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NFC East: And the best player on the Cowboys is...?


NFC East: And the best player on the Cowboys is...?

Yes, even those of in the DMV acknowledge that despite their lack of recent postseason success or consistent presence, the Dallas Cowboys have some talented players. As for who istheir best player, the answer offered up by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram may surprise you.Nope, not pass rushing force DeMarcus Ware. Quarterback Tony Romo or any of his pass catching targets? Wrong.Not even newly-added high-priced free agent corner Brandon Carr tops the list. The answer, Star-Telegram, if you please."Let's just call it like it is: Tyron Smith is the most talented football player on the Dallas Cowboys."Selected early in the first round last season, Smith is now transitioning from right tackle to becoming Romo's blindside protector."I think it's pretty high," Romo said of Smith's ceiling. "He takes it very serious, his job. It's great to see. "He's very committed. He has a high potential or talent level or whatever you want to call it. With his work ethic and his ability, he's only going to continue to get better and better."First rounder Cox filling Eagles defensive line needsThe Redskins gaping hole at quarterback, addressed with the fan-approved drafting of Robert Griffin III. Their division rivals in Philadelphia needed a run-stuffing defensive lineman capable of closing gaping holes created against them. With the 12th overall pick in the 2012 draft, the Eagles selected one in Mississippi State defensive tackle Fletcher Cox. Perhaps somewhat surprising given their fickle nature, the team'susually hard to please rooters approved, according to CSNphilly. For now, anyway.If Cox goes out and makes the plays that had many a draft pundit deem him the top defensive tackle in the draft, the fans, even the Eagles prickly brood, will remain on his side.I just go out and be who I am, Cox said. Not trying to be some Superman, just go out and do what I did back in college and get better. I cant be Superman, trying to do things that I cant do.Randle's fortuitous fallWide receiver Rueben Randle went from being a college star at LSU to an NFL draft slider, falling to the end of round two after many labeled him a first round option. He ended up being drafted by theSuper Bowl champion New York Giants, a team with Eli Manning at quarterback and lost Mario Manningham in free agency.Yeah, not a bad landing spot when you think about it."It was a humbling experience," Randle said on Thursday at the Giants practice facility in the Meadowlands. "It wasn't really anything I could complain about, coming into a blessing and a home like this. Once I sat back and looked at it that way, it really wasn't a bad situation at all."With Manningham gone, wide receiver Hakeem Nicks out with an injured foot until perhaps the start ofthe regular season and the tight end position in flux, the 6-foot-3, 210-pound target is in position for some serious playing time.

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Oddsmakers give Kirk Cousins favorable shot at 2017 NFL MVP

Oddsmakers give Kirk Cousins favorable shot at 2017 NFL MVP

There continues to be a (ridiculous) debate on whether or not Kirk Cousins can continue to be a successful starting quarterback for the Washington Redskins.

In the betting industry, there is not much debate with Cousins being listed with 50/1 odds to win the NFL MVP award this upcoming season from Bovada. Among all the other players listed, he is in a tie for 14th. 

He is coming off back-to-back seasons with seven 300 yard passing games, a team record, and has an abundance of fresh, young wide receivers to compliment his passing style. Last year he was third in the league in passing yards with 4,917, trailing only Drew Brees (5,208) and Matt Ryan (4,944). 

The team may not be poised for a Super Bowl run in 2017-18, but if the team makes a post-season run, who will it be on the back of? Jordan Reed? Rob Kelley? Ryan Kerrigan?

No, it will be Kirk Cousins. 

RELATED: Ex-GM outlines staggering contract for Kirk Cousins

Entering this season at 40-years-old, and defending Super Bowl MVP, Tom Brady is the overall favorite at 4/1. He is closely followed by Aaron Rodgers, and young quarterbacks Derek Carr and Dak Prescott. 


