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Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Breakfast links: T.O.'s advice for D-Jax

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com

Good morning in the East. It is the day before the start of the NFL's regular season, and four days before the start of play in our favorite division. It is raining, still, and I think the old man next door just got home with two giraffes and two hippos. But as far as I know, no one in East Rutherford has torn a knee ligament yet today. So we hit the links.

Dallas Cowboys

One of the things ESPNDallas.com's Todd Archer is wondering this week is whether size was the main reason the Cowboys brought in reserve offensive lineman Derrick Dockery. Rookie left guard Bill Nagy has played well, but Dockery has at least 25 pounds on him, and Nagy did on occasion get overpowered by big interior defensive linemen in the preseason. Nagy may need time to get stronger before he can be a regular starter in the league, and Dockery could be the fallback if that progress doesn't happen quickly enough.

Clarence Hill says Dez Bryant's rookie contract might not be sufficient to help him overcome his personal financial problems. Sheesh. Not sure what you do about that. Tough to believe an NFL team would re-work a guy's contract just because he can't pay his bills. Dez is going to have to perform if that's to be his solution.

New York Giants

Sure, they could bring in a veteran like Kawika Mitchell to add to their depth. But if the Giants are going to replace injured linebackers Jonathan Goff and Clint Sintim, they're most likely going to do it with rookies.

Jake Ballard did the Giants a favor at cutdown time last year, and they did right by him. Now, with Kevin Boss gone off to Oakland and Travis Beckum yet to impress as his replacement, Ballard is listed as the starting tight end on this week's depth chart. He has a chance to win the job because no one else has yet.

Philadelphia Eagles

Former Eagle Terrell Owens says that, if he were DeSean Jackson, he wouldn't play Sunday without a new contract. The Eagles and their fans are surely glad, in this case, that Jackson is not Owens, as they need him to play Sunday. In turn, Jackson hopes the Eagles reward his decision by continuing to work on the new contract he wants.

Meet Eagles left guard Evan Mathis, who thinks he may have helped himself get that starting job through the use of Twitter.

Washington Redskins

Lots of mystery surrounding the health status of Redskins safety LaRon Landry, who doesn't look as if he'll be playing Sunday when the team opens the season against the Giants. Should be interesting to hear Landry address some of these details he's been hinting about on Twitter.

And lots of opportunity for the large group of receivers remaining on the Redskins' roster after cutdown day. It will be interesting to see if the Redskins have another move or two up their sleeves, because at least three of the wide receivers they kept aren't special-teamers, and I'm pretty sure they intend to run the ball a lot.

Have a lovely day.