Breakfast links: Cowboys' pass-rush plans

May, 2, 2012
5/02/12
8:00
AM ET
Good morning. Did you ever sit in front of your computer and know you needed to type something but you just couldn't come up with anything good? Yeah, in my business you can't afford to have that problem. So I'm going to keep this part here real short today and just say something about links.

Dallas Cowboys

Top draft pick Morris Claiborne is going to wear No. 24 for the Cowboys, and that's a number that has some defensive-back history to it in Dallas. Everson Walls likes the idea of Claiborne wearing his old number, and I guess it's a good thing the Cowboys don't do anything to put any undue pressure on their young guys.

Calvin Watkins thinks that the draft picks of Tyrone Crawford and Kyle Wilber, each of whom projects as a pass-rusher, indicate that the team is trying to formulate a long-range backup plan in case Anthony Spencer doesn't make enough pass-rush strides this year and they need to move on. It doesn't look as though either of those picks is in line to make any real impact this year, but they believe one or both of them can develop into a stand-up outside linebacker in their 3-4 defense, and if that's the case, one of them could eventually replace Spencer.

New York Giants

Eli Manning's turn as host of "Saturday Night Live" comes this weekend. (I'll leave you to guess which day.) His big brother hosted it once upon a time, back when he was the big name in that family, and he spoke with the New York Daily News about what he thinks will help make his brother better at this than a lot of people might think.

Giants 101 ponders the difference between Mario Manningham and Rueben Randle as well as the difference between Brandon Jacobs and David Wilson, and reaches the conclusion that the Giants might be less explosive in the passing game but more so in the running game as a result of those changes.

Philadelphia Eagles

Jonathan Tamari breaks down five offseason position battles on the Eagles' roster, including starting safety, backup quarterback and (of course) linebacker. Safety is the one on which I think everyone has their eye. Can the young guys the Eagles drafted high in 2010 and 2011 emerge as viable starters in 2012?

Dave Spadaro is ... well, he's flat-out jacked up about what he sees on the Eagles' defensive line for this year. And while this is no surprise, coming as it does from Dave on the team's official website, when he starts listing the names at defensive tackle and defensive end, it does start to look awfully impressive.

Washington Redskins

Jason Reid writes that the Kirk Cousins pick was a "risky but necessary" backup plan for Robert Griffin III, and that it doesn't have the same characteristics of last year's training camp quarterback controversy between Rex Grossman and John Beck. And you know what? When Jason puts it that way, that's kind of all you need to hear, right? Was there really anything wrong with upgrading two quarterback spots?

Some of Jabar Gaffney's 2011 numbers -- he led the team in catches and receiving yards -- were good enough to make you wonder why they cut him Tuesday. But John Keim says the number the Redskins looked at was his 2.7 yards average yards after catch, and they believe they can do better than that from the flanker spot with Josh Morgan and/or Leonard Hankerson in 2012.

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

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