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Eagles news: Eagles nearly traded DeMarco Murray back to the Cowboys

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Eagles news and notes for 10/16

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Tennessee Titans Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

DeMarco Murray was ‘95 percent sure’ he was returning to Cowboys - Star-Telegram

“It was like 95 percent sure I was going to come back there,” Murray said in a phone interview. “I have a lot of respect for those guys — the Jones family, Will [McClay], coach [Jason] Garrett obviously and [Tony] Romo and Wit [Jason Witten], all those guys. I still consider them a great franchise, and they’re great friends of mine.

“I was very close to going back there. There were some things that fell through and just didn’t happen. I think everything happens for a reason. I’m here, and I’m supposed to be here. They’ve got a pretty good young back over there as well.”

The Cowboys discussed a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles to bring Murray back to town. A source within the team agrees with Murray that a reunion was “close,” but the Eagles preferred to trade Murray to a nondivision foe.

Eagles have confidence in Vaitai - Inquirer

"I've tried to rattle this guy all week coaching him, and he don't blink," offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland said. "He don't blink. I've even said it to some others guys: 'Am I crazy?' He's just a straight-lined guy. That's who he is. He's totally focused. I totally believe he'll follow the plan and what we've prepared all week from a technical standpoint, and the scheme."

Vaitai, who is called "Big V" by coaches, teammates, friends, and even family, has a different nickname in the offensive line room: "The Quiet One." It was given to him by left tackle Jason Peters because the 6-foot-6, 310-pound rookie barely utters a word.

He thinks his serene nature will help him Sunday. So, too, will the confidence of the coaching staff. Coach Doug Pederson insisted this is not a week-to-week experiment. The Eagles are "fully committed" to using Vaitai to protect Wentz until Johnson returns.

"I'm not going to let Coach Pederson down," Vaitai said. "He's expecting me to do everything in my power to protect Carson. And that's what I'm going to give him."

Blandino: No obvious evidence to overturn key Eagles-Lions call - Pro Football Talk

The NFL has chimed in, and the bottom line is that Pederson may be right. The only problem is that the available replays were unable to prove that Kelce was definitely touching the ball while out of bounds.

“It’s reasonable to think that it touched him but we have to be able to prove it with the video,” NFL senior V.P. of officiating Dean Blandino explains in his weekly officiating video for the media. “So if we can’t see the football actually touching the leg, we just can’t overturn. With this angle, it’s just not definitive.”

Five Redskins who are under pressure against the Eagles - CSN Washington

QB Kirk Cousins—He is on this list until he breaks through and looks like a franchise quarterback. He had his moments against the Ravens, notably on a perfect throw to Pierre Garçon for a third-quarter touchdown. But the problem was, that was their only offensive touchdown. Much of the rest of his day was spent overthrowing some open receivers, especially on third and short. Cousins completed one of six passes on third and one. You can question the play calling if you want but the quarterback has to execute better.

Carson Wentz's Fast Start Hasn't Gone Unnoticed By Redskins - Redskins.com

The Wentz-led Eagles, however, pose a bigger challenge. Wentz impressed in Philadelphia’s 2-0 start with wins over the Browns and Bears, but critics wanted to see him succeed against an expected playoff contender. The chance to do that came in Week 3 when the Eagles hosted Pittsburgh. The Steelers were barely a test for Wentz, who dominated by completing 23-of-31 passes for 301 yards and two touchdowns in a 34-3 rout of Pittsburgh. Despite last week’s loss in Detroit, the Redskins have noticed this isn’t a regular rookie quarterback.

“He’s impressive, honestly. I’m not just saying that because we’re playing them,” Redskins safety Duke Ihenacho said. “He’s an impressive guy. Watching the tape, he looks like a vet.”

“Crazy thing about it is, he’s a rookie, playing like some vets in the league,” cornerback Josh Norman said. “It’s kind of crazy because he doesn’t turn the ball over, he does a good job of that. He’s a smart rook(ie), he’s not stupid like some of them out there.”

“I think Carson Wentz is doing a hell of a job for them,” linebacker Will Compton said.