Previewing the NFC East

Posted: July 25, 2014

SCANNING the NFC East to see what the Eagles' biggest rivals are up to as they head into training camp.

DALLAS COWBOYS

Last year: 8-8, lost to Eagles on final day to miss playoffs

Key additions: Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan (Detroit OC), DT Henry Melton (Chicago), QB Brandon Weeden (Cleveland)

Key departures: LB DeMarcus Ware (Denver), DE Jason Hatcher (Washington), WR Miles Austin (Cleveland)

Key draft picks: OL Zack Martin (1st/16), DE Demarcus Lawrence (2nd/34)

Daily News' draft grade: B-

THREE QUESTIONS

* Does anyone have a number for Dr. Oz? Not only has quarterback Tony Romo had two back surgeries in the last year, but Dallas was so riddled with injuries that it used 21 defensive linemen in 2013. The 2014 season got off to an ominous start when Sean Lee, who looks like a star at linebacker, ripped up his knee in the first spring practice. He's probably out for the year.

* Will they regret passing on Johnny Football? Instead of taking Texas native Johnny Manziel with the No. 16 pick, Dallas selected Notre Dame offensive tackle Zack Martin. The Cowboys are switching him to guard to help the running game.

* Wait . . . who's the leader? With Miles Austin in Cleveland, Dez Bryant is the Cowboys' senior wide receiver. This is the same guy who left the field last season before the end of a one-point loss to the Packers. He's also the best wideout in the division and he's entering a contract year. Get your popcorn ready.

NEW YORK GIANTS

Last year: 7-9, missed the playoffs (started 0-6)

Key additions: Offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo (Green Bay QBs), CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (Denver), RB Rashad Jennings (Jacksonville), CB Walter Thurmond (Seattle)

Key departures: Offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride (retired), OG Chris Snee (retired), WR Hakeem Nicks (Indianapolis), DT Linval Joseph (Minnesota), DE Justin Tuck (Oakland)

Key draft picks: WR Odell Beckham (1st/12), C Weston Richburg (2nd/43), DT Jay Bromley (3rd, 74)

Daily News' draft grade: B+

THREE QUESTIONS

* What voodoo can McAdoo? Ben McAdoo, the former Packers QB coach, is now the Giants offensive coordinator and play-caller. His first task will be to take out all those plays where Eli Manning throws the ball to the other team.

* Hey, where's the Jon? Middle linebacker Jon Beason suffered a broken foot in OTAs and might not be ready for the season opener. George Washington High alum Jameel McClain was signed from the Ravens a month before Beason went down, a move that could be a very wise insurance policy.

* Painting on the wall? Normally, the race for the Giants' backup quarterback job goes right under the Tour de France results, but Big Blue re-upped veteran Curtis Painter in March. This probably means Malvern Prep product Ryan Nassib, a fourth-round pick last year, needs to win the No. 2 job.

WASHINGTON REDSKINS

Last year: 3-13, worst record since 1994

Key additions: Head coach Jay Gruden (from Cincinnati), WR DeSean Jackson (Eagles), WR Andre Roberts (Arizona), DT Jason Hatcher (Dallas), LB Akeem Jordan (Kansas City)

Key departures: Head coach Mike Shanahan (undecided), offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan (Cleveland OC)

Key draft picks: OLB Trent Murphy (2nd/47),T Morgan Moses (3rd/66), G Spencer Long (3rd/78)

Daily News' draft grade: B. (Note: Eagles draft grade was a B.)

THREE QUESTIONS

* Why is RG III smiling? Franchise quarterback Robert Griffin III has been in a terrific mood since Mike Shanahan, who was as much his nemesis as he was his head coach, was replaced by Jay Gruden. Gruden, the most notable Arena League export since Kurt Warner, built a respectable offense in Cincinnati as the coordinator.

* Who gets angrier? Native Americans at the term "Redskins" or DeSean Jackson's friends when opposing defenses try to gang tackle him?

* How's Jordan Reed? The second-year tight end, who looks like a cross between Rob Gronkowski and Tony Gonzalez, was in the training room more than Eric Lindros. All kidding aside, Reed missed the final six games because of a concussion. If Reed is healthy - and he was this offseason - Griffin has a much-needed security blanket on those third-and-short plays he might otherwise try to pick up with his legs.


" @EdBarkowitz

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