Friday, May 4, 2012
NFC East: Four little questions
By Dan Graziano
On Thursday, we offered "One big question" for each of our division's teams and took a stab at answering it. If you missed them, you can check them out here. But I get tons of questions, and not all of them are big. So as we head into the weekend, I thought I'd take a shot at answering a couple of smaller, more specific questions I seem to be getting asked a lot these days. Let's do one per team.
Dallas Cowboys: Will they go after Jacoby Jones?
It'd make a lot of sense, for the right price. He's a veteran receiver who can help as a return man. Basically what they need after Laurent Robinson and the 11 touchdowns he caught last season left for Jacksonville. But remember that last year, when No. 3 wide receiver was a question mark, the Cowboys didn't panic. They believed that Jason Witten's pass-catching ability at tight end lessened their need to prioritize that position, and they scooped up Robinson as a late-offseason bargain and got more than they ever expected. If there's competition for Jones, I wouldn't expect the Cowboys to push overly hard. There are still other options, including fifth-round pick Danny Coale and some of the other young guys on their roster.
New York Giants: Will they trade Osi Umenyiora?
This one surfaced with renewed energy Thursday after the news broke that Baltimore's Terrell Suggs was out for the season. The Ravens liked Umenyiora last year and now really could use him, and it's possible they'll call. But I don't see the Giants as motivated sellers. They have Umenyiora under contract for a reasonable price, and they have no fear that his contract situation will be a distraction to the team as it gets ready for the season, because everybody on the team is used to Umenyiora and his contract situation by now. The Giants would have to be blown away by an offer, and I don't expect that to happen. He'll either play for them in 2012 or sit out of his own accord.
Philadelphia Eagles: Do they need a red-zone receiver?
The name of Plaxico Burress has been floated, and he remains a free agent who'd fit the description of the kind of big end-zone target Eagles fans say the team needs. But as with the Cowboys above, I don't see the Eagles going too crazy to bring Burress in. If the price is right, and there's little risk involved from the team's end, sure. But with a running back in LeSean McCoy who rushed for 17 touchdowns last season, I don't think the Eagles feel the need to do anything dramatic to improve their performance in the red zone. When they get close to the goal line, they feel pretty good about their chances to run it in.
Washington Redskins: Who will start at running back?
My money's still on Tim Hightower, but there is that nettlesome little issue of his not currently being on the team. The Redskins have worked at re-signing him, and even if they do he's still going to be recovering from a torn ACL. Second-year backs Roy Helu and Evan Royster showed promise as rookies, but the Redskins' coaching staff isn't yet convinced of either as a full-time starter for 2012. Even if they bring back Hightower, I'd expect them to add another running back or two to the camp mix. And if Hightower goes somewhere else, I expect them to give themselves as many options as possible there, kind of like they're doing at safety.