Any guesses on the friendliest division in the NFL? We’re talking about four teams who get along no matter what and always root for the successes of one another. No guesses? Seriously? It’s the NFC East of course!
The second week of the 2015 NFL season saw the second clash within the division, which included our Dallas Cowboys, and it was quite a doozy. The other two NFC teams had some interesting days of their own that left them in interesting situations heading into Week 3.
Step into my laboratory and let’s examine our Dallas Cowboys and annoying little brothers within the division.
Dallas Cowboys: 2-0 Overall, 2-0 Within NFC East
America’s Team traveled to the City of Brotherly Love to take on the runt of the NFC East litter – the Philadelphia Eagles. Without Dez Bryant the Dallas Cowboys Defense came to play, continually getting pressure and finding themselves tackling Eagle running backs for losses.
Rod Marinelli is having a drastic influence on his defensive unit, but the biggest impact is being felt by Sean Lee.
The newly crowned NFC Defensive Player of the Week helped the Cowboys pull off a 20-10 victory over the Eagles, giving them a 2-0 record and making them 2-0 in the division. These first two wins count so much more than regular victories, seeing as they are against division rivals, and the Dallas Cowboys are currently the only NFL team who is 2-0 within their respective division.
Washington Redskins: 1-1 Overall, 0-0 Within NFC East
Two weeks ago there was a lot of question about whether or not the Washington Redskins could even win a game in the NFL. Then Kirk Cousins quarterbacked this crew to a nice win over the St. Louis Rams, who were coming off an impressive Week 1 win over the Seattle Seahawks, to give this team their first victory of the season.
The biggest story out of D.C. seems to be the emergence of rookie running back Matt Jones. With Alfred Morris at their disposal you would think that the Redskins were set at that position, but Matt Jones looked very good against what people believe is an elite defensive front in St. Louis.
Washington sure has surprised a lot of people with how composed they are (or rather how they are not a flaming dumpster fire) in 2015, and if they can pull off a win on Thursday against the G-Men, they’ll really enter the conversation of relevance.
New York Giants: 0-2 Overall, 0-1 Within NFC East
Odell might be able to catch a ridiculous amount of hype, but the New York Giants just can’t catch a break. They dropped a heartbreaker against the Atlanta Falcons in the waning seconds of the game… a practice that they are developing into a tradition for the 2015 season.
The Giants have shown some moxie in 2015. Their offense has moments where it looks like they could be lethal against opponents; they just seem to have an inability to finish games. Washington comes to town on Thursday and that could be just what the doctor ordered. You never want losses like this to fester over a whole week, so getting back on the field quickly could help them re-focus faster.
Philadelphia Eagles: 0-2 Overall, 0-1 Within NFC East
The freshest wings out of the Eagles nest, DeMarco Murray, had an astonishingly terrible performance on Sunday against Dallas… only producing 2 yards against his former team. His 2 yards were part of the 7 total yards that the Eagle running backs found on the ground… calling Head Coach Chip Kelly’s philosophies into question.
The Eagles are a complete offensive mess. They lead the NFL in one offensive category – three and outs. Chip Kelly has a lot of pressure on him this week as the Eagles take on the 2-0 New York Jets.
With a division loss already blemishing 2015, Philadelphia is an 0-3 step away from completely unraveling.
Free Agent WR Allen Hurns Plans to Sign With Cowboys
It looks as if the Dallas Cowboys will be adding yet another wide receiver through free agency. According to sources, Allen Hurns plans on signing with the Cowboys.
WR Allen Hurns just told me, "I'm going to sign with Dallas." #Cowboys
This is a move that seemed unlikely after the Cowboys signed Deonte Thompson a few days ago, but I know a lot of Cowboys Nation will be excited about this transaction.
While this move is exciting, it does create more confusion for the Cowboys and their wide receivers. It's difficult to imagine all of these WRs sticking to the roster, which means there will be some tough decisions that need to be made.
What will the Cowboys do with Dez Bryant?
Will Cole Beasley be cut or traded?
Are the Cowboys comfortable absorbing Terrance Williams' cap hit if traded or released?
Will this keep the Cowboys from drafting a WR early?
All of these questions and more will have to be answered eventually. But, one thing is for sure, things are definitely about to get interesting.
Of course, there is a bonus here for the Dallas Cowboys. Since Allen Hurns was released by the Jacksonville Jaguars, he doesn't count against the Cowboys compensatory picks next season.
Please stay tuned and we will continue to keep you updated on contract details and any other news involving Allen Hurns as it becomes available.
