No? Good. Seemed like a good week to take off. But now I'm back. I'm rested. My taxes are paid, and I am fired up with a mere 10 days to go until the NFL draft. Let's do some links, shall we?
Tom Ryle writes that better health could be the most important key to the Cowboys' upcoming season, and I think that's important for the team to keep in mind as it approaches the draft. The Cowboys sometimes like to find value draft picks who have injury histories, such as Bruce Carter and DeMarco Murray. And that's a fine strategy to a point. At this point, though, the Cowboys need to prioritize durability a bit more than they have, since they have a few too many key players in key positions (Carter, Murray, Sean Lee...) who are establishing injury-prone reputations early in their careers.
The Cowboys know they have to make a decision on Doug Free, but it sounds as though they have some offensive line plans in progress that could affect his situation.
New York Giants
Justin Tuck, a Notre Dame alum, thinks the Giants would do well to consider drafting Notre Dame's Manti Te'o, who visited the team last week. Not sure if I've mentioned this, but the Giants haven't drafted a linebacker in the first round since 1984.
The voluntary portion of the Giants' offseason program begins today. And while Victor Cruz obviously isn't required to be there (because it's voluntary, you see), it would say something if he didn't show up. Art Stapleton has a reset on the Cruz contract situations as it reaches this minor milepost. Stapleton's main point is that it's been a while since anything changed.
The Eagles seem to take a safety early in the draft almost every year, and it hasn't worked out for them. Despite adding Kenny Phillips and Patrick Chung in free agency, they still could use long-term help at the position. But perhaps this year, in a draft said to be very deep at the position, the best policy is to be patient.
Geoff Mosher thinks the Eagles should trade down from the No. 4 spot in the first round of this year's draft. I like Mosher a great deal, but he and I disagree on this point. I think the Eagles need to stay put and draft a long-term star talent. And I don't think it matters much what position he plays.
Antoine Winfield would have been a great fit in Washington and possibly helped turn the secondary from a weakness into a strength. But the Redskins' free-agent frustration continued over the weekend as Winfield chose instead to sign with Seattle. Yes, the salary cap penalty continues to sting.
Something else that could be a huge help to the Redskins' defense is a healthy Brian Orakpo. The linebacker says he's 100 percent after a pectoral muscle injury ended his season early.