Dalvin Tomlinson

NFC East Notes: Cowboys, Haskins, Giants

As other teams continue to finalize pivotal extensions, work remains for the Cowboys on this front. Contract talks are ongoing for Dallas’ standout trio — Ezekiel Elliott, Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper — entering the team’s first preseason game, and ESPN.com’s Todd Archer notes none of these contracts is particularly close to being done. Nevertheless, Jerry Jones remains confident.

You just know like so many things it’ll happen. It’ll happen,” Jones said of the extensions. “There literally is no concern on my part at all about any timeframe. That’ll happen. The results are too good for them and too good for the Cowboys. Think about it a minute. The results are too good for them and too good for the Cowboys. That always happens when it’s good for both (sides).”

Cowboys executive VP Stephen Jones has mentioned possible team-friendly discounts for these players, due to the financial opportunities that come with playing with this particular franchise, and added the team not does not intend to set positional markets. (For what it’s worth, the Cowboys set the guard market last summer with Zack Martin.) Elliott, however, remains a holdout — with two days remaining until the Aug. 6 date that will determine whether the running back is a UFA or an RFA in 2020 — and Prescott does not sound receptive to a Cowboys-friendly deal.

Going from the Cowboys’ off-field matters to some of their rivals’ on-field setups, here is the NFC East’s latest:

  • Although Colt McCoy spent the offseason rehabbing a broken leg, he emerged as the Redskins‘ starting quarterback on their first depth chart. It is not certain he will take the snaps in Week 1, but J.P. Finlay of NBC Sports Washington indicates camp work thus far has revealed this competition has become a two-man battle between McCoy and Case Keenum. It should be expected Dwayne Haskins takes over at some point this season, but Finlay notes the first-round pick has not looked ready yet. Haskins sits as Washington’s QB3 on the first depth chart.
  • Despite Dexter Lawrence tipping the scales north of 340 pounds, the Giants are playing him as a five-technique defensive end, Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com notes. This will accommodate the 318-pound Dalvin Tomlinson, who moved from end to tackle after Damon Harrison was traded midseason. Tomlinson is indeed operating as Big Blue’s first-string nose. Lawrence played the nose spot at Clemson but has impressed the Giants with his pass-rushing ability this offseason. The mammoth defensive lineman registered 1.5 sacks last season but collected 6.5 as a freshman in 2016. Either way, New York will boast a physically imposing defensive front.
  • Darius Slayton‘s encouraging offseason has not yet translated to camp, with the rookie wide receiver joining some higher-profile Giants wideouts in being unavailable. Slayton has missed 10 consecutive practices because of a hamstring injury, Dunleavy notes. For the non-Giants-following sect, Sterling Shepard broke his thumb, Corey Coleman tore his ACL and Golden Tate received a four-game suspension since camp began.

East Notes: Zeke, Giants, McCoy

Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott managed to escape a suspension for a potentially troublesome incident in May, but Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk suggests that if Elliott should even come close to violating the league’s personal conduct policy again, the punishment will be severe. Commissioner Roger Goodell gave everyone in the league office this week off, so Florio believes the only reason for Goodell to summon Elliott to league headquarters on Tuesday was to sufficiently scare him into staying on the straight and narrow. Goodell has been less harsh with players who run afoul of league policies in recent history, but if Elliott should put another toe out of line in the future, the commissioner will likely hand out a lengthy ban, and his decision to not suspend Elliott this time will help to justify such a measure.

Now for more the league’s east divisions:

  • There do not seem to be any starting jobs up for grabs along the Giants‘ defensive line, even though the presumptive starters are young and mostly unproven. However, with that youth comes a great deal of potential, and one of the keys to Big Blue’s immediate prospects is the realization of that potential. Third-year player Dalvin Tomlinson, second-year talent B.J. Hill, and rookie Dexter Lawrence are expected to open the season atop the Giants’ D-line depth chart, as Paul Schwartz of the New York Post writes, and the addition of Lawrence allows Tomlinson to slide into a traditional nose tackle spot, to which he is better-suited.
  • In a separate 2019 positional preview piece, Schwartz examines the Giants‘ tight end group, which is headed by Evan Engram. Engram had a disappointing start to 2018, his second professional season, but when Odell Beckham missed the final four games of the season, Engram excelled and finished with some positive momentum. Now that OBJ is in Cleveland, New York will need Engram to show more of the same in a crucial year for his development. The club’s second TE, Rhett Ellison, is a favorite of HC Pat Shurmur, while returnee Scott Simonson will have to hold off C.J. Conrad — a UDFA who impressed this spring — and former Syracuse QB Eric Dungey, another UDFA who is trying to make the club as a TE/gadget player.
  • Vic Carucci of BNBlitz.com says it’s possible that Bills GM Brandon Beane and LeSean McCoy have adamantly pushed the notion that McCoy will be the team’s starter in 2019 in order to generate some trade interest. After all, the club does have a large stable of RBs, and McCoy, a 2020 free agent, appears to be nearing the end of his career. But Carucci says he has heard nothing to indicate that Buffalo is seeking to trade McCoy.
  • In the same piece, Carucci says he believes Levi Wallace will start for the Bills at cornerback opposite TreDavious White.
  • In case you missed it, we heard this morning that Cowboys edge rusher Randy Gregory will be applying for reinstatement shortly.
  • Also from this morning: the Giants may deploy safety Jabrill Peppers as their primary punt returner.

Giants Sign Three Picks, 14 UDFAs

The Giants have signed three draft picks, second-round defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson (Alabama; previously reported), third-round quarterback Davis Webb (California) and fifth-round defensive end Avery Moss (Youngstown State), per a team announcement. Additionally, the club has added 14 undrafted free agents, all of whom are listed below:

Draft Pick Signings: 5/10/17

Today’s draft pick signings:

  • The Giants have agreed to terms with second-round defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson, tweet his agents at SportsTrust. Tomlinson, the No. 55 overall selection, could help New York make up for the loss of Johnathan Hankins, who signed a free agent deal with Indianapolis. Although he’s more of a nose tackle, Tomlinson will likely play much more three-technique for the Giants given the presence of All Pro Damon Harrison at nose. Tomlinson’s four-year deal with Big Blue should be worth approximately $4.572MM in total, while the Alabama product will receive a signing bonus of ~$1.465MM.
  • The Jets have signed sixth-round cornerback Jeremy Clark, the club announced today. Clark, a Michigan product, likely would have been selected much higher in the draft had he not torn his ACL after playing in only four games last season. Despite a pressing need in the defensive backfield, New York only picked one other corner (fellow sixth-rounder Derrick Jones) in addition to Clark, so the former Wolverine could have a shot to earn snaps during his rookie campaign. Clark, whose four-year deal should come with a signing bonus of roughly $148K, becomes the third Jets draft pick to sign, joining Jones and running back Elijah McGuire.
  • The Steelers announced that they’ve signed seventh-round linebacker Keion Adams. A Western Michigan product, Adams is viewed as an edge rusher in Pittsburgh’s 3-4 scheme, according to Lance Zierlein of NFL.com. As such, Adams could face an uphill battle to make the Steelers’ roster given that the club added first-rounder T.J. Watt to an outside linebacker crop that already includes Bud Dupree and James Harrison. Adams posted 13 sacks over his final two years with WMU.