Eagles News: Cowboys closing the gap on Philadelphia?

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Demarcus Lawrence on gap between Cowboys, Eagles: ‘I don’t feel like it’s a huge gap at all’ - NFL.com
Two games in the standings separated the 2022 versions of the Dallas Cowboys and the NFC East champions, the Philadelphia Eagles. Following Philly’s ascent to NFC championship status, the Eagles are the favorites in the eyes of many to repeat as division champs before embarking on another Super Bowl quest. Cowboys three-time Pro Bowler Demarcus Lawrence doesn’t believe there are any foregone conclusions in the NFC East, though. “I don’t feel like it’s a huge gap at all,” Lawrence told The Associated Press’ Rob Maadi recently on the AP Pro Football Podcast when asked about the disparity between his Cowboys and the Eagles.

NFC East 2023: Who can win the division and other early questions - ESPN
How big is the gap between Philadelphia and the rest of the division? Eagles: Not as wide as last season. The Eagles still have the best chance of making a splash. Per ESPN’s Football Power Index, they have a 25.5% chance of reaching the Super Bowl compared to 13% for the Cowboys, 4.2% for the Giants and 2% for the Commanders. But they lost five defensive starters as well as their offensive and defensive coordinators this offseason, and they have one of the most difficult schedules in the league (their opponent win percentage of 0.566 is tops in the NFL). Their division rivals could all take a step forward, whereas it wouldn’t be a total shock if the Eagles took a half step back, particularly if their good fortune on the health front takes a turn for the worse.

9 Eagles land in Top 100 NFL players of 2023 - BGN
No. 18: Lane Johnson. For years, Johnson was underappreciated, but that’s not the case anymore. The offensive tackle is the highest ranked Eagles player on this list, and the second highest ranked offensive lineman — behind only Trent Williams. After the last few seasons there is little question that Johnson is the best right tackle in the league, and is such a critical piece of the Eagles’ dominant offensive line. He played through a torn adductor during the team’s Super Bowl run, but the OT had surgery right after the season and was cleared to return in mid-May.

The EPA Podcast #26: All NFC East Draft Squads - BGN Radio
Shane Haff and Victor Williams break apart each of the NFC East team rosters and re-build their own rosters using their favorite players in the division. Who has the better overall roster?

Eagles player review: RB Rashaad Penny edition - PhillyVoice
We recently published an early training camp look at the Eagles’ locks, near-locks, bubble players, and longshots. Some were surprised that we called Penny a “near lock,” as opposed to a lock. Every one of Penny’s injuries listed above are leg injuries. They add up. I think we need to see that Penny still has his explosiveness, and that, you know, he doesn’t get hurt, before we call him something close to a 100 percent lock to make the team. And yet, if he can be the player that he was over his last 10 games, Penny can be an absolute beast in the Eagles’ offense playing (a) behind the best offensive line in the NFL, (b) alongside a quarterback who demands respect as a runner and can occupy a defender on RPOs, and (c) in an offense with A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, and Dallas Goedert, who can all make defenses pay if they choose to pack the box. There is a wide range of outcomes for Penny in Philadelphia, and he will be a fun player to monitor both in camp and throughout the season. My best bet is that the Eagles will try to equally divvy up playing time among Penny, D’Andre Swift, and Kenny Gainwell, thus keeping their respective mileages low throughout the season and fresh for the playoffs, assuming the Eagles get there.

The Jonathan Gannon tampering case could, in theory, spawn an interesting lawsuit - PFT
It would be a unique and aggressive legal theory, primarily because the industry of widespread legalized gambling is so new. What are the rules, the standards, the obligations? That would be determined, as the law often is, one case at a time. And with the starting point in this specific case being an admitted violation of the tampering rules by the Cardinals that created an obvious distraction for Gannon, that could be enough for one gambler who bet on the Eagles to win or to cover to hire a lawyer who would file a nationwide class action against the Cardinals (for violating the tampering rule) and the NFL (for creating an environment of lax enforcement that results in widespread tampering violations). Regardless of how such a case would play out — and the NFL surely would fight it tooth and nail — it could be the only way to get to the bottom of what happened between the Cardinals, the Eagles, and Gannon. They’ve brushed it all under the rug for a reason. That reason could be that, if the truth were known, the lawsuit would have already been filed.

