Breakfast links: Cowboys need better health

April, 5, 2013
4/05/13
8:00
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The Friday links, in reverse order of the age of each team's starting quarterback.

Washington Redskins

Kirk Cousins believes he can run the read-option portion of the Redskins' offense but that he has to work harder at certain aspects of it than Robert Griffin III does.

We're all just guessing at this point, but Keith McMillan's guess is that Cousins starts six of the Redskins' 16 regular-season games in 2013, with Griffin starting 10 once he's fully recovered from his knee surgery. This strikes me as realistic, but again, no one knows enough to make any good guesses at this point.

New York Giants

Tom Coughlin did an extensive interview for an upcoming edition of "CenterStage," which is a popular interview show on the Yankees' television network. In the interview, Coughlin reveals that he sits in the back with the players on the team plane and that he sometimes argues with his GPS.

The New York Daily News already has reported that the Giants have offered Victor Cruz more than $7 million per year. Now they are reporting that Cruz is asking for "closer to $10 million-$11 million per year." This serves to underline the point I've been making about the impasse in the Cruz negotiations. They want to make him the league's highest-paid slot receiver, since that's the position at which they plan to play him. He wants to make top-wideout money, based on the numbers he's put up the last two years. Tough to see either side moving significantly toward the other as long as that philosophical gulf remains. At this point, you have to think Cruz is planning to hit unrestricted free agency next year, and that his payday will be determined by what kind of 2013 season he has.

Philadelphia Eagles

Just because the Eagles acquired him a year ago to play middle linebacker in what was then a 4-3 defense does not mean DeMeco Ryans can't play in a 3-4. That's according to Ryans, who correctly points out that he played in a 3-4 in his final year in Houston. It's become sort of conventional wisdom that the reason the Texans traded Ryans was because he wasn't a good fit for the 3-4, but the main reasons they dealt him was that he was the one (as opposed to Brian Cushing) who was coming off the field when they went to the nickel and his salary was too much for a two-down linebacker. Cushing doesn't play for the Eagles, who have no salary cap concerns, and it's entirely possible Ryans could be a three-down linebacker even when the Eagles go to a 3-4.

Jeff McLane ponders the possibility that Nick Foles outplays Michael Vick and wins the job as the Eagles' starting quarterback in 2013. As we discussed here yesterday, yes, completely possible. My central point on Foles continues to be that he showed nothing last year to prove he was ready to be an NFL starting quarterback. That's not to say he isn't or won't ever be, but it can take a while for a quarterback to develop into a starter, and I think sometimes people assume Foles is further along than the evidence supports.

Dallas Cowboys

One of the absolute keys to the Cowboys' chances in 2013 is their ability to stay healthier than they did in 2012. Calvin Watkins identifies five Cowboys players whose health is especially important to the coming season.

Jerry Jones made a strong impression on Baylor wide receiver Terrance Williams during Williams' recent visit to Valley Ranch.

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

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