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NFC East pre-season preview

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Questions, answers, and cliches

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NFL: Dallas Cowboys-Training Camp Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Almost real football is just around the corner with preseason games kicking off tomorrow. Let’s go around the NFC East and answer some questions that every team has.

Philadelphia Eagles

What key spots are available?

Weakside linebacker is available as the Eagles try out every linebacker like right field on a little league team (it’s important, you know). One lucky fan in the final preseason game will get to play it the 4th quarter.

What old guy is in the best shape of his life?

Considering that the Eagles have 9 players in their 30s, you’d think they would be flush with the predictable and wrong “best shape of their life” stories, but amazingly, they aren’t. Nicely done local and national media.

Any “culture change” or “it’s a new day” BS?

Super Bowl winners, which the Eagles are, don’t need such banalities.

Have they added any former Eagles recently?

Corey Graham once again waited until the part of training camp that he absolutely had to be there for to sign to the Eagles.

Dallas Cowboys

What key spots are available?

Wide receiver should be.

Last season they caught a combined 49 passes for 7.4 yards per reception.

What old guy is in the best shape of his life?

I’m not even going to bother looking up any stories and just assume that there are several about Sean Lee.

Any “culture change” or “it’s a new day” BS?

Of course there is, they are coached by Jason Garrett. So long as Garrett is in Dallas, every season will get new fluff pieces.

When Jones hired Garrett, it was meant to bring back the old way of doing things. Garrett restored the Blue and White scrimmage in training camp, something Landry used to do. He made sure players wore a suit on the plane for road games. He praised practice squad players and held people accountable.

And then it’ll start all over again when he eventually is no longer coaching the Cowboys, which won’t be for another 20 years or so.

Have they added any former Eagles recently?

No, but I would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that Nolan Carroll and Cedric Thornton each have a higher cap hit than over half their roster.

Washington Redskins

What key spots are available?

The Week 1 Running Back Who Will Eventually Get Benched is up for grabs, as always.

What old guy is in the best shape of his life?

Oh yeah. At a ‘young’ 34 years old, Redskins QB Alex Smith says ‘my best football’s still ahead of me’

I’m reminded of a scene from one of my favorite shows, The Trip.

Steve Coogan: A Sunday night costume drama about my life? Could happen.

Rob Brydon: Who plays you?

Coogan: I’d play myself.

Brydon: You couldn’t do that, it’s “childe”, it’s meant to be like a young marl. You could have Jude Law.

Coogan: Jude Law is 40-plus.

Brydon: He doesn’t look it, does he? He hasn’t aged like you and I.

Coogan: Well, he’s balding.

Brydon: Yeah but he’s got that face, he does.

Coogan: He’s got that young, bald look.

Alex Smith, he’s got that young, 34 year old feel.

Any “culture change” or “it’s a new day” BS?

No, Jay Gruden can’t even make it through a sentence without remembering that his roster has changed.

Have they added any former Eagles recently?

They don’t have a single one on their roster or in their front office. Where’s the fun in that?

New York Giants

What key spots are available?

Center and a bunch of spots on the front seven along with a safety to pair with Landon Collins. Davis Webb and Kyle Lauletta will battle it out for the right to dress on game day and never play because the Giants can’t quit Eli Manning.

What old guy is in the best shape of his life?

Mark Herzlich is still around, which means that Mark Herzlich human interest stories are still around.

Any “culture change” or “it’s a new day” BS?

They went 3-13 and changed coaches from Ben McAdoo, who is always on the verge of being asked to leave a Sonic, to Pat Shurmur, who needs a strobe light to look like he’s moving. Of course culture change is a running theme. There are platitudes to doing things like enjoying talking about football in press conferences, or wearing clear visors.

It is impressive the ways they find to annoy Odell Beckham.

Have they added any former Eagles recently?

They signed Connor Barwin to try to spin around OTs and plant trees, bringing their 2013 Eagles count up to four along with Pat Shurmur, Bill McGovern, and Russell Shepard.