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NFC East: How 'bout them injured Cowboys

NFC East: How 'bout them injured Cowboys

The on the field headlines out of Cowboys camp have centered Jason Wittens spleen, Miles Austins hamstring and Dez Bryants ankle. No doubt those receivers are incredibly important to what Dallas is hoping to do offensively this year, but theconcern focused their way has perhaps taken awayattention from the real issue: those big guys up front.Last week after Dallas faced Oakland in the preseason, the Cowboys blog Blue Star crafted a headline, Offensive line is as bad as advertised. Ouch. Outside of stud left tackle Tyron Smith, little is settled or at least not steady among Tony Romos blockers. For starters, the injuries extend beyond those well-known skill players. Starting guard and ex-Bengal Nate Livings, signed as a free agent this offseason, is just now back from a hamstring injury while center Phil Costa (back) is expected to miss his third straight preseason game. As for the tackles, Smith and Doug Free, Blue Star wrote this:Doug Free didn't look any better at right tackle than he did when he was on the other side of the line last season. Tyron Smith was the only starter who doesn't need to step up his game, although we're starting to wonder if he's as good as he looks or if he's just the prettiest belle at a ball full of uglier options. Double ouch. Smith and Free flopped sides of the line this offseason.The Cowboys wont be able to ease into the regular season as they face the pass-rushing New York Giants in the season opener.Witten, who suffered a lacerated spleen during a preseason game, is said to be improving, but his status for the start of the regular season remains uncertain. There is a sense season-ending surgery is not in the forecast for the rugged tight end, who has not missed a regular season game since 2003.Owner Jerry Jones has stated he expects Austin back for the Giants game, but not before. Austin missed preseason games and six regular season games last season due to multiple hamstring injuries so the bubble wrap plan is in effect.Speaking of injuries, the Cowboys SBNation blog, appropriately called Blogging the Boys, notes only of the Cowboy rookies has avoided missing practice due to injury this training camp. First-round pickMorris Claiborne is projected as the starting corner opposite Brandon Carr while nickelback Mike Jenkins remains sidelined. Following Laurent Robinsons departure this offseason, the Cowboys had serious question marks at receiver beyond Austin and Bryant. The stunner is that Cole Beasley, a 5-foot-8, undrafted rookie appears poised to fill the void. One thing the Redskins and Cowboys might have in common this year: unearthing finds out of the SMU football program. While cornerback and returner Richard Crawford has turned heads in Ashburn, Cole Beasley has done the same in Cowboys camp, rising from deep reserve to starting slot receiver.

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Is Kirk Cousins the most overrated player in the NFL? One analyst says so

Is Kirk Cousins the most overrated player in the NFL? One analyst says so

Pete Prisco of CBS Sports declared Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins the most overrated player in the NFL. Prisco repeatedly points out that while Cousins is a good quarterback, the notion that he should be paid like one of the best passers in the league is what makes him overrated.

From Prisco:

After having six 300-yard-plus passing games in his first 11 games, including two over 400, Cousins had one in the final five games last season as the Redskins pushed for a playoff spot. He had five touchdown passes and five interceptions in those games, going 2-3 as Washington folded. It wasn't all on him, but that's the point. I don't think he's a quarterback who rises above situations when the team isn't going right. I am not going to sit here and pan him as a starter. He has proven to be that, and a pretty good one. It's just that the perception is he's much better than that, which is why he's my most overrated player in the NFL in 2017.

Here's the problem with Prisco's login: Simple market economics. 

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

An argument can be made Cousins is a Top 10 passer. He's certainly in the top half of the league at the position. Few, if any, would argue Cousins is a Top 5 quarterback, but his contract situation forces him to be paid like he is. Those are the exact terms of the franchise tag, even before the 20 percent increase Washington paid this season to use a second-straight tag.  

Since the Redskins lost their window to sign their single-season passing yards record holder to a team-friendly deal last year, Cousins has leverage and the advantage of inflated QB salaries on his side.

That doesn't mean Cousins is overrated. 

If the threshold for being overrated is money, then Brock Osweiler wins this thing in a landslide. After the 2016 season in Houston, Osweiler seems unlikely to ever again be considered a starting QB in the NFL. He's due to be paid $18 million this fall and his offseason trade to the Browns will go down as the first-ever salary dump in NFL history. 

Is Cousins overpaid? Probably. That's the way contracts work in pro football. 

Is Cousins overrated? Probably not. He's thrown for more than 9,000 yards and completed about 68 percent of his passes over the last two seasons. 

There just aren't enough quarterbacks to go around in the NFL, and guys who can play the position get paid handsomely. That doesn't make Cousins overrated. 

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Lucky Whitehead a victim of mistaken identity according to police

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Lucky Whitehead a victim of mistaken identity according to police

It's been a confusing stretch for Cowboys receiver Lucky Whitehead. 

The charges against the Bealeton, Virginia native have now been dropped, after it was determined by Prince William County Police that Whitehead is not the man accused of shoplifting at a convenience store in Woodbridge, Virginia on June 22.

Here's the full statement released Tuesday:

Upon reviewing the June 22, 2017 arrest of an individual named “Rodney Darnell Whitehead, Jr.”, the police department is confident that the man charged with petit larceny, and who is subsequently being sought on an active warrant for failure to appear in court, is not Lucky Whitehead of the Dallas Cowboys. The man charged on the morning of June 22 was not in possession of identification at the time of the encounter; however, did verbally provide identifying information to officers, which included a name, date of birth, and social security number matching that of Rodney Darnell Whitehead, Jr.

Officers then checked this information through the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) database.The DMV photo on file was then used to compare to the man who was in custody. Officers acted in good faith that, at the time, the man in custody was the same man matching the information provided. At this point, the police department is also confident in confirming that Mr. Whitehead’s identify was falsely provided to police during the investigation.The police department is currently seeking the identity of the man involved in the incident. Since the identifying information provided by the arrestee during the investigation was apparently false, the police department is working with the Prince William County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office to clear Mr. Whitehead from this investigation.

The police department regrets the impact these events had on Mr. Whitehead and his family.

 

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Cowboys hadn't officially released Whitehead on Monday, despite reports to the contrary. 

 

Although it's looking like he still may be looking for a new home.

 

RELATED: COWBOYS WR LUCKY WHITEHEAD'S DOG REPORTEDLY HELD FOR RANSOM