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Eagles News: Cowboys listed among NFL teams having the worst offseasons

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Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 3/24/20.

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NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

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NFL insider notes: The Texans and five teams with the worst offseason plans through free agency’s first wave - CBS Sports
The Cowboys defense was awful before the offseason began, and they seem intent on making it even worse in 2020! How about that? Two of their biggest contributors from a year ago — pass rusher Robert Quinn and corner Byron Jones — are gone. Sean Lee is back, despite his age and years of injury woes. They’d better hope Gerald McCoy makes a far more significant impact than he did in Carolina last year, or this thing might really crumble. Keeping Amari Cooper is nice, but wait until Dak Prescott is making $38M a year. It’s going to limit the ability to do a few other things, and Jerry Jones has been paltry spending on payroll the last four years, anyway. They’d better have one helluva of a draft, and it had better lean decidedly to the defensive side of the ball. Their ability to stop anyone remains very much in question, and even all of the yards they rolled up a year ago were not enough to make them anything close to a contending team.

NFL free agency 2020: Looking around NFC East after 1 week - NBCSP
Analysis: The Cowboys did what they needed to by slapping a franchise tag on Dak Prescott and then signing Amari Cooper, but they’re losing some other key players because of it. I still think they were right to prioritize those two, though. They bought themselves some time to sign their QB to a long-term deal and losing Cooper should have never even been an option. But because of the money going to those guys, they lost Jones, Quinn, Collins, Cobb and others. We’re talking about losing several key starters from last year’s team and their defense will suffer because of it. But I do like the addition of McCoy even at age 32.

Weekly Eagles Draft Simulation: Options for Philadelphia’s eight picks - BGN
KJ Hamler will be welcomed in Philadelphia with open arms. The Penn State product has great quickness and speed that can win inside and out. Hamler will be an immediate contributor.

Podcast: Preliminary grades for the Eagles’ free agency period - PhillyVoice
The Philadelphia Eagles had a semi-busy weekend, filling in their roster with potential role players, while saying goodbye to a former first-round pick. Here’s what we discussed in BGN Radio episode No. 112.

What’s left for the Eagles in free agency? Should they deal for Yannick Ngakoue? - The Athletic
The Eagles would be crazy not to upgrade that group before the draft. For one, as loaded as the crop of draftable wide receivers may be, instant impact from rookie receivers is rare, as Sheil pointed out. Second, the Eagles shouldn’t box themselves into a position in which they *need* to draft a receiver in the first round, because that signals their intention to other teams and removes the needed flexibility to take advantage when a highly rated player at another position surprisingly falls. To make matters worse, the Slay trade, which should have been the DeAndre Hopkins trade, already removed some needed ammo to be nimble on draft day. So, the Eagles need to do something at wide receiver soon. The wide receiver market has developed slowly, and if the Emmanuel Sanders contract is an indication, prices could be more reasonable than expected. Robby Anderson and Breshad Perriman fit the mold for the Eagles as downfield threats with speed. Before free agency opened, I thought Perriman would be the better option because I expected Anderson to price himself out of the Eagles’ range as the best non-Amari Cooper receiver available. Now I’m not so sure. But I do think the Eagles need to sign one of those two players (or trade for someone we’re not considering) if they’re serious about fielding even a league-average group of outside weapons for their franchise quarterback.

Why the Eagles passed on trading for receiver DeAndre Hopkins - ESPN
Like most teams, they believe the 2020 NFL draft class has a wealth of wide receiver talent in it. Whether it’s Henry Ruggs, Justin Jefferson, Brandon Aiyuk or another high-ranking wideout, they’ll have an opportunity to score a player in the first round (with the No. 21 pick) who has the ability to contribute immediately. Pair one of those budding stars (and, perhaps, a receiver selected later in the draft) with Jackson, Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert and running back Miles Sanders, and you have the makings of a potent offense.

Biggest needs for top Super Bowl contenders and potential fits in the 2020 NFL Draft - PFF
Philadelphia Eagles — LinebackerEarly: Patrick Queen, LSU. Later: Willie Gay Jr., Mississippi State. While the Eagles may look elsewhere early on with the positional value of linebacker, it’s still easily their most glaring need. LSU’s Patrick Queen is a player who burst onto the scene after not even starting to begin this season. He eventually racked up six stops in a monster National Championship game. His 4.5 speed at the combine makes him a versatile piece in a modern defense. If the Eagles do choose to address the position later, Mississippi State’s Willie Gay has first-round-type traits but could slip all the way to Day 3 after cheating on a chemistry test and punching a teammate this past season. Still, Gay earned a 93.9 coverage grade for his career and smoked a 4.46 40 at the combine.

Connor and Laura Barwin Join in to Support the Philadelphia Community in Need during the COVID-19 Crisis - Ertz Family Foundation
Today, Connor and Laura Barwin are pledging to #KeepTheChainGoing with a donation of $25,000 to Philabundance to help the Philadelphia community with the food insecurity crisis as a result of COVID-19. “Philadelphia is family – we will get through this together! Laura and I are happy to support Philabundance along with the Ertzes and Kelces.” Said Connor. In 2013, Connor founded the 501(c)3 nonprofit foundation, Make The World Better, to focus on community-based redevelopment projects geared to uniquely strengthen and enhance neighborhoods through increased community ownership and involvement. This donation, along with all of the wonderful work that their foundation does in the community, is one of the many reasons that Philadelphia fans unite in their love for #98.

