Sunrise in the NFC East: The Division's Top Links on August 14, 2012

Brad Gagnon NFL National ColumnistAugust 14, 2012

July 26, 2012;Bethlehem, PA. USA;Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha (24) bats down a pass intended for wide receiver Mardy Gilyard (19) during training camp at Lehigh University. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-US PRESSWIRE

Twelve Major League teams outscored the Dallas Cowboys and Oakland Raiders last night. In fact, that 3-0 affair would have been the lowest scoring game in baseball. It's like neither team wanted to play the game, and is another indicator that the NFL doesn't need four weeks of preseason football.

As I try to remove that forgettable game from my memory, here are the division's top four links on the third-to-last Tuesday of August.


Dallas Cowboys

Thoughts on the struggling interior offensive line from's Dan Graziano

If they can get (Phil) Costa and Nate Livings and (Mackenzy) Bernadeau healthy, they'll at least have the crew with which they planned to go into the season. I'm just not sure that's good enough -- or that they have anything behind the starters that can help in case of injury. And it's worth mentioning that right tackle Doug Free didn't look good either.

Free wasn't good last year, so maybe we have to stop assuming this is only an interior problem. Maybe it's an everything-but-Tyron-Smith problem. Is it strange that all four NFC East teams are extremely concerned about their O-lines? 


New York Giants

From Paul Schwartz of the New York Post: Hakeem Nicks has been activated from the PUP list.

He will be limited for the next three practices and won't be on the field for Saturday night's preseason game against the Jets, but Nicks is on schedule to get in a preseason game before the Sept. 5 regular-season opener against the Cowboys.

"I'm very excited about that," Nicks said. "They're letting me know that by the beginning of next week I can start doing some stuff with the team; some individual and stuff like that. They still want me to take it slow and be smart about it. But I feel good about being out there progressing myself with the team slowly but surely."

I'm really hoping the Giants learn from what happened with Prince Amukamara and a thousand players before him and ease Nicks back extra slowly. There's no reason for him to touch the field much at all during the preseason.


Philadelphia Eagles

From CSN Philly's Andy Schwartz and Reuben Frank: The Eagles had one of their scariest moments of training camp Monday when Nnamdi Asomugha went down after a violent collision with Nate Allen. There was some concern that Asomugha might have a concussion, but instead he's escaped with a lacerated lip and a sore neck.

Asomugha lay motionless, face-down on the ground, for several minutes while trainers and team physician Peter DeLuca tended to him.

According to a source, Asomugha never lost consciousness and showed no symptoms of a concussion immediately following the play or later when he underwent a concussion test that is routine after such injuries.

"He looked all right," Allen said. "He was smiling. He was talking. It wasn't like he was out of it or concussed or anything. He was all right."

The Eagles can't survive without Michael Vick on offense, and that same rule applied to Asomugha on defense. They're lucky. And this just goes to show how seasons can go down drains in an instant.


Washington Redskins

From Mark Maske of the Washington Post: Chris Cooley says Robert Griffin III has shown no signs of looking like a rookie

"I haven't seen anything from him [Griffin] to say that he's a rookie.... It is a phenomenon that he's come in and not been a rookie," Cooley said.

Cooley also said of Griffin: "I never see doubt in that kid's mind."

We couldn't say the same about Michael Vick or even Cam Newton, yet I think Andrew Luck has garnered similar reaction. Maybe this truly is an unprecedented year for rookie quarterbacks.