Sunrise in the NFC East: The Division's Top Links on August 3, 2012

Brad Gagnon@Brad_Gagnon NFL National ColumnistAugust 3, 2012

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 24:  Jason Witten #82 of the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium on December 24, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Welcome to TGIFLinks, where we have a rare August trade, a man missing in action, hope for Terrell Thomas and desperation from Jason Witten.


Dallas Cowboys

From Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News: He doesn't use the window-closing metaphor that we all love to debate, but Jason Witten knows that he's running out of time to win a championship. 

"It goes fast," Witten said of his NFL career, "and I will be damned if I let this opportunity slip by and not come away with a championship.

"It's been a heck of a run, but it's time we grab it."

I'll admit that I often overlook Witten when thinking about this offense. Everyone is caught up in Dez Bryant and DeMarco Murray, and of course Tony Romo and Miles Austin, but Witten is still such a dominant player, and Orsborn reports that he's been locked in thus far in training camp.

That's a very good sign.


New York Giants

From Mike Garafolo of the Newark Star-Ledger: There's still hope that the Giants could get Terrell Thomas on the field this season

Today, cautious optimism returned to Giants training camp.

"I'm going to stay positive," coach Tom Coughlin said, "until somebody tells me differently."

The Giants are sticking by their doctors' belief Thomas suffered a third career injury to the ACL, the extent of which isn't yet known and might not be clear until a potential scope of the knee is performed.

This is good news, obviously, but it still appears Thomas isn't close to retaking the field, and nobody knows how well he'll perform under such circumstances. No matter how you look at it, the Giants need someone other than Thomas to step up in a big way.


Philadelphia Eagles

From Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer: Howie Roseman and Andy Reid have made a trade.

Gone are linebackers Moise Fokou and Greg Lloyd, who were long shots to make the roster anyway. In exchange, the Colts send cornerback Kevin Thomas and a conditional 2013 seventh-round pick. 

"This is a big corner who can run," Eagles general manager Howie Roseman said. "With the Colts last year he played some games for them, started some games for them and played lot of Cover 2. ... He'll come compete with our other [backup] corners."

I doubt Thomas makes the final roster, unless he really delivers in camp and gives the Eagles an excuse to boot Joselio Hanson. This is the opposite of what they call a blockbuster.


Washington Redskins

From CSN Washington's Tarik El-Bashir: Kentwan Balmer is officially AWOL at Redskins camp. His hotel room has been cleared out, and the team hasn't had communication with him since he last practiced on Tuesday.

"You're always concerned," Shanahan said. "You're just hoping he's okay. He cleared everything out of the hotel, and that means – at least from my past experiences – that the guy doesn't want to play football anymore."

This isn't the first time Balmer has pulled a stunt like this. He was traded by the 49ers after leaving camp without permission in 2010.

This isn't likely to hurt the Redskins, but it's a shame because Balmer had a shot to play a contributing role up front. We hope he's OK.