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.
REPORT: Cowboys Visiting With Free Agent S Eric Berry Tuesday
According to Ian Rapoport, the Dallas Cowboys have a meeting scheduled to visit with Free Agent Safety Eric Berry Tuesday at The Star.
Source: Former #Chiefs S and new free agent Eric Berry is visiting the #Cowboys on Tuesday. His first visit. They have a need there...
Eric Berry has spent his entire career with the Kansas City Chiefs after they drafted him fifth overall in the 2010 NFL Draft. After signing Earl Thomas last week, the Chiefs decided to part ways with their former All-Pro Safety.
Berry, 30 is an intriguing free agent for the Dallas Cowboys. When healthy, he is arguably one of the best safeties in the league. Unfortunately, injuries have kept him off the field these last few seasons causing him to only start in only three games since 2016.
This is a move many of us expected to happen after the Cowboys decided not to get into a bidding war for Earl Thomas, a player linked to Dallas for over a year now. In Berry, Cowboys Nation would be getting a similar player with the same kind of red flags. Both Thomas and Berry have to be approached with caution due to their injury history the past few years.
Depending on his asking price, Eric Berry absolutely makes sense for the Dallas Cowboys. He would be an upgrade over Jeff Heath and would pair well with the Cowboys up-and-coming three-year safety Xavier Woods.
This is still just a visit, so we should probably get our hopes up that a signing is imminent. But, I think we can all agree Eric Berry is exactly the "right kind of guy" Jason Garrett is always preaching about. He's a cancer survivor, five-time Pro Bowler, and All-Pro player. What's not to like!?
BREAKING: Dallas Cowboys Signed DE Kerry Hyder
The Dallas Cowboys added more defensive line help today after signing former Detroit Lions Defensive End Kerry Hyder.
Going back to Texas! #CowboysNation
Hyder, 27 originally signed as an undrafted free agent out of Texas Tech with the New York Jets in 2014. He spent a year in New York before signing a future/reserve contract with the Detroit Lions in January 2015.
He had a breakout eight-sack year with the Lions in 2016, but tore his Achilles in 2017 causing him to miss the entire season. In 2018 he had just one quarterback sack after Detroit switched to a 3-4 defensive scheme.
Overall, this is a good depth signing by the Dallas Cowboys. Kerry Hyder has starting potential, but shouldn't keep the Cowboys from upgrading the position further through either another free agent signing for the draft.
Dallas Cowboys 2019 Free Agency: Week One Recap
It's been just a week since NFL free agents could begin negotiating with other teams, but it feels like a lifetime for anxious Cowboys fans. Dallas' seemingly passive approach to 2019 free agency has left many disappointed. Still, there are some moves to recap.
As has become their strategy in recent years, the Cowboys have focused on filling up their depth chart and trying to avoid any glaring holes prior to next month's draft. They've re-signed several backups and added at least one likely rotation player.
It's still far too early to judge Dallas' activity. Comparing the 2019 roster to last year will depend heavily on the draft, growth from current players, and other factors. But with the "second wave" of free agency upon us, it's a good time to look at who's come, gone, and stuck around so far.
- TE Jason Witten (unretired)
- TE Codey McElroy (Rams)
- DT Christian Covington (Texans)
The biggest addition so far this offseason wasn't even a free agent, at least not in the purest sense of the term. Jason Witten's surprising return from retirement helped shore up one of Dallas' biggest needs, though it may not preclude them from drafting a tight end high in April.
Also at tight end, Dallas signed developmental project Codey McElroy. His experience is in baseball and basketball, having played just one year of college football. But at 6'6'" and 255 lbs., and having spent last year working with the Rams, the Cowboys must see something they're intrigued by.
Last week Dallas signed Christian Covington, who had 3.5 sacks for Houston in 2018 playing as a 3-4 defensive end. He should move to DT in the Cowboys' scheme and should be a solid addition to their rotation.
- WR Cole Beasley (Bills)
- TE Geoff Swaim (Jaguars)
- DL David Irving (shenanigans)
- LB Damien Wilson (Chiefs)
Beasley is heading to Buffalo on a four-year, $29 million deal. It appeared the relationship soured between Cole and Dallas over his playing time last year, and clearly the Cowboys didn't fight hard to keep him.
Damien Wilson followed Anthony Hitchens to Kansas City to help round out their linebacker corps. Once it was announced that Dallas was hanging on to Sean Lee in 2019, it was fairly certain that Wilson wouldn't be back.
Also not expected back was TE Geoff Swaim, who signed with Jacksonville. Even before Witten came back, Dallas appeared likely to stick with Blake Jarwin and Dalton Schultz for returning talent and then add an upgrade via free agency or the draft.
While still a free agent, nobody expects David Irving back in Dallas or even the NFL after recent activities. Irving appears focused on a Hollywood career and advocating for medical marijuana use at this point.
- FB Jamize Olawale
- WR Tavon Austin
- WR Allen Hurns (team option)
- OT Cam Fleming
- G/C Joe Looney (team option)
- DE DeMarcus Lawrence (franchise tag)
- DT Daniel Ross (ERFA)
- LB Justin March-Lillard
- S Darian Thompson
While Dallas put the franchise tag on prized pass rusher DeMarcus Lawrence, his return in 2019 is far from settled. Lawrence has previously sworn he wouldn't play under a second franchise tag this year, and last we heard the two sides are far apart on a long-term deal. Could a holdout be on the horizon?
The Cowboys doubled-down on WR depth by re-signing Tavon Austin and exercising their team option on Allen Hurns' contract. Both are able to play out of the slot, meaning we could see more of a rotation approach to replacing Cole Beasley next year.
Dallas also re-signed fullback Jamize Olawale, which was a surprise given his low usage rate last year. Perhaps the change to Kellen Moore at offensive coordinator was behind this one, hoping to take better advantage of Olawale's receiving skills going forward.
Joe Looney and Cam Fleming will also be back as valuable backups on the offensive line. Looney started 16 games last year at center and also helps at guard, while Fleming will be the swing tackle once again for his second season in Dallas.
On defense, Dallas kept Daniel Ross in their DT rotation after solid performance in 2018. Justin March-Lillard return at linebacker, particularly for his value on special teams. And Darian Thompson, a former third-round pick by the Giants, is back as an ongoing developmental player.
~ ~ ~
If this is any indication, next week's recap may have a lot more to discuss.
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