Good morning and welcome to another offseason week on the NFC East blog. I was trying to count the weeks left until the regular-season opener, but then I got tired. So it's a little more than three weeks until Eagles minicamp, and then as the athletes say when they want their interview answers to end early, we'll go from there. Links.
Clarence Hill writes that the newcomer who made the biggest impression at Cowboys rookie minicamp was 73-year-old defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin. Along with defensive line coach Rod Marinelli, Kiffin could indeed be the most important addition the Cowboys made this offseason, one way or another.
Jean-Jacques Taylor still can't figure out why the Cowboys refuse to draft quarterbacks. Even teams that are set at the position, like the Giants and the Steelers, drafted guys to develop in that bargain-bin fourth round this year. But the Cowboys never draft one. I mean, like, never. Even the guy they have starting for them wasn't drafted.
New York Giants
The Giants did sign linebacker Aaron Curry over the weekend. He was the No. 4 overall pick in the 2009 draft. I remember he was thought of as the "safest" pick at the top of that draft. But he's washed out with two teams -- the Seahawks and the Raiders -- and now the Giants will hope they can draw out some of the talent that made him such a high pick. When you don't invest in linebackers, this is what you do. You hunt for bargains you hope can outplay their cost. If Curry doesn't play well, the Giants won't have lost much. But if he does ...
This year's Giants first-rounder, Justin Pugh, lined up at right tackle during rookie camp after playing left tackle at Syracuse. As you know, the Giants don't know yet where they'll use Pugh, but one of the reasons they drafted him was because they believed he could line up at any of the five offensive line positions. Surely, if he performs at right tackle throughout the offseason, he could find opportunity there.
Jeff McLane considers fourth-round pick Matt Barkley a legitimate contender for the Eagles' starting quarterback job. And yes, Jeff knows full well that fourth-round picks rarely make it as starting NFL quarterbacks. But one of the guys ahead of him was only a third-rounder last year, and the other turns 33 next month. So anything's possible.
Whoever the quarterback is, the Eagles' first-round pick will be one of the key men in charge of keeping him safe. Lane Johnson said he enjoyed rookie camp but is eager to get going this week with the veterans around for OTAs.
Rich Tandler poses the question of whether the defending NFC East champions are prepared to handle the higher expectations they face in 2013. Not to oversimplify, but I think much of that answer depends on the health of quarterback Robert Griffin III, who is as you may have heard recovering from offseason knee surgery.
The Redskins drafted a couple of running backs in the late rounds this year, and with Mike Shanahan it's always worth wondering how the running backs will be deployed. Keith McMillan took a look at the two new guys.