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NFC East Roundup: 2019 Division Preview

The calendar has flipped to September, which means the NFL has officially returned. Each week throughout the season, we will take a look at the state of the NFC East and round up the biggest storylines for each of the four teams.

With that said, here is what’s going on in the NFC East heading into Week 1:

New York Giants

After sitting out all of preseason with a thumb injury, wide receiver Sterling Shepard is “feeling great” and is ready to take the field for the team’s Week 1 matchup against the Cowboys.

The Giants swapped a pair of linebackers Monday, parting ways with B.J. Goodson while signing free agent David Mayo, who spent his first four seasons with the Carolina Panthers and has played in all 16 games in each of the previous two seasons.

Cornerback Sam Beal was placed on injured reserve Sunday as he continues his recovery from a hamstring injury. With the open roster spot, the Giants signed former Jets tight end Eric Tomlinson. The tight end is reunited with his former teammate at Texas-El Paso, left guard Will Hernandez.

The Giants added two more players via waivers over the weekend, claiming wide receiver Cody Core off waivers from the Bengals and tackle Eric Smith from the Jets. To make room on the roster, the Giants waived wide receiver Alonzo Russell and tackle Brian Mihalik.

The team selected the seven captains for the 2019 season on Monday. Eli Manning, Nate Solder and Saquon Barkley were voted offensive captains. Alec Ogletree and Antoine Bethea were selected defensive captains, and Zak DeOssie and Michael Thomas will represent special teams.

The Giants enjoyed a successful preseason campaign, securing victories in all four games against the New York Jets, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals and New England Patriots.

Dallas Cowboys

Running back Ezekiel Elliott ended a 40-day holdout and agreed to a six-year contract extension on Wednesday. Earlier, Dallas also agreed to a long-term deal with another important member of the offense. Offensive tackle La’el Collins agreed to a five-year extension on Tuesday, just four years after joining the team as an undrafted free agent.

With Sunday’s game just a few days away, Dallas had three important pieces of the offense return to practice this week. Pro Bowlers Amari Cooper (foot), Zack Martin (back) and Tyron Smith (back) took part in Monday’s practice session and appear on track to suit up on Sunday.

Only three Cowboys were unable to participate in Monday’s practice: safeties Donovan Wilson and Darian Thompson, both of whom are nursing ankle injuries, as well as linebacker Luke Gifford, who is also dealing with an ankle injury.

Dallas went 2-2 in the preseason, beating the San Francisco 49ers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, while falling to the Los Angeles Rams and Houston Texans.

Philadelphia Eagles

Carson Wentz was placed on injured reserve last December with a back injury and missed the team’s run to the postseason. A few months after signing a four-year contract extension, the Eagles quarterback is “excited” to get back on the field against the Redskins this weekend.

Cornerback Cre’Von LeBlanc played a big role in Philadelphia’s late push to the postseason. After being claimed off waivers from Detroit in November, LeBlanc took over as the team’s nickel corner and put together a strong eight-game stretch. The Eagles placed the 25-year-old on injured reserve Monday, but not before they agreed to a one-year extension, keeping him in Philadelphia through the 2020 season.

The Eagles reunited with a familiar face this offseason, agreeing to a deal with wide receiver DeSean Jackson. The veteran fractured his finger in practice last week, but appears to be fine for Week 1. Also likely to play on Sunday are Brandon Brooks (Achillies), Fletcher Cox (foot), Nigel Bradham (toe) and Ronald Darby (ACL) after they all took part in Monday’s practice.

Following the weekend’s roster cuts, Philadelphia signed Kyle Lauletta to their practice squad. The former Giants quarterback will serve as the Eagles fourth quarterback behind Wentz, Josh McCown and Nate Sudfeld, who is currently out with a wrist injury.

The Eagles finished the preseason 1-3 after beating the Jacksonville Jaguars, but falling to the Tennessee Titans, Baltimore Ravens and New York Jets.

Washington Redskins

The story surrounding Washington’s training camp has been Trent Williams. The veteran left tackle has remained away from the team’s facilities throughout the whole offseason and camp.

The Redskins had high hopes for second-round pick Derrius Guice last season, but the running back tore his ACL in his first preseason game. Now fully recovered, Guice looks to be in line to shoulder a heavy workload for Washington this year, as head coach Jay Gruden told the media on Monday that the team feels “like he can be a first-, second-, and even a third-down back, if needed.”

Washington released former first-round pick Josh Doctson over the weekend. With the departure of both Doctson and veteran Brian Quick during roster cuts, Paul Richardson is now the only wideout on the team’s roster with more than two years of NFL experience.

Tight end Jordan Reed suffered a concussion during Week 3 of the preseason and has not yet returned to practice. His status remains up in the air for Week 1, along with corner Fabian Moreau, who has been nursing an ankle injury for the last few weeks.

Washington went 1-3 this preseason, securing the victory against the Atlanta Falcons but falling to the Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Bengals, and Baltimore Ravens.

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