1) The Eagles re-signed Joselio Hanson. This is the only good thing that happened today, although it was unnecessary. I wasn’t sure exactly why they cut him in the first place. By cutting Hanson, the Eagles saved roughly $1.5 million in cap space. It appears Hanson shopped around, didn’t find big dollars elsewhere, and the Eagles signed him back to a cheaper deal. Then they cut 2nd year CB Trevard Lindley. I don’t get it. Clearly, they thought Hanson was better than Lindley, because with monies being closer to equal, they proved they’d rather have Hanson by signing him back. The Eagles are loaded with talent this season. Shouldn’t they want their best 53? I mean… I get that we’re “only” talking about a dime corner here, but injuries happen. The Giants have already IR’d 2 corners (Terrell Thomas and Bruce Johnson) this preseason and cut a 3rd because of injuries. The Cowboys are likely without Mike Jenkins and Terence Newman this week (more on that in a minute). The Eagles were without Asante Samuel for 5 games last year, and it showed. It happens. Hanson is an excellent slot corner. Put him anywhere else on the field, and he’s a weakness. But when the 2 best teams in the conference (Packers and Saints) go 4 receivers deep, having Hanson there as a 4th corner is an awesome luxury. It turns out the Eagles “won” since they got Hanson back and saved themselves a couple hundred thousand bucks in cap space, but was it really worth all the trouble and risk? Howie Roseman & Co got a little too cute here, in my opinion.
2) The Eagles demoted Danny Watkins, named Kyle DeVan the starting RG. From the day the Eagles drafted Danny Watkins in the first round, the football world penciled him in as the Week 1 starting RG. Watkins turns 27 in November. He’s actually the 16th oldest player on the Eagles’ 53 man roster. The thinking was that he had the maturity and smarts to be an immediate contributor. But after a brutally bad preseason, the Eagles did what they had to do. They replaced him with new addition Kyle DeVan, formerly of the Colts. DeVan, according to Pro Football Focus, allowed 1 sack, 4 QB hits, and 12 pressures in 883 snaps in 2010. Obviously, he was playing with Peyton Manning, who gets the ball out faster than any QB in the league and is extremely difficult to sack, but those numbers are impressive. DeVan rejoins former OL coach Howard Mudd, so integrating DeVan into the OL scheme should be no issue. Still, teams don’t just cut players for no reason, and the Colts cut DeVan. The Eagles lived with awful RG play from Nick Cole and Max Jean-Gilles last year. They’ll need DeVan to just be OK. This is not what anyone had in mind when Watkins’ name was announced in April.
3) Tyron Smith hyper-extended his knee in practice today. He’ll reportedly miss up to 2-4 weeks. The Cowboys have absolutely nothing behind Smith as far as depth at either tackle position. Frankly, they don’t have anything behind anyone along the OL. This was about as predictable an issue as you could possibly find when looking at the construction of the Cowboys offense this season. I wrote this in my last post this afternoon, and at the risk of sounding like a broken record, the Cowboys have a grand total of 4 offensive linemen that have ever taken an NFL snap. Of the four, one of those players, Phil Costa, only has 109 snaps under his belt, and the other, Derrick Dockery, just signed with the team yesterday. Second year project Jermey Parnell would be the most likely to take Smith’s place if he can’t go, but don’t be surprised if the Cowboys sign some sort of jobless journeyman between now and Sunday. Dallas might be in store for another long season.
4) Mike Jenkins is unlikely to play after injuring his knee in practice today. Terence Newman is already likely to be missing Week 1 against the Jets as well, with a groin injury. The Cowboys currently now have 3 healthy corners – Orlando Scandrick, Alan Ball, and Bryan McCann. Oof. I’ve been hearing all offseason about how great a defensive coordinator Rob Ryan is. The chips are down. Let’s see what you got, Rob.