Good morning and welcome to another week in the East, which starts with a preseason football game out West. Every team in our division has played its first preseason game except the Cowboys, who take on the Raiders in Oakland tonight on ESPN. We will of course have full coverage of that game as we did Thursday with the Redskins and Eagles and Friday with the Giants. By the time it's all over, you'll be saying to yourself, "Man, I'm glad I had my links."
The Cowboys didn't sign former Eagles center Jamaal Jackson, apparently because they didn't think he was in good enough shape. Jackson says he's not retired and wants to play this year, but man. The Cowboys are as desperate for a center as any team in the league, and they passed on him because he's not in shape? I mean, if you really want to play ... I don't know ... get in shape?
The book on Cowboys tackle Tyron Smith (who is, amazingly, still only 21 years old) is that once he gets his hands on you, you can't get free. No less an authority on getting free of tackles than DeMarcus Ware says he can vouch for this.
New York Giants
Prince Amukamara and the Giants know he's going to get picked on by opposing quarterbacks. And Amukamara knows he had a bad night Friday. But he says he's developing that short-term memory every cornerback needs in order to overcome his mistakes.
As he tries to make the conversion from linebacker to defensive end and replace Dave Tollefson in that reserve pass-rusher role, third-year man Adrian Tracy has no shortage of examples in the Giants' locker room
It seemed an odd time for Andy Reid's agent to be bringing up the idea of Reid's long-term standing with the team. But good agents look for opportunities, and certainly the general feeling about Reid is overwhelmingly positive right now after the grueling emotional week he just had and the love his team and his fans have shown for him in the wake of his son's death. Regardless, Jeffrey Lurie seems to have made it clear that there's been no change in Reid's long-term status, for better or for worse.
Could 2011 second-round draft pick Jaiquawn Jarrett be losing his backup safety spot to Tom Nelson? Certainly, Jarrett hasn't shown what the Eagles hoped he would, and he played poorly in Thursday's preseason opener. And, yeah, it's possible these camp "demotions," like the one they gave left tackle Demetress Bell over the weekend, are designed to light a fire under guys. But there's been a feeling for a while that the Eagles aren't as high on Jarrett as they were in April 2011, and his spot doesn't appear to be completely secure.
If there's a stretch of games this year -- two games, five games, 10 games, I don't know -- for which rookie Alfred Morris is the Redskins' starting running back, someone's going to ask you if you're surprised, and you're going to be in the enviable position of being able to say, "No, I'm not surprised. I read the NFC East blog on ESPN.com, and Graziano was writing back in July and August that it could be any one of four guys, and Morris was definitely in the mix." You can say that. You don't even need to ask my permission first.
Trent Williams is going to miss a few days with a bone bruise in his left foot, and he might not play Saturday against the Bears. It does not appear to be a long-term concern, but there's a certain degree of short-term concern about preparing for the season and playing preseason games with an offensive line that could be missing four of its starters.