Good Monday morning to you all. Sorry I wasn't around all weekend to join you in overreacting to the most meaningless facsimiles of NFL games we'll see all year. But we have three more weeks of it to go, so we'll get caught up before long. I know Keim and Ohm and the ESPNDallas.com crew have been keeping the blog populated, and I thank them for that, but you guys aren't rid of me. I am back, and I brought links.
Dez Bryant has been one of the clear stars of training camp for the Cowboys, according to those who've been watching the practices, and he and Tony Romo appeared to be on the same page in Dallas' second preseason game.
On the contrary, defensive tackle Jay Ratliff has been an absentee after injuring his hamstring in the pre-camp conditioning test (which, I don't know, seems kind of "not good" to me, but I'm not a doctor, so). But Jerry Jones says he's not interested in seeing Ratliff play in the preseason as long as he's healthy for the regular season.
New York Giants
You know I've insisted I believe the Giants will give the bulk of the running back carries to whichever back is the best in pass protection. And we all know they're hoping David Wilson is that back, because of his explosive, big-play ability. But we all also know that fumbling is no way to convince the Giants you should get more carries, and I have to believe it's going to be a long week for Andre Brown.
And Michael Cox, the team's seventh-round pick in April's draft, is working to get himself noticed as well. He's ostensibly competing for the third running back spot, but you know from recent history that the Giants have no problem finding a way to get carries for a late-round pick if he earns them.
Cary Williams says he got into a fight in one of the joint practices with the Patriots last week because he didn't like the Patriots' attitude toward the Eagles. Felt they weren't showing them any respect. Felt like he wanted to do something about it. Chip Kelly says he has no regrets about sitting Williams out of the rest of hat practice and would do it again. I say Cary Williams' short time in Philadelphia so far sure has been interesting.
Bob Ford thinks the Riley Cooper mess has made Michael Vick the favorite to win the Eagles' starting quarterback job, and part of Bob's theory seems to be that the locker room would prefer things that way. Bob's been around the team more than I have, for certain, but in the few times I've been there I haven't detected any player discontent with the idea of Nick Foles as the starter. The idea that there would be is logical, since Vick is the guy with whom the Eagles' players have some history and trust, but I'm just saying I didn't get that vibe from the players to whom I spoke. Regardless, though, Vick's always been the favorite and is in truth the best choice, since neither is a fantastic choice and Vick has more experience and more upside. I'm not sure I agree with the idea that the Cooper situation has anything to do with it. I always felt as though Vick would have to lose the job in order for Foles to win it. And while there's a long way to go, so far he has not.
Strong story here from Kent Babb about Redskins rookie cornerback David Amerson and his older brother, who took a much different path in life but has a strong bond with David.
As they expected it would, Barry Cofield says the return of linebacker Brian Orakpo has helped every single member of the Redskins' defense.