Tom Brady, NE — 4/1
Aaron Rodgers, GB — 7/1
Derek Carr, OAK — 9/1
Dak Prescott, DAL — 12/1
Ben Roethlisberger, PIT — 12/1
Russell Wilson, SEA — 12/1
Matt Ryan, ATL — 16/1
Ezekiel Elliott, DAL — 20/1
Drew Brees, NO — 25/1
Andrew Luck, IND — 25/1
Cam Newton, CAR — 25/1
David Johnson, ARI — 33/1
Marcus Mariota, TEN — 33/1
Sam Bradford, MIN — 50/1
Antonio Brown, PIT — 50/1
Kirk Cousins, WAS — 50/1
Julio Jones, ATL — 50/1
Eli Manning, NYG — 50/1
Carson Palmer, ARI — 50/1
Adrian Peterson, NO — 50/1
Philip Rivers, LAC — 50/1
Matt Stafford, DET — 50/1
Odell Beckham Jr., NYG — 66/1
Rob Gronkowski, NE — 66/1
Alex Smith, KC — 66/1
Ryan Tannehill, MIA — 66/1
J.J. Watt, HOU — 66/1
Jameis Winston, TB — 66/1
Blake Bortles, JAX — 100/1
Andy Dalton, CIN — 100/1
Joe Flacco, BAL — 100/1
T.Y. Hilton, IND — 100/1
Marshawn Lynch, OAK — 100/1
LeSean McCoy, BUF — 100/1
Von Miller, DEN — 100/1
DeMarco Murray, TEN — 100/1
Carson Wentz, PHL — 100/1

RELATED: After Derek Carr deal, Cousins' best option may be short-term

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True or False: Rob Kelley will be Redskins leading rusher

True or False: Rob Kelley will be Redskins leading rusher

Robert Kelley emerged as the Redskins top running back in 2016, an incredible story of an undrafted guy working his way to the top. Of course, Matt Jones' problems with fumbling helped push Kelley to the top. 

Redskins coach Jay Gruden speaks highly of Kelley, particularly his fluidity and vision, but the team drafted Samaje Perine in the fourth round this year to provide additional competition in the backfield.

Here's the crucial statement: Rob Kelley will lead the Redskins in rushing yards in 2017.

Finlay: True.

Kelley averaged 4.2 yards-per-carry last season and the Redskins ground game is very much centered on a "4 or more" philosophy. Washington running backs coach Randy Jordan joined the #RedskinsTalk podcast and explained that the team wants a runner it can count on for positive yards more than creating big plays. The Redskins offense, as designed by Gruden, sets up for big plays in the pass game, and the run should allow for proper use of play action. 

In just nine starts last year, Kelley gained more than 700 yards. Project that out over 16 games, and he would be over 1,000 yards rushing. Perine has much to learn about the NFL, and understanding pass protections will take time for the rookie out of Oklahoma. Chris Thompson will be a key part of the offense, but much of his yardage will come via the pass game. 

Kelley will lead this team in rush yards. He's looked great in OTAs and minicamp while the coaching staff believes Kelley is in much better shape this year than he was as a rookie. Write it down in pen. 

RELATED: How will Kelley and Perine share the carries?

Tandler: True.

After the draft and during rookie camp I was saying that there was a chance that Perine could lead the team is rushing this year. But after seeing Perine playing with the big boys in OTAs and minicamp it’s apparent that he has a long way to go to become a consistently productive running back.

One thing Kelley seems to have going in his favor is that he has a very sensible outlook on the NFL. As JP noted, Kelley showed up to Redskins Park in better shape than he did as a rookie. This indicates to me that he understands that being an NFL players is a year-round job. Staying in great shape is important in the league but at running back it’s vital. Kelley gets that and because he does, his chances of being available for 16 games are much higher.

In turn, that improves his chance of being the team’s leading rusher. I’m not sure if he’ll get 1,000 yards—Perine will get things figured out enough to take some carries before the season gets too old—but Gruden will make sure that he gets fed plenty as long as he is available. 


Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcasts, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back