Why Eagles LB Nakobe Dean is an ‘NFL unicorn’ determined to finish his college degree - The Athletic
He’s a mechanical engineering major who aspires to open a prosthetics business. First comes his NFL career, but he has 26 credit hours remaining to earn his degree after completing six hours this spring in fluid mechanics and heat transfer. If anyone in the Eagles locker room wants to know how the diameter of pipes changes with fluid or how heat transfers between windows and walls, find No. 17. He can tell you. (Among the remaining courses is one on circuits. That one is going to be much more difficult, he warns.) “I wasn’t just an athlete who went to school — I was a student-athlete,” Dean told The Athletic last week. “I was a student that had an opportunity to play a sport that I love. I knew my ‘why’ — going to school and getting an education.” Dean would have been an impressive student in his own right — he had a 3.55 GPA before leaving school — but he also happened to be the best linebacker in college football as a junior in 2021. He left Georgia early and was selected by the Eagles in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Dean was mostly a special teams contributor as a rookie. But he’s expected to be the Eagles’ top linebacker in 2023, and the team (and Dean) is planning accordingly.

3 Dallas Cowboys on the roster ‘hot seat’ heading into training camp - Blogging The Boys
There really is no other way to describe Kelvin Joseph’s situation than to say that ‘time is running out’. The second-round pick has had a bumpy ride with the organization that has included on and off the field turmoil and needs to show sizable improvement in camp to keep the star on his helmet. Since Joseph’s arrival in Dallas we have seen other young players ascend and make the most of their chances with far less baggage. That fact coupled with some on the field work that has been underwhelming, has led the team to explore Joseph’s options at another position in the secondary. All reports out of minicamp indicate that he has been seen taking reps at both nickel cornerback and safety at times. Joseph has solely focused on outside cornerback to this point in his career and with an influx of veteran talent and young promising prospects, it looks as if the Cowboys are grasping at straws to see how they may be able to keep him around. Training camp 2023 truly looks like it may be an ‘all or nothing’ situation for Kelvin Joseph and nobody on the roster has a hotter seat than his at this time.

How much worse was Giants’ Evan Neal than other top-10 tackles? - Big Blue View
The average improvement from a player’s rookie season over his next five years was 10.1% over his initial grade. If Neal improves by that amount, his average grade over the next five years would be just 48.6, which almost certainly means he will not likely be a starter in the league. Therefore, he needs to match or exceed the biggest leaps on this list, those of Jake Matthews (+31.2%) and Trent Williams (+30.9%). Even that superlative level of improvement would give him a grade between 57.7 and 57.9, which still would have ranked in the bottom 10 among tackles in 2022. That being said, seeing Williams on this list provides a ray of hope. That does not mean Neal will be Williams or anywhere close to him, but the best tackle in the NFL today was not nearly at that level as a rookie. Thomas is not the only elite tackle who made a significant Year 2 leap after underwhelming as a rookie. The odds are stacked against Neal at this point. The fact that the Giants are so heavily relying on a big second-year improvement from him is concerning. Still, let’s not give up on the 2022 seventh-overall pick just yet.

The 5 O’Clock Club: Assessing 3 free agents that would immediately improve the Commanders roster - Hogs Haven
The 34-year-old Melvin Ingram is a 6’2”, 247 pound DE/OLB — essentially an edge rusher — who was a rotational edge rusher in Miami last year. He has played for 4 teams (Chargers, Steelers, Chiefs, Dolophins) in the past 3 seasons. Riggo’s Rag seems to be suggesting that he could play as both a pass rusher and 4-3 outside linebacker for the Commanders. Ingram was a 3-time Pro Bowl player from 2017-2019, but he hasn’t been a regular starter for a team since the 2020 season. Ingram did play well in 2022; he had 10 QB hits, including 6 sacks, and he racked up 10 tackles for loss, a forced fumble and a pass defended.

Elon Musk wants to cage fight Mark Zuckerberg and Andrew Tate wants to help - SB Nation
Just when you thought celebrity fights couldn’t get any dumber, we could be approaching the stupidest fight in the history of humanity: Elon Musk vs. Mark Zuckerberg in a cage. Over the weekend Musk was engaging in his favorite hobby, tweeting at randos, when he floated the idea of fighting Zuckerberg in a cage.


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