Sunrise in the NFC East: The Division's Top Links on August 10, 2012

Brad Gagnon@Brad_Gagnon NFL National ColumnistAugust 10, 2012

Now the rumor mill is connecting Plax to the Cowboys.
Now the rumor mill is connecting Plax to the Cowboys.Robin Marchant/Getty Images

Sorry links are a little later than usual this morning. I was getting treatment for the hamstring strain I suffered while watching the Philadelphia Eagles last night. 

Crickets? Whatevs, neither of us are stand-up comics.


Dallas Cowboys

Lost in the preseason madness yesterday: A report from Calvin Watkins of claiming that the Cowboys have held discussions with Drew Rosenhaus regarding the possibility of signing Plaxico Burress.

But in a follow-up report from Watkins, Jerry Jones shoots it all down:

"We haven't even discussed that internally at all," Jerry Jones said regarding Burress. "It's not been discussed at any level in our organization one way or the other."

Earlier Thursday, a source said the Cowboys were involved in preliminary discussions with Burress' agent, Drew Rosenhaus. However, Jones said he hasn't spoken to the agent.

"We're going to go to war with, so to speak, or go into the season with question marks at the third receiver, there's no doubts, no matter who it is," Jones said.

Of course, neither side of the story is 100 percent bulletproof, but I can't believe the Cowboys would take such a silly chance with such a low maximum return on investment. This team doesn't need a "name" like Burress in the No. 3 spot, and I think (or hope) they realize that.

New York GIants

So it looks like everyone's in agreement that all eyes will be on David Wilson when the Giants kick-off their preseason schedule in Jacksonville tonight. At the very least, Ralph Vacchiano's eyes will be. Same for the retinas, rods and cones belonging to Paul Schwartz and Ohm Youngmisuk

From Vacchiano:

Wilson figures to be the No. 2 back behind starter Ahmad Bradshaw, even though he's been running fifth on the depth chart in practice behind DJ Ware, Andre Brown and Da'Rel Scott.

That's not a knock on his rushing ability, though. It's more of a statement from the coaches that he still has a lot to learn – especially in the Giants' offense. "The No. 1 thing that he has to do is protect the great quarterback that we have," Ingram said.

From Schwartz:

One glance is all it takes to confirm Wilson has speed to burn and moves that can snap the ankles of those trying to stop him. Training camp is never a great indicator for running backs, but tonight the hitting is real and Wilson said he's ready.

"I'm visualizing the first carry and then take it all the way," he said. "I'm looking forward to getting back out there in competition. I'm a high-level competitor. I've been dying for competition since January."

And from Youngmisuk:

Friday, Wilson makes his Giants debut and all eyes will be on Jerry Reese's first-round pick. It remains to be seen how many carries he will get against Jacksonville, but the rookie has impressed the Giants with explosive quickness and elusive moves.

The Giants, though, will be keeping a closer eye on how he reacts to defenses and his blocking - a must if Wilson is going to win the backup job to Ahmad Bradshaw.

"He's got some speed, he's got some off-tackle ability, and he has that second gear," running backs coach Jerald Ingram said of Wilson. "Where does he fit? Where is he within the learning curve of the NFL right now? That's the hardest thing for a rookie right now, especially as a running back, to fit in, and how much can he digest?

Giants coaches are already raving about Wilson's speed and explosiveness.

"How much has he grown?" Ingram continued. "Can he protect the great quarterback who we have? That's the No. 1 thing that he has to do is protect the great quarterback."

The thing about Super Bowl teams like the Giants, who are made up primarily with veterans and don't do much in free agency, is that there aren't a lot of offseason changes. As a result, we're hooting and hollering about a rookie who might not start all year and is currently fifth on the depth chart. 

That's a lot of pressure on David Wilson.

Philadelphia Eagles

Paul Domowitch of the Philadelphia Daily News writes about the scary glimpse we received last night of life without Michael Vick. Rookie Nick Foles outplayed all quarterbacks Thursday night, but that probably wasn't enough to make the Eagles feel much better about what they've got behind Vick.

Domowitch still thinks it's probably going to be Mike Kafka's job:

It will be interesting to watch Foles' development after his impressive performance against the Steelers, and see if he starts to get more practice reps at Lehigh. He clearly has a stronger arm than Kafka. But for all his physical assets, including a sturdy 6-6, 243-pound body that looks impressive in the pocket, he's still a rookie whose college team won just four games last season. Unless Kafka plays really poorly during the rest of training camp and the preseason, he likely will hold on to the backup job, with Foles opening the season as the team's third quarterback.

I know it was just a small sample size last night, but I disagree. I think Foles might simply be better, and he could have what it takes to win this battle in August.

Washington Redskins

Who could've predicted such a debut performance from Robert Griffin III? Well, this guy sure did...

Oh, you want a real link? Well, Tarik El-Bashir of CSN Washington credits cornerback Richard Crawford with the breakthrough performance of preseason game No. 1

Nice to see the seventh-round pick stepping it up. He's had a great month and is probably on the inside of the bubble right now. I'll be watching him closely going forward.


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