Thursday, July 28, 2011
NFC East Thursday: How was your day?
By Dan Graziano
Every day is different, for everybody and every team. And so, at the end of a crazy day tracking, dissecting and analyzing all of the moves being made and not being made in the NFC East, we like to pause and ask each team a simple question: How was your day ...
"Fiscally responsible." Yeah, that's not a real exciting answer. And as pretty much every one of their fans will tell you, the Cowboys haven't had a real exciting week. But while Jerry Jones would surely love to be slugging it out for Nnamdi Asomugha and the other top free agents, the fact is the Cowboys had to start this offseason slowly. Thursday, they added Marc Colombo to the list of cuts that will trim more than $19 million in payroll and help get them under the cap. They agreed to terms with left guard Kyle Kosier one day after bringing back left tackle Doug Free. They signed first-round pick and projected starting right tackle Tyron Smith and then immediately let linebacker DeMarcus Ware go to work on him in his first training-camp practice. But they did nothing to address their holes on defense, and in fact they lost one of their free-agent defensive ends, Stephen Bowen, to the Redskins. But that loss could be a gain. Bowen got a surprisingly huge deal (five years, $27.5 million, $12.5 million guaranteed), and the Cowboys don't believe he was worth that much. That deal could actually help them get the defensive end they want, the Packers' Cullen Jenkins, who'd been talking to the Redskins but no longer is. The Cowboys still need two safeties, two defensive ends and maybe another offensive lineman. But they'll get them. Fans just need to be patient. This may not be the most exciting Cowboys offseason ever, but it will surely be more productive than it's been so far. They are crawling before they walk.
New York Giants?
"Newsy." The Giants are still working and waiting on the resolution of their negotiations with Ahmad Bradshaw, Kevin Boss and Steve Smith, but they did knock out a new deal for Mathias Kiwanuka on Thursday. And Bradshaw lost a lot of his leverage when the Dolphins, with whom he and his agent had been playing kissy-face, acquired Reggie Bush, so they should be able to get him at something closer to their price. But this day for the Giants was more about people talking -- John Mara talking about Plaxico Burress and Osi Umenyiora, the team talking to David Diehl about moving from tackle to guard and to Will Beatty about starting at left tackle, Rich Seubert and Shaun O'Hara talking about being cut ... lots of talking. There was even a report that the Giants were talking to Brad Maynard about coming in to replace shaky punter Matt Dodge. The talking -- at least to the free agents -- will soon lead to results one way or the other. But there was no shortage of interesting storylines coming out of Giantsland on Thursday.
"Cathartic." Yeah, they finally got that Kevin Kolb deal done. Felt like it took forever, right? Well, that's only because of that little lockout thing we no longer like to talk about. The end result is that the Eagles have their starting right cornerback in Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a second-round pick next year and will need to go find a veteran backup for Michael Vick, which won't be too hard. They also agreed to terms on a five-year contract with defensive end Jason Babin, who was much better last season with the Titans than he was in his first stint as an Eagle. But he should be OK since he'll be working with former Titans defensive line coach Jim Washburn, who's now in Philly. They still need to address linebacker and backup running back and maybe offensive line, but the actual moves they got to do Thursday will help, and at least they provided some distraction from this very icky DeSean Jackson holdout situation.
"Productive." I'm sorry. I don't think they'll contend in 2011, but I really, really like what the Redskins are doing. Sure, they overpaid for Bowen. But as someone pointed out to me on my extremely active Twitter day, the Redskins (a) have the money and (b) sort of have to overpay right now to get guys to go there, right? Like cornerback Josh Wilson, Bowen is a guy who is young and still emerging, and the Redskins are making a bet that he'll be better in the short-term future than he is now. They are a future-focused team and should be, and their moves have reflected that. Another example: They cut veteran center Casey Rabach and reportedly agreed to terms with Chris Chester, who can replace Rabach at center or play guard if Will Montgomery or Kory Lichtensteiger does. Still need a right tackle, but the defense starts to look pretty doggone respectable with the additions of Wilson, Bowen and Barry Cofield. Oh, and I almost forget. They dumped Albert Haynesworth on an AFC team before the sun came up. That alone would have made it a decent day for Mike Shanahan no matter what else happened.
Me? Man. My day was kind of nuts. Did some more TV and a whole lot of Twitter conversating with y'all. Enjoyed every single bit of it and can't wait for tomorrow.
How was your day?