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Division Links: BGN ranks Eagles’ HC-QB combo among league-best; BtB projects Dallas to finish 2nd in NFC

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16 June 2020

Philadelphia Eagles v Miami Dolphins Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images
Bleeding Green Nation

Doug Pederson and Carson Wentz rank among the top head coach/QB combos in the NFL

5. Doug Pederson/Carson Wentz

This is more a reflection of Pederson than Wentz, although Wentz has certainly proven he can play at an elite level when healthy. His final month last year, with no wide receivers to throw to, was stunning, and Pederson’s ability to massage his gameplans to meet whatever deficiencies the team has had at the skill positions has been remarkable. Hopefully some additional speed at wide receiver will allow these two to take things to the next level.

7. Mike McCarthy/Dak Prescott

McCarthy had some glory years in Green Bay, where he won a title with Aaron Rodgers, but their relationship soured and McCarthy finally found himself on the outs after one disappointing season after another. Now in Dallas, the Cowboys are hoping he can get more out of their franchise quarterback, Dak Prescott, which he should. After all, what did Jason Garret actually do? McCarthy will have perhaps the best offense in the NFC and, if all breaks right, Prescott could be an MVP candidate in 2020.

27. Joe Judge/Daniel Jones

I’m high on Daniel Jones. He showed exactly the kind of progress you want to see from a rookie quarterback last season, but now he has a new head coach and no OTAs to learn a new offense. Question marks abound here.

29. Ron Rivera/Dwayne Haskins

Dwayne Haskins may not even be the team’s starting QB in Week 1. Or in Week 8. Or at some point. Rivera didn’t draft Haskins and signed his former back-up QB in Carolina, Kyle Allen, just in case Haskins can’t cut it. This is not a duo that his holding hands and skipping down the lane together.


Blogging the Boys

The Randy Gregory situation is clear as mud for the Cowboys

No news is not exactly good news.

Not only do we not know what a decision will be, we have no idea when it will happen. We aren’t even sure what we don’t know. There have been reports that his appeal was filed with the league more than the required sixty days ago, but those do not seem to be definitive. We are left in the dark, wondering not only when the light will come, but why it remains so unknown.

We have to reiterate the caveat that Gregory’s case may not have been filed more than 60 days ago. As mentioned, we don’t even know if it has been officially filed. There was some chatter that it had been filed back in March, with ESPN saying a source told them in a report on March 22nd that he had filed for reinstatement. But back on May 9th Stephen Jones said he wasn’t even sure what Gregory had done yet in terms of dealing with the commissioner. So definitive information is murky

If Gregory did file back in March, then it is past sixty days and no news yet would seem to be a disservice to both Gregory and the team. For him, it is prolonging the wait to find out if he will be able to resume a promising career. Obviously there are financial impacts for him, but various reports also indicate he is eager to get back on the field to further get his life in order and have a clear direction. Even if, for whatever reason, the commissioner declined to reinstate him, that would let Gregory begin to plan for what he is going to to instead. It is a limbo that must be uncomfortable and at times highly frustrating.


Big Blue View

Summer School 2020: Cover 3 Defense — what it is, and how to beat it

Cover 3 is one of the most common coverages in the NFL today. There are many variations of the Cover 3, but it mainly consists of three deep and four underneath zones. Typically the deep zones are both corners, with the free safety in the middle of the field. Their responsibilities lie in the deep third of their respective zones. The four defenders underneath are spread out wide, and since the cornerbacks typically bail deep, the outside underneath defenders are put into a tough position to cover the flat.

Cover 3 can be employed from multiple personnel groupings on defense, but let’s say the defense is in nickel sub-package (five defensive backs). In that case, the nickel and strong safety would be tasked to eliminate the curl/flat (remember curl/flat means curl to the flat, so the defender’s first responsibility is the curl and then the flat). The linebackers would be in the hook zone, while the deep defenders drop to their depth....

One of the main goals of the defense is to force underneath throws that allow defenders to plant and drive downhill, effectively keeping the play in front of the defense, rather than behind it. There’s a reason why we’ve seen teams like the Seattle Seahawks, Atlanta Falcons, Los Angeles Chargers, and Jacksonville Jaguars have incredible defensive success in certain seasons, with the right personnel and coaching. The defense, when executed properly, can be very effective, but it still has its vulnerabilities.


Blogging the Boys

How the NFL’s new playoff format could hurt the Dallas Cowboys

This is not the year you want to finish second-best.

The Dallas Cowboys are projected to be one of the top teams this upcoming season. Their chances of reaching the postseason look favorable, and it got even better when the NFL announced they were moving to a new 14-team playoff format where the top seven teams from each conference get in. Overall, this is a good thing in terms of more teams getting in on the action, but it comes with trade-offs.

Some have the Cowboys projected as the second-best team in the conference behind the reigning NFC champion San Francisco 49ers. If things truly panned out like this, it would mean the Cowboys earn a first-round bye and host a Divisional Playoff game [under the old format]. Despite the two-seed, the Cowboys would be playing on Wild Card weekend. Who they would play next isn’t any different that what it would be under the old format.

That’s an unfortunate turn of events for the Cowboys in this scenario. It’s a great break for Seattle, or whomever snags that seventh and final playoff spot. Sure, it’s hard to know where Dallas will finish in all this. It’s the NFL, and they may not even make the postseason. If you had to venture a guess, one might speculate that the Cowboys are going to finish as one of the better seeds in the conference.