Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFC East [Print without images]

Friday, August 19, 2011
Breakfast links: Morning after in Philly

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com

DALLAS -- Up and back at 'em, and trying to figure out why it sounds as though there's a marching band practicing outside my hotel at 6:00 in the morning. But that's not your problem. You want your links.

Dallas Cowboys

Patrick Crayton is enjoying these Chargers-Cowboys joint practices, as it's allowing him to reconnect with some of his former Cowboys teammates. As he raced to the team bus following Thursday's practice, Crayton was asked about the Cowboys' potential need for a third receiver with Roy Williams gone. "I won't be available," he said, smiling.

The Cowboys have switched Isaiah Greenhouse from inside linebacker to fullback. Jason Garrett said it's a case of a guy impressing on special teams and the coaching staff deciding to try to find him an opportunity as a result. He wasn't getting that opportunity at linebacker, so here's something new they think he can handle. Never know.

New York Giants

The Star-Ledger's Matthew Stanmyre has an intense, painful and outstanding look at Darius Hamilton, a New Jersey prep football star and the son of former Giant Keith Hamilton. The relationship has been brutal at times, with Keith having been arrested for child abuse after beating Darius with an electrical cord over a bad report card, but they appear to have survived it, and their story is the best Giants-related read out there this morning.

Mathias Kiwanuka spoke with The New York Times about the ways in which his neck injury and his brother's motorcycle accident have altered his perspective on his life and football career.

Philadelphia Eagles

Plenty to criticize from the Eagles' extremely disappointing preseason effort against the Steelers on Thursday night. Jeff McLane zeroes in on Casey Matthews and takes the Eagles to task for their decision to go with a rookie at middle linebacker after all of the improvements they made elsewhere on the roster. As Jeff points out, that decision isn't final and still could be corrected.

And while this isn't game related, Les Bowen points out that those focusing on the did-Roger-Goodell-steer-Michael-Vick-to-Philly part of that GQ story are missing the overall point of the story -- which is about how race influences people's perspectives on Vick's story and the depth of Vick's own feelings about his crimes and the reaction to them. Les is, of course, correct.

Washington Redskins

Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett says he's happy with what he's seen so far from his defensive line rotation, particularly the way Barry Cofield has taken to the nose tackle position. When I was at Redskins camp, more than one person told me how nice it was to have a nose tackle who actually was excited about playing nose tackle, which may or may not have been a series of digs at another guy who's not there anymore.

And yeah, it's John Beck time tonight, folks, as Beck gets the start in the preseason game against Indianapolis. Remember, the Redskins' coaches say they're sure Beck is talented enough to be an NFL quarterback and now want to see how he handles the spotlight and pressure of his opportunity. So all eyes will be on Beck in the Redskins' second preseason game, and for good reason.

Sadly, I'll be in the air during most of this game, flying back home from Dallas after my trip to Cowboys training camp here.  But I plan to watch the game upon my return home and will offer you my own observations sometime Saturday morning. Meantime, more today from the Cowboys and anything else that may catch our attention in the wild and woolly NFC East.