Eagles Cheerleader Kyle Tanguay reflects on life-changing American Idol experience - PE.com
While Kyle Tanguay’s journey on American Idol has come to an end, the opportunity to sing on the award-winning show left a lasting impression. After being named the first male Eagles Cheerleader in more than three decades, the University of the Arts senior added another accomplishment to his impressive résumé. ”This whole experience was a breath of fresh air,” Kyle said. “It was exciting and nerve-wracking, but to be able to go to the other side of the country and do something completely new and different; it opened my eyes to a whole new world. It showed me all of the things I want to accomplish in my singing and dancing career.”

Travis Frederick’s retirement is the annual gigantic Dallas Cowboys offseason storyline - Blogging The Boys
It is possible that some Cowboys fans were looking forward to the second week of free agency. We were all expecting the team to sign a few players, address a couple of needs, but mostly we all figured this would be a relatively chill week. That thought didn’t even live past Monday. Cowboys center Travis Frederick announced his retirement on the first day of the work week and it shocked fans everywhere. Frederick’s medical history is well-documented, but still, retirements like these can be jarring especially considering his age. If he feels now is the time to walk away, then we all absolutely respect that decision, we will simply miss watching him play football.

2020 NFL free agency: Giants sign running back Dion Lewis - Big Blue View
Lewis was originally drafted out of Pittsburgh by the Philadelphia Eagles in the fifth round. He was traded to the Cleveland Browns for Emmanuel Acho in 2013, only to suffer a season-ending injury and be cut the following offseason. Lewis was briefly with the Indianapolis Colts before signing a reserve/futures deal with the New England Patriots in 2015. Lewis is obviously familiar to Joe Judge, who coached him on special teams as the Patriots’ primary kick returner in 2017. He had, by far, his most success with the Patriots, capping it in 2017 with 1,110 yards on 212 combined touches, with nine touchdowns. Lewis entered free agency after that, scoring a 4-year, $20 million contract with the Titans in 2018.

Redskins trade a 5th round pick for Panthers QB Kyle Allen - Hogs Haven
The Redskins have reportedly traded for Carolina Panthers QB Kyle Allen. Washington will send Carolina a 5th round pick. The Panthers are trying to trade Cam Newton, but will likely end up releasing him. They signed Teddy Bridgewater early in free agency to be their starter, and just signed XFL star P.J. Walker to a two year deal. This left the third QB spot between Allen and last year’s 3rd round pick Will Grier, and they went with Grier.

49ers sign LB Joe Walker to a one-year deal - Niners Nation
PFF did have him down as a 70 grade on Special Teams, which is likely where Walker will make an impact for the 49ers. It seems that Walker is a replacement for Elijah Lee, who the 49ers chose not to tender last week. Walker was drafted in 2016 by the Philadelphia Eagles in the seventh round. Walker is a top-notch athlete.

The Five Teams That Have More Questions Than Answers After the First Week of Free Agency - The Ringer
This roster has deteriorated in pretty much every conceivable way, and the Rams lack both the cap space and draft capital to address their problems. After dealing two of them for Ramsey, Snead heads into his third consecutive draft without a first-round pick. Even if he can recoup something for Cooks, the Rams still don’t have nearly enough resources to fix the issues currently plaguing the roster. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see L.A. finish last in an increasingly competitive NFC West.

NFL keeps planning for offseason programs and training camp - PFT
Privately, opinions are more varied on whether offseason programs will happen at all. As one unnamed owner told Maske, “I would be shocked if we had any kind of offseason program at team facilities.” That same owner echoed Art Rooney II of the Steelers, who said last week that it’s “too soon to tell” whether training camp or the regular season will be affected. “I’m optimistic we’ll be able to have a season that starts relatively on time,” said a person “with knowledge of the league’s inner workings,” per Maske.

Finding the Optimal Pass/Run Ratio - Football Outsiders
Every football fan probably knows that passing in football is generally more efficient than rushing. But how much passing is really enough? To answer this, we first need some prior knowledge of how pass/run balance works in NFL. For example, Sean Clement found that previous run attempts have no effect on a team’s running success rate; hence, theoretically speaking, no matter how many runs a team has, its efficiency is still the same (and lower than that of passing). But one of the reasons why teams run the ball is to set up play-action, which utilizes the threat of running and is more efficient than normal passes. Therefore, the more precise question to ask is: is the value of play-action good enough for teams to mix runs into their play calling? Ben Baldwin has written multiple articles on play-action and related findings (I, II, III, IV). To summarize his finding to a few points.

The XFL players who could be next to sign with an NFL team - SB Nation
Cam Phillips, WR: The Houston Roughnecks wideout led the XFL in receiving, with 455 total yards and nine touchdowns on 31 catches. He was so good each week, he was named the league’s star of the week for 60 percent of the season! Phillips went undrafted out of Virginia Tech in 2018 and signed with the Bills as a free agent that spring. He was on Buffalo’s practice squad before being called up to the active roster in October, but he had just one catch in two games before getting waived the next month. He re-joined the practice squad before getting released last August.

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