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August 18, 2020

A look around the NFCE: Cowboys lose starting D-lineman, Giants running laps

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081820JoeJudge Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

"Bad question. Run a lap."

Training camps around the NFL have begun, and there's early news emerging from each of the other three NFC East camps. The Cowboys lost a starting defensive tackles, the Giants are running laps like they're in Pop Warner, and Alex Smith returned to the Washington Football team.


Cowboys lose starting DT Gerald McCoy for the 2020 season

McCoy tore his quadriceps tendon in practice on Monday, and he is done for the season.

A photojournalist actually happened to catch the injury when it happened.

The Cowboys signed McCoy this offseason to a three-year deal worth $18.3 million. He was still a good player, but at 32 years old, not the near-elite player he once was. McCoy had at least 5 sacks in each of the last 7 seasons, though his numbers have consistently been on the downswing over that period.

As Eagles fans have learned over the last few years, the older your players, the more likely they're going to get injured.

The Cowboys' remaining defensive tackles: 

  1. Dontari Poe: Poe is a massive 6'3, 346-pound defensive tackle heading into his ninth season. 20.5 career sacks, 4 last season. It makes sense for the Cowboys to add a massive run stopper on the interior to eat up space and let their linebackers behind him make plays, but he's not much of a pass rush threat.
  2. Tyrone Crawford: Crawford plays inside and outside. He missed 12 games last season, going on IR in October after having hip surgery. Still recovering from that, he was placed on the PUP list to start camp, but was activated last Friday. He has been a solid, but unspectacular starter over his career.
  3. Trysten Hill: The Cowboys drafted Hill in the second round of the 2019 draft. He did next to nothing as a rookie, appearing in 7 games, and making 5 tackles.
  4. Neville Gallimore: Gallimore was a third-round pick of the Cowboys in the 2020 draft. He was thought of an athletic beast who landed at No. 2 in Bruce Feldman's 2019 college football Freaks List (via The Athletic). However, he had disappointing college production (8.5 career sacks), and while he had a fast 40 time, overall his Combine performance didn't match the hype.
  5. Antwaun Woods: Woods has actually started 25 games (15 in 2018, 10 in 2019) for the Cowboys, but hasn't made any real impact. OK against the run, non-threatening as a pass rusher.

Oddly, 25-year-old DT Maliek Collins, a productive player in his four years in Dallas, signed for less money in Las Vegas  in free agency (one year, $6 million) than what McCoy signed for in Dallas.

Per Alex Didion of NBC Bay Area, Raiders defensive coordinator Paul Guenther said of Collins, “He might be our best acquisition of the offseason from what I’ve seen."

MORE: Eagles training camp notes, Day 1: Miles Sanders, the next Brian Westbrook? | Wentz likes what he sees from Reagor, other Eagles rookie WRs | Eagles already dealing with a pair of substantial injuries


Joe Judge is making his players run laps

Back in our Giants dumpster fire piece in June, we noted the infamously poorly performing Bill Belichick coaching tree, on which Judge is the 10th branch:

 Belichick coaching treeCareer record 
 Al Groh9-7 
 Romeo Crennel28-55 
 Nick Saban15-17 
 Eric Mangini33-48 
 Josh McDaniels11-17 
 Jim Schwartz29-51 
 Bill O'Brien54-48 
 Matt Patricia9-22-1 
 Brian Flores5-11 
 Joe Judge0-0 
 TOTAL193-276-1 (0.412) 

Judge certainly isn't destined for failure because past Belichick disciples have failed as head coaches at the pro level. That said, one theory about Belichick tree head coaches that makes sense to me is that they tend to attempt to rule over their players with an iron fist, but without first establishing the credibility and cache that Belichick himself has over two-plus decades.

There were already hints of that with Judge earlier this offseason. For example, he refused to say Daniel Jones' or any of his other players' names for almost four months after the Giants hired him. While I respect the stubbornness, that is some "High School Harry" nonsense.

In the first media-attended Giants practices, reporters got to see that players have had their names stripped off of their jerseys, and players are being forced to run laps with a high frequency.


WASTEAM logo 2020.gif

In 2018, most assumed Alex Smith's football career was over after he suffered an awful, gruesome injury that almost cost him his leg (and life).

On Sunday, after that long road back, Smith was officially cleared to resume football activities.

Smith may never actually play in a game again (we'll see), but he is already a remarkable story.

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