Breakfast links: Hightower on the mend

August, 27, 2012
8/27/12
8:00
AM ET
And welcome to another fun week in the NFC East. This is a very cool week for a number of reasons. First, the predictions for which you guys have been asking me for months now will come out ... Thursday? Pretty sure it's Thursday, but I'll be sure to make a big fuss and let you know when it happens. Second, it's the final week of preseason games, and I'm sure we can all agree that's a good thing with which to be done. And third, it's the final full week of the offseason. Yes, next week there's an actual NFL game, and it's in our division. I know, right? Chills. And links. Don't forget the links.

New York Giants

Prince Amukamara says what he has is a "mild high ankle sprain," which is a lot of adjectives for one injury, but what he's trying to get across is that it could be worse. Nevertheless, it's hard to imagine him recovering from any sort of high ankle sprain in time for the regular-season opener, since that is only nine days from now.

Oh yeah. The other thing that happens this week is the final roster cuts, and I know how obsessive everyone gets about those. So here's a Star-Ledger story on Adewale Ojomo and his chances.

Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles have decided to go with Akeem Jordan as the starting weakside linebacker. This is a bit of an upset and represents a terrible missed opportunity for Brian Rolle, who didn't play well enough, and Jamar Chaney, who couldn't keep his hamstrings healthy enough. I imagine Chaney can win the job eventually, once he's healthy. But the Eagles' opener is in 13 days, and it's time to start making decisions about who's going to play.

One of several other issues the Eagles need to sort out is nickel cornerback, and Sheil Kapadia's breakdown of the defensive backs' performance in Friday's game talks about the competition there between veteran Joselio Hanson and rookie Brandon Boykin.

Washington Redskins

The surprise return of Tim Hightower, the surprise injury to Evan Royster and the strong performance by Alfred Morris in Saturday's preseason game all added a great deal of intrigue to the Redskins' running back situation. Washington opens in 13 days in New Orleans and still has not settled on a starter at running back. The key thing to watch this week is the news on Hightower's knee and how it's recovering from its first game action in 10 months.

A couple of interesting nuggets in Rich Campbell's thorough film review of the offense's performance Saturday, including high marks for Pierre Garcon's downfield blocking and some questions about Will Montgomery's shotgun snaps. A worthy read all the way through.

Dallas Cowboys

Jean-Jacques Taylor writes that the new restrictions the Cowboys are putting on Dez Bryant's off-field activity remind him of those they once placed on Pacman Jones and that a major violation could lead to Bryant's release. There are some pretty obvious differences between Bryant and Pacman, not the least of which are the age at which these restrictions were put in place and the severity of the off-field trouble in question. But Jacques' central point stands, which is that the Cowboys have set up a situation in which they will have to take drastic action if the young man does not abide by the standards they've set for him. The good news is that Bryant seems to be on board with the new setup.

The Cowboys' offensive line was terrible in Saturday night's preseason game, and their hope is that starting center Phil Costa can return to practice this week and maybe shore some things up. Maybe. I guess. But it's worth remembering that Costa was the team's worst offensive player last season, and if you're counting on him to shore things up, you may be in more trouble than you're willing to admit.

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

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