What do you think about the Allen Hurns signing?
What Signing Thompson Means for Hurns and Cowboys WR Position
UPDATE: News of Hurns saying he will sign with the Cowboys broke as this article went live.
Free Agency began a bit late for the Dallas Cowboys, but they've already done enough to get fans discussing about the latest additions to the roster. Adding help on offense, defense and special teams in form of tier-2 free agents may not be what Cowboys Nation wants to see, but I'm certain they wouldn't have enjoyed giving Sammy Watkins a three-year $48M contract, either.
However, the Cowboys are clearly in the wide receiver market after an offensively disappointing season. They have quite a few of this year's class of wide receivers prospects scheduled to visit Dallas, and they've hosted some WR free agents as well.
This week, they even signed one.
Deonte Thompson, who started seven games for the Bills last year, is coming to Dallas on a one-year $2.5M contract. The 29-year old could be the burner receiver this offense is missing and could end up being an improved version of Brice Butler for the Cowboys in 2018.
He hasn't had a great career but last season was his best year so far. Starting three games for the Bears and seven for the Bills, Thompson was able to rack up a career-high 555 yards and two touchdowns.
His best attribute as a player is definitely the speed he brings to the table and his ability to separate down the field, which he'll be looking to do on Dak Prescott's offense this season.
But there was another wide receiver visiting Dallas this week and now we wonder whether or not the Deonte Thompson signing will keep the Cowboys from targeting former Jaguars' WR Allen Hurns.
According to Todd Archer, that won't be the case.
Told the signing of Deonte Thompson does not close the door on the Cowboys' interest in Allen Hurns, who visited the team Wednesday and had dinner. Things could get interesting in the Cowboys' wide receivers' room. https://t.co/Ivt5uk9kBN
It shouldn't be. First of all, Hurns is a much better player than Thompson and would provide this offense with a receiver who can play in the "X" or in the "Z" role. We've been talking about getting Prescott a reliable target to try to give him a "best friend." Allen Hurns could be just that.
Sure, he's had a couple of down seasons, but the talent is there to take.
Simply put, the Deonte Thompson signing shouldn't stop the Cowboys from looking at WR in the first round of the NFL Draft. Allen Hurns would.
It sure would make things interesting in the wide receiver room for Dallas. Despite what many believe, Dez Bryant will probably remain a Cowboy even if Hurns is signed. Let's say the Cowboys go out there and get the 26-year old from Jacksonville and have to decide which six receivers to keep for the season.
They'd possibly have to decide among these:
- Dez Bryant
- Terrrance Williams
- Cole Beasley
- Ryan Switzer
- Allen Hurns
- Deonte Thompson
- Noah Brown
- A drafted rookie?
This is where a lot of dilemmas start taking form. Cole Beasley and Ryan Switzer are basically the same player and if you're not going to use them both at the same time, do you keep them anyway? What about Terrance Williams? He could be the worst receiver to make the cut just because of his contract.
Noah Brown showed promise in 2017, are they ready to move on from him? And finally, a rookie could very well end up beating Deonte Thompson, who was guaranteed a million in his contract.
Wide receiver is indeed one of the top needs for the Dallas Cowboys. They could head to the 2018 NFL Draft needing one in the top rounds or they could be fine signing Hurns and taking a late-rounder receiver to compete in training camp for a spot on the roster.
As long as they're having a tough time deciding because they are all good, it should be fine.
Cowboys Sign Free Agent WR Deonte Thompson
The Dallas Cowboys added some speed to their receiver corps today by signing free agent Deonte Thompson. He played for both the Chicago Bears and Buffalo Bills last season.
Thompson, who turned 29 last month, went undrafted in 2012. He had a quiet to start to his career as a reserve and practice squad guy in Baltimore and Chicago, but finally got a chance to shine with seven starts last year for the Bills. He 27 catches for 430 yards and one touchdown in just 11 games.
The #Cowboys signed WR Deonte Thompson, per agent @davidcanter. He gets 1-year, $2.5M with a $1M signing bonus.
Deonte brings some much-needed speed to the Cowboys offense. He ran a 4.31 40-yard dash as a rookie, and while he's 29 now he still poses more of a vertical threat than the current Dallas receivers.
Given the low salary in this deal, Thompson may not be seen as much than a replacement for Brice Butler near the bottom of Dallas' depth chart. We also have to wait and see what happens with the draft and other moves this offseason to know where he fits into the bigger picture.
For now, though, Cowboys fans can take a little comfort in knowing the front office hasn't completely fallen asleep at the wheel.
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