Tony Pollard

NFC East Notes: McCown, Treadwell, Cowboys

The Eagles made a surprising decision to sign Josh McCown out of retirement on Saturday, and the fact that they gave McCown a $2MM guarantee suggests that he is a lock to make the roster. Indeed, Eliot Shorr-Parks of 94 WIP reports that Philadelphia was trying to sign McCown even before presumptive QB2 Nate Sudfeld was sidelined with a wrist injury (Twitter link). Shorr-Parks notes in a separate tweet that HC Doug Pederson declined to say whether Sudfeld will remain the primary backup. Pederson said he will figure that out when Sudfeld heals.

Let’s round up a few more NFC East items:

  • Former first-round pick Laquon Treadwell is on the trade block, and Matt Lombardo of NJ.com believes the Giants could make a play for him. Treadwell played under New York head coach Pat Shurmur when the latter served as the Vikings’ offensive coordinator, and Shurmur held the Ole Miss product in high regard not that long ago. Given the current state of the Giants’ WR depth chart, Lombardo suggests it would be reasonable for Big Blue to send a sixth- or seventh-round pick to Minnesota to see if a change of scenery can unlock some of Treadwell’s potential.
  • Cowboys owner Jerry Jones may not want to meet QB Dak Prescott‘s asking price — said to be at least $35MM per year — but he confirmed that Prescott’s eventual contract will put him in the top tier of quarterbacks. Jones said, “[a] lot of people question whether Dak is one of those guys that need to be in the top tier. I’ve never questioned that. I don’t think there’s any doubt that he’s in the top level of paid quarterbacks…Now, how do we make this all fit and what can we do to have the best team around him? That’s what we’re trying to work on” (Twitter link via Jon Machota of The Athletic).
  • Tony Pollard‘s performance in training camp and the preseason may be giving the Cowboys a little leverage in their contract talks with Ezekiel Elliott, and Jones said “Zeke who?” when asked if Pollard is becoming the team’s best negotiator with Elliott (Twitter link via Machota). Jones made it clear he was joking and said he believes Pollard will be an excellent complement to, and not a replacement for, Elliott (in case you missed it, we heard this morning that Elliott will not face criminal charges for the altercation between him and a security guard in May).
  • Despite spending the entire 2018 season out of football, Cowboys WR Devin Smith has a legitimate chance of cracking the team’s roster, as Machota tweets. Smith caught a TD pass in Dallas’ preseason contest on Saturday, and his play has been very strong over the past week. The former Jets second-rounder signed a reserve/futures deal with the Cowboys in January.

NFC East Notes: Williams, Cowboys, Giants

Trent Williams continues to hold out from Redskins camp, but the team is standing firm on the trade front. Despite acquiring Donald Penn, the Redskins have told teams they have no plans to trade Williams, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Teams continue to inquire about the 10th-year left tackle’s availability, but thus far, Washington has resisted. Williams, 31, is upset with the organization because of his contract and its handling of a health scare of his. Some around the league believe the Patriots will make a play for the seven-time Pro Bowler, but nothing is moving on this front yet. This may be an attempt for Washington to drive up the price, but for now, Williams remains a Redskins employee.

As for Washington’s left tackle situation, Penn and 2018 third-rounder Geron Christian are battling for the spot, Albert Breer of SI.com tweets. Ereck Flowers is back at guard but may be behind fourth-round rookie Wes Martin.

Here is the latest from the NFC East:

