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Eagles News: Cowboys poised to take a step back in 2017

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 5/10/17.

Philadelphia Eagles v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

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Fearless NFL division predictions for 2017: Cowboys, Dak Prescott in for a slump - CBS Sports
I smell a sophomore slump. No longer having Tony Romo as an emergency blanket could change some things here. How much does Jason Witten have left? Can Dez Bryant stay healthy? I just sort of sense a market correction of sorts here and I'm not sure they can duplicate the kind of roll they went on a year ago. I never bought into the defense, and after losing seemingly their entire secondary in free agency, color me concerned once more. Is there any pass rush? Will they have to win shootouts each week? They won't be sneaking up on anyone anymore, that's for sure.

7 running backs the Eagles could sign or trade for - BGN
The Eagles and Saints are rumored to be discussing a Jason Kelce for Mark Ingram trade. This deal would make a lot of sense for both sides considering the Saints really need a center and the Eagles really need a running back. Ingram is coming off a season where he rushed for 1,043 yards at an impressive 5.1 average. Getting Ingram should make people feel a lot better about the Eagles’ backfield. He’s 27 years old and has two years left on his deal, so he wouldn’t just be a one-year fix for the Birds.

Five Eagles players who need to play to potential in 2017 - PhillyVoice
In most games a season ago, Connor Barwin was completely ineffective as a pass rusher, and typically bad against the run as well. It's odd that Vinny Curry couldn't get on the field more than he did, and even when he did, he could not produce impact plays. Next offseason, if the Eagles decide to move on from Curry and get out of his contract, they would save $5 million in cap space, with $6 million in dead money. If Curry has a similar season in 2017 to the one he had in 2016, that decision will be a no-brainer. Curry has ability as a pass rusher. He has shown it. He needs to show it again both for himself and for the defense to maximize its ability to produce big plays.

High Hopes For CB Jalen Mills In Year 2 -
Want an example of why the Eagles are so high on Mills, a seventh-round draft pick last spring? While he spent the offseason getting bigger, faster, and stronger – Mills said he refined his diet and says he is a “lot trimmer” – and catching his breath and seeing his family, he had the Eagles’ video department send him his team-issued tablet, which he turned in at the end of the season, and he watched every snap he played. Over and over again. Back and forth. Studying. Searching for clues on ways to improve his game.

Eagles positional reviews: Running back Wendell Smallwood trying to fill bigger role - Inquirer
For a fifth-round pick with modest expectations, Wendell Smallwood had a productive rookie season. But Smallwood didn’t play enough – or well enough – to lock down a role as the Eagles’ primary ball carrier for the 2017 season. However, that might be his job if the Eagles release Ryan Mathews and don’t add a veteran running back before the season. More on that later. Smallwood, who is 5-foot-10 and 208 pounds, finished 2016 with 77 carries for 312 yards and one touchdown. He missed the final three games with a knee injury.

Charles Walker a changed man thanks to depression diagnosis -
Walker has been on the phone, telling teams he is a changed man thanks to the diagnosis. Walker exited Oklahoma amid some controversy, immediately declaring for the draft in November and drawing criticism from coach Bob Stoops. He is considered a mid-round pick. He reportedly battled concussions in his final season, though doctors now think some of the symptoms believed to be concussion-related were actually from depression. Walker has been taking low-dose medication for his ailment, writing to teams to let them know how different his life has become.

Where in the world is Carson Wentz? - ESPN
From a high school in Southern California to the recesses of an Arkansas blind to the jagged New Zealand mountainside, Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz has been all over the map this offseason. The latest adventure was in pursuit of tahr, chamois and red stag, naturally. The YouTube channel "Wentz Bros Outdoors" has documented the various hunting trips that Wentz has gone on with his friends and family. They recently traveled to New Zealand for seven days to go after big game.

Was the Nathan Gerry Pick Actually an Ahead-of-the-Curve and Innovative Pick by the Eagles? - Philly Football Talk
I know that headline might be shocking, but I genuinely believe that the Eagles may have done something innovative (?) and ahead-of-the-curve (?) with their selection of Nathan Gerry. I say this because I think he’s going to be a running back stopper in the passing game. You know how in the NBA, teams are going small? This allows defenses to be quicker and switch all over the court making it harder to get entry passes into the post and forcing teams into bad shots. That was an innovative idea that the Warriors started in the 2015 Finals and now, every team in the NBA has to have the ability to go small if they want to survive. That’s how I feel about running backs in the passing game. This is the next craze that is going to dominate the NFL.

How Philadelphia Eagles' Shelton Gibson veered from East Cleveland to the NFL - PennLive
Shelton Gibson Sr. knew his idea was a long shot, a parenting method bred from sheer hope. But if he slid sports movies into the VCR most weekends, he remembered thinking, maybe he could help his son sidestep the drugs and violence that permeated East Cleveland. This was about 15 years ago, well before Shelton Gibson Jr. emerged as a wide receiver with breathtaking speed who heard his name called as a Philadelphia Eagles fifth-round pick last month

It’s Good to be Sam Bradford - The MMQB
For whatever reason, the Eagles did not request or demand an extension upon the trade, shifting all the leverage to Bradford. His agent, Tom Condon, used it strategically. After a 2015 season with mixed results, the Eagles re-upped Bradford for $18 million fully guaranteed in 2016 (a $5 million raise from his bloated rookie contract) and another $4 million guaranteed as part of $18 million in 2017. Although the Eagles then mortgaged valuable resources to draft Bradford’s eventual replacement (Carson Wentz), Bradford received an $11 million signing bonus to ensure his status as a starting quarterback at least through 2016 . . . although it would not be for the Eagles.

Michael Vick hopes NFL rookie Joe Mixon is 'humbled' -
Michael Vick knows what it's like to make the kind of decision that haunts you for the rest of your life. The former NFL quarterback also knows about trying to move past that mistake, and embracing a second chance. And so when Vick looks at running back Joe Mixon, the Cincinnati Bengals' controversial draft pick this season, he hopes Mixon understands just how fortunate he is to be playing in the NFL.

NFL power rankings 2017: Patriots still on top after productive offseason - SB Nation
The New York Giants went 11-5 last year with a strong defense leading the way, but let’s stop for a second and ask ourselves a question: Why was their offense ranked No. 25 in the NFL? It certainly wasn’t Eli Manning’s best year, but he didn’t perform poorly. And the Giants have one of the best receivers in the NFL — Odell Beckham Jr., who’s paired with another exciting talent, Sterling Shepard. The problem sure looks like the awful rushing attack that managed 3.5 yards per carry and a whopping six touchdowns.

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