Breakfast links: Hats and handshakes

April, 26, 2012
4/26/12
8:00
AM ET
Hey, so ... what's everybody watching tonight? Is "Parks & Recreation" new? Ah, I'm just kiddin'. Let's have some links.

Dallas Cowboys

Sure, the Cowboys could draft a pass-rusher tonight (or tomorrow night) and improve their future prospects in the pass rush. But Jerry Jones seems to think the pass rush is in fine hands right now, and even alluded to the surprising possibility that the team could lock up outside linebacker Anthony Spencer on a long-term deal sometime soon. Still seems to me they'd need to see more sacks from Spencer this year before doing that, but we know they value him for non-pass-rush reasons, so who knows?

Jean-Jacques Taylor says the Cowboys shouldn't trade up or down in this year's draft, since they need as many good players as possible and should be able to find usable value at No. 14 and in the later rounds as well. I agree with Jacques, as you found out if you followed the blogger mock draft on Monday. The Cowboys need depth, and a trade-up that costs them later picks isn't the best way to address that.

New York Giants

Osi Umenyiora isn't optimistic about his chances to sign a long-term extension with the Giants, and he suggests that their best plan may be to try and trade him at some point during the draft this weekend. I don't think he should be optimistic about that, either. While I believe this is the right time for the Giants to trade Umenyiora and maximize his value, it does not look as though that's something they're interested in doing.

Mark Herzlich believes the Giants' starting middle linebacker job is his to win, and surely he will get a chance to do so. There's been talk this offseason about the Giants moving Michael Boley to the middle, but their plans for how to align their linebackers remain in flux, and a lot could depend on what they see from Herzlich and their other second-year linebackers this offseason and in training camp.

Philadelphia Eagles

Paul Domowitch thinks the smartest thing the Eagles could do tonight in the first round is pick an offensive lineman. I started reading this and thought, "Paul's nuts." But as I read it, I started to come around. The offensive line played well last year, but it's already without its best player following the Jason Peters injury, and there's really no depth behind the starters. Paul's convinced me at least to the point where, if the Eagles pick an offensive lineman in the first round, I won't be sitting there going, "Whaaaaa?!?!?!?!?"

The Eagles, as you know by now, got merely a seventh-round pick in return for cornerback Asante Samuel. They were dumping Samuel and his salary, willing to take anything they could get if they could get the deal done ahead of the draft. Some fans are upset about this, because Samuel is too good a player to give up for so little. Marcus Hayes ... um, well, he appears to disagree. "Birds toss a no-hitter" is my favorite headline of the week so far.

Washington Redskins

If you combined the excitement level of the other three fan bases in the NFC East, it wouldn't approach what the Redskins' fans are feeling about tonight's first round. By 8:20 pm, Robert Griffin III should be wearing a Redskins baseball cap and smiling through interviews. Redskins fans, coach Mike Shanahan is right there with you. He can hardly contain himself at the idea of selecting Griffin tonight with the second pick in the draft.

Dan Daly writes that Griffin has come along at a fortuitous time in Redskins history -- a time at which they need him rather desperately.

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

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