NFC East: brandon magee

IRVING, Texas -- Week 4 of Five Wonders will focus on the makeup of the Cowboys’ 53-man roster, and I’m holding off on Alex Tanney for a post later, so he will not be in the following paragraphs.

The first set of cuts comes Aug. 27 when they have to pare down from 87 to 75 players. The final cut to 53 comes Aug. 31.

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  • As Jason Garrett has said two or 200 times, injury provides opportunity. The season-ending back surgery for Alex Albright, who will go under the knife on Wednesday, opens up a roster spot for a linebacker. I wonder if the Cowboys can still go with seven linebackers for the opening week. Undrafted rookie Brandon Magee finally showed up and made some plays last week at Arizona. He can also play some weakside linebacker. Caleb McSurdy played some at strongside linebacker and has inside linebacker experience. Taylor Reed also has position flexibility. But here’s one name that hasn’t been talked about much: Cameron Lawrence. He got some work on the early special-teams units against the Cardinals. When you’re down to the final spots at linebacker, special teams can be the great separator.
  • Garrett won’t offer up opinions on players unless he is asked specifically about a guy, so I took notice when he brought up “92,” Landon Cohen, when asked about some surprises on the defensive line. I wonder if Cohen, a training-camp pickup like George Selvie, can play his way onto the roster. The first thing Rod Marinelli wants for his defensive linemen is to get off the ball. Cohen can do that, and in fact he did it too fast with a couple of offside penalties in the first two preseason games. He has the look of the traditional one-technique in this scheme: short and squat, but he also has some quickness. Garrett went on to say Cohen has “some snap” to his game.” It's another name to keep an eye on. 
  • I wonder if the foot injury suffered by Lance Dunbar took the sixth wide receiver off the table. Dunbar is looking at a 3-4 week rehab, which puts him in doubt for the Sept. 8 season opener against the New York Giants. It was not a good injury for Anthony Armstrong, who I’ve had as the No. 6 guy on my roster projections. He has done nothing to get cut. He has showed up on offense. He has done a nice job on special teams. He has speed to burn. I just wonder if he is caught in a numbers game because now the Cowboys almost assuredly have to keep four running backs for at least the opening week. Could Armstrong jump Cole Beasley, who has been slowed by a foot injury of his own? I don’t see it right now, but Armstrong will be a tough call.
  • I wondered last week about the possibility of an undrafted rookie not making the roster this summer, and I threw a dark horse in there with Jeff Heath. He has taken some first-team special-teams snaps and was a second-teamer on defense last week because of injuries. He did not look out of place, but I wonder if he can beat out Matt Johnson. And, yes, I wonder if Johnson can not only get healthy but stay healthy as he battles a foot injury suffered in the Hall of Fame Game. He’s not going to play this week, so all of his eggs will be in the Houston game, provided he can get on the field. I wonder if the Cowboys would give up on a fourth-round pick from last year despite the apparent chronic injuries. After putting in all the time with Johnson last year, I’d be a little surprised if they would cut him loose now.
  • What to make of Demetress Bell? The Cowboys signed him even though he was in extremely poor condition at the start of camp. They were patient with him, and he finally got on the field last week in Oxnard, Calif., and played against Arizona. When he signed, I viewed it as a move to just help the backup quarterbacks get through some preseason games. But when the Cowboys stuck with him, I wondered if they looked at him as future development guy. It’s hard to find big guys who can move and have some experience. He was bad last year at Philadelphia, but he wasn’t bad in Buffalo.

Brandon Magee suffers concussion

August, 20, 2013
8/20/13
11:41
AM ET
IRVING, Texas – Cowboys rookie linebacker Brandon Magee will not play Saturday against Cincinnati after suffering a concussion in Monday’s practice.

It is possible Magee will not be able to play in the preseason final against Houston on Aug. 29. Wide receiver Terrance Williams suffered a concussion on Aug. 2 and missed the first two preseason games. Magee led the Cowboys with six tackles last week against Arizona.

Defensive tackle Sean Lissemore returned to the practice field Tuesday after a 10-day absence because of a groin injury suffered during training camp in Oxnard, Calif. Lissemore played in the first two preseason games.

Lance Dunbar (foot), Cole Beasley (foot), Ryan Cook (back), Ronald Leary (knee), Nate Livings (knee), Morris Claiborne (knee), J.J. Wilcox, Matt Johnson (foot), Eric Frampton (calf), Ernie Sims (groin), Jay Ratliff (hamstring, hernia) and Anthony Spencer (knee) are not practicing.
GLENDALE, Ariz. – Cowboys linebacker Alex Albright will undergo lower back surgery early next week and will miss the season, according to multiple sources.

