Sunrise in the NFC East: The Division's Top Links on August 16, 2012

Brad Gagnon@Brad_Gagnon NFL National ColumnistAugust 16, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 09:  DeSean Jackson #10 of the Philadelphia Eagles warms up before a preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers  at Lincoln Financial Field on August 9, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Welcome to Thursday's NFC East links post, where we encounter nepotism in Dallas, respect in New York, a new leaf in Philadelphia and are treated to an interesting sightseeing tour in Washington.


Dallas Cowboys

From Todd Archer of For now, the Cowboys have replaced the injured Jason Witten with John Phillips and added a guy named Harry Flaherty, who just happens to be Jason Garrett's nephew.

Without nepotism we wouldn't have gotten a chance to enjoy Colin Hanks as the ultimate antagonist in the latest season of Dexter. Yet I get the feeling this is just a short-term favor. Flaherty is a camp body. I was surprised to see how many readers commented yesterday that they'd like to see Jeremy Shockey get a shot, but Dallas won't go that route unless it's absolutely necessary.


New York Giants

From Tim Bontemps of the New York Post: The Jets are paying an unusual amount of respect to the Super Bowl champion Giants right now.

"We respect them," linebacker Calvin Pace said. "I don't know if they respect us or not. They have a great organization. I like how they do some things. The guys up front — you can't help but like [Jason] Pierre-Paul and Osi [Umenyiora] and those guys. ... It's not us vs. them in terms of this bitter rivalry.

"I do think there is a level of respect there, too, just in terms of some of the things we've done the past couple of years. Obviously, they're the Super Bowl champions ... you can't do nothing but tip your hat to them. I like playing them. I think it helps us prepare for the season."

The Jets also won't be covering up the Giants' Super Bowl logo when they play "host" to the G-men Saturday at MetLife, which is something they did when the teams met last December. 


Philadelphia Eagles

From Tim McManus of Teammates are seeing a different DeSean Jackson this year.

"He's different towards me," said Jason Kelce. "I don't know if that has anything to do with the contract or whatever. I think all around he's just in a better mood.

"We know each other a lot better now so it's much more of a friendship rather than a co-worker type of relationship like it was last year."

But will that translate on the field? How often have we seen guys like Jackson kill it in contract years and then sputter once they've cashed the check? I have a lot of confidence in Jackson, whom I believe is one of the best home-run hitters in football, but I do question his attitude. 


Washington Redskins

First, strictly football, where John Keim of the Washington Times notes that Ryan Kerrigan is staying lower this year.

Linebacker Ryan Kerrigan clearly has worked on staying lower this season. Noticed that in camp and again in the preseason opener, he was staying lower at the snap. It was evident when compared to some of his stances at the end of last season. Based on camp Kerrigan is coming off the ball faster and drilling blockers in practice, whether it's the right tackles or tight ends. Earlier this week he exploded into tight end Logan Paulsen and knocked him back on a run. Kerrigan hasn't fared well vs. Trent Williams so it's tough to say what this all means (then again, nobody looked better than Williams this summer). Regardless, Kerrigan wanted to work on this and it's smart.

"You just burst out more when you're lower," Kerrigan said.

That's great, and an indication that Kerrigan will keep getting better. No laurel resting there.

But before we go, we've got a mildly funny video from NBC Washington that features Robert Griffin III attempting to give his family a tour of D.C. Unfortunately, he confuses memorials. 

Why does it seem as though the tour bus was going like, 100 MPH?