has some young pieces with Henderson and Allen. Unfortunately, they’re lacking in both depth and at safety

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