Albright did not play in the Cowboys’ first three preseason games, including Saturday’s 12-7 loss at Arizona. He had been suffering some back issues since May, but the hope was that rest would make it better. When he did not see improvement, surgery became the logical move.

Albright was a core special teamer and can play strongside and middle linebacker. His injury opens up the battle for the backup linebacker spots for rookie Brandon Magee, Caleb McSurdy and Taylor Reed. The Cowboys moved Magee to weakside linebacker last week in practice, but he saw time Saturday at middle linebacker. McSurdy saw work on the strong side versus the Cardinals.

Albright had sports hernia surgery after last season and was limited some in the offseason.
Good morning. It's Wednesday. It's May. Minicamps are around the corner. Links are hot and ready.

Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles worked to overhaul their secondary early in the offseason. This was expected, since it was their most significant area of weakness. But it doesn't sound as though they're convinced they've done all they needed to do there.

Jeffrey Lurie's attendance at Geno Smith's workout before the draft was not a smokescreen, Chip Kelly insists. Their interest in Smith was genuine and serious -- they just decided he wasn't worth one of their first two picks. But Kelly says the reason Lurie was at the workout was that they had a meeting scheduled with him that day and he just decided, as billionaires are wont to do, to hop on a plane and take the trip with them and have the meeting that way.

Washington Redskins

The Redskins appear to be getting the secondary help they want most, as strong safety Brandon Meriweather says he's on track to return from ACL surgery in time for the start of training camp. The Redskins believe Meriweather would have been an impact player for them had he been able to get on the field last year at that strong safety position.

Rich Tandler looks at the ways in which the Redskins still need to balance their roster before camp. He expects to see them add bodies at wide receiver, linebacker and offensive line, maybe subtract at running back.

Dallas Cowboys

Calvin Watkins has a bit more on why the Cowboys liked undrafted linebacker Brandon Magee so much that they were willing to give him $70,000 to sign and ignore concerns that he might want to play baseball instead.

Why did the Cowboys pass on defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd in the first round? It sounds as though the scouts liked him but the coaches didn't think he was a fit for what they're trying to do in their new 4-3 defense. There were a few people who told me before the draft that Floyd was a very specific type of player who would only fit certain schemes and roles, and it appears the Cowboys agreed.

New York Giants

Tom Coughlin hoped that things would move fast with the Victor Cruz contract situation once the restricted free-agent signing period ended, but they have not, and the Giants coach says that's become something of a concern.

It's been 14 years since the Giants had a first-round rookie offensive lineman, and it sounds as though the veterans have some fun plans for Justin Pugh.
Settling now into a post-draft normality. We'll do our regular chat today. I think we have Power Rankings, too. So it's more like a Tuesday you're used to. One thing that's always constant, though, is the links post.

New York Giants

Giants GM Jerry Reese says there's no bad blood or hard feelings between the team and wide receiver Victor Cruz regarding Cruz's current contract dispute. It's just business, Reese says, and there's nothing in his history to indicate he doesn't mean it. It will be interesting to see whether the situation can get resolved without any hard feelings surfacing.

Ed Valentine continues to hope that the Giants find linebacker help on what remains of the free-agent market after not drafting a linebacker with any of their picks. They could add a veteran, I guess, but I wouldn't be surprised if they think they're OK at the position. They don't tend to place much value on it.

Philadelphia Eagles

Stony Brook running back Miguel Maysonet was not drafted, which was something of a surprise, but he did sign as an undrafted free agent with the Eagles. It's not a position at which the Eagles appear to have a need, but you never know at running back when an injury's around the corner or when opportunity might present itself. He's someone on whom it's worth keeping an eye.

Fifth-round safety Earl Wolff could push for playing time in the Eagles' secondary this year, as the picture there is muddled at best. It doesn't sound as though Wolff was the Eagles' first choice among safeties in this year's draft, but he's someone they liked well enough to take a fifth-round flyer on.

Washington Redskins

E.J. Biggers, whom the Redskins signed in March to play cornerback, is a fan of David Amerson, whom the Redskins drafted in the second round last week to play cornerback. Biggers doesn't know Amerson, but he says he watches a lot of college football and enjoyed Amerson's 13-interception season in 2011.

On that note, Mike Jones looks at which Redskins veterans could see their jobs or playing time threatened by the incoming rookies, including Biggers and some of the backup running backs.

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys said they didn't need to address the defensive line in the draft because they already considered it a team strength. Todd Archer examines whether they're correct about that. I think the concern is the depth behind the starters, but if Jay Ratliff can stay healthy the starting four look very good.

Undrafted linebacker Brandon Magee is going to be a real threat to make the roster, especially after the Cowboys committed $70,000 to sign him. That's more than any seventh-round pick got to sign in 2012.

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