  • Deandre Baker will miss time for the Giants because of a knee sprain, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com notes (video link). However, the first-round pick’s ACL did not sustain damage, and the Giants appear to expect him back soon. Baker will likely be asked to start in his first season, with Big Blue’s cornerback corps rather thin.
  • The Cowboys gave fourth-round pick Tony Pollard just four carries in their preseason opener, but Jerry Jones may be using that to send a message to holdout Ezekiel Elliott. “He looks confident out there. We know he’s inordinately understanding what it is he does and what he can do,” Jones said, via ESPN.com’s Todd Archer. “We’ve seen him do it. We know he’s capable, if he really needs to, carry the whole load.” Pollard gained 16 yards against the 49ers. While Dak Prescott‘s negotiations have been talking points in the past two days, not much has emerged on the Elliott front. Jones said (via Jon Machota of The Athletic, on Twitter) nothing has changed regarding Dallas’ extension candidates.
  • Third-year Cowboys defensive end Taco Charlton addressed his current situation, which may not involve a full-time starting role. The 2017 first-round pick has just four career sacks and said he was not asked to rush quarterbacks as much as he did as a rookie. He mentioned discussing his NFL future with his agent recently (via Machota, subscription required). “We know my value and everything like that, so everything is good,” Charlton said. “I’m here right now working hard with this team. I will show up every day to work hard, healthy, hurt, whatever may be. Shoulder hurt, I still show up every day to work hard.” The Cowboys have DeMarcus Lawrence recovering from surgery, Robert Quinn out two games with a suspension and Randy Gregory once again banned. The defending NFC East champs will need Charlton, especially early.
  • On another NFC East defensive line, the Eagles saw their 2017 first-round pick return to 11-on-11 drills. Derek Barnett participated in team work for the first time in camp, Dave Zangaro of NBC Sports Philadelphia notes. Barnett spent the offseason recovering from a shoulder injury that sent him to IR in October. The Eagles traded Michael Bennett and lost Chris Long to retirement, pointing to a big role for Barnett.
  • The Giants lost another wide receiver for the season. Recent addition Amba Etta-Tawo tore one of his Achilles’ tendons, per NJ.com’s Matt Lombardo. In his second camp with the Giants, the Syracuse alum has yet to play in a regular-season game. Big Blue is down Sterling Shepard and Corey Coleman and will be without Golden Tate for the season’s first four games.

Cowboys Notes: Zeke, Cooper, Martin

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones remains optimistic that his team will be able to get star RB Ezekiel Elliott back in camp, but he is not willing to capitulate to Elliott’s demands, as David Moore of the Dallas Morning News writes. Zeke, of course, is holding out of training camp and is working out in Mexico. He is under club control for two more seasons, and while Jones obviously wants him back, it will have to be on Dallas’ terms (which makes sense, given all of the other contract situations the team needs to address).

Now for more from the Cowboys:

  • Executive VP Stephen Jones said he had no update on the Elliott situation or on Amari Cooper‘s contract talks (Twitter link via Clarence Hill Jr. of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram). Jones indicated that there has not been much dialogue with Cooper’s camp about a possible extension. Cooper is presently dealing with a bruised heel that started bothering him Friday, so he may not see much action for the next few days, as Hill notes in a separate tweet.
  • Cowboys guard Zack Martin recently underwent an MRI on his back, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. The club is encouraged by the results, but Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News reports that Martin has some irritation to a disc and could miss at least a week (Twitter link). It does not sound like there is any reason to panic at this point, but Martin will not be rushed back, and this could become a situation to keep an eye on.
  • Dallas could use some depth at guard — especially with Martin’s absence — and at cornerback, and Stephen Jones said the team is looking to sign a player or two at both positions (Twitter link via Hill).
  • Tony Pollard may not have entered the league with the same hype that accompanied Elliott a few years ago, but the fourth-round rookie has been very impressive in camp. Stephen Jones did not hesitate when naming Pollard as the young player who has stood out the most, per Hill (via Twitter).

Cowboys Sign Most Of Draft Class

The Cowboys have most of their draft signings out of the way. Everyone in Dallas’ draft class has agreed to, or signed, their rookie deals, according to David Moore of the Dallas Morning News (on Twitter), save for third-round guard Connor McGovern.

The following Cowboys rookies are now in the fold:

Hill, a 6’2″, 315 pound defensive tackle, left UCF on a sour note and openly complained about his lack of playing time in the team’s Fiesta Bowl loss to LSU. Throughout the year, Hill clashed with coaches and started only once in the team’s eleven regular season games. Still, the Cowboys see big potential in this supersized lineman.

Pollard, meanwhile, offers upside as a runner and as a receiver. Last year, he saw 78 carries out of the backfield and averaged 7.1 yards per try. He also caught 39 passes for 458 yards, showing that he is a multi-talented threat.