Before the season began, the Dallas Cowboys were picked by many to win the NFC East title.
Seven games into the season, the Cowboys (2-5) could be without starting quarterback Dak Prescott and backup Andy Dalton, while pinning their hopes on rookie quarterback Ben DiNucci, who took his first NFL snaps Sunday, and a defense that has given up the most points in the NFL.
And let’s not forget that last week, anonymous Cowboys players were whining to the NFL Network that Mike McCarthy and the coaching staff are getting out-coached. Owner Jerry Jones told the media that he’s not happy with the team’s performance, even with the losses of key players.
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Following Sunday’s 25-3 loss to the Washington Football Team, the Cowboys are staring at a schedule that includes the Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens, and a second game against Washington. Given the issues in Dallas, the road to the playoffs might be easier for the Eagles (2-4-1), especially if they beat the Cowboys at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday night. With Washington at 2-5 and the Giants at 1-6, the NFL’s weakest division can be had with just a few victories.
As the Nov. 3 trade deadline approaches, and a path to the playoffs potentially opening for the Eagles, will general manager Howie Roseman be tempted to make deals, particularly at offensive line and linebacker, where the Eagles need help?
The Eagles have lost several linemen this season, trotting out six different offensive line combinations in seven games.
Starting right tackle Lane Johnson is still dealing with leg and ankle injuries, left tackle Jason Peters is on injured reserve with a toe injury, and left guard Isaac Seumalo is out with a knee injury. The line’s depth also has been tested, with reserve lineman Jack Driscoll out with an ankle injury.
Stopgaps have not worked: Guards Jamon Brown and Sua Opeta each made one start this season at guard, and both allowed substantial pressure to come from the defensive line interior. The two gave up a combined two sacks, seven quarterback hits and six hurries.
The linebackers have been playing better as of late, but the unit is still the most inexperienced group on defense and lacks a consistent playmaker.
Without injured middle linebacker T.J. Edwards, Nate Gerry has shown he can be a solid pass rusher at linebacker. According to Pro Football Focus, Gerry is tied for fifth among NFL linebackers with 41 total tackles and tied for seventh with six quarterback pressures. Duke Riley has made plays here and there, and Alex Singleton has been solid in place of Edwards.
Where could Roseman find LB help?
Jets linebacker Avery Williamson is rumored to be available. He has played inside linebacker for the Tennessee Titans and the Jets.
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Falcons outside linebacker Foyesade Oluokun also might be available. He taken by the Falcons in the sixth round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Olokun, who is still playing under his rookie deal that ends in 2021, can play the strongside and is decent in coverage. In five games, he has 40 tackles, three forced fumbles and an interception.
How much would the Jets or Falcons want in return? The Eagles have eight draft picks, including two fifth-round selections in the 2021 NFL Draft. If the Eagles can get either linebacker for a sixth-round pick or less, it could be worth doing a deal. Another key: Finding a player who has a future in Philly beyond this season.
According to Over The Cap, the Eagles are an estimated $68 million over the projected 2021 salary cap and would most likely try to roll over as much as they can.
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