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Ten Thoughts on the NFL

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Carolina Panthers v Oakland Raiders Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

1) The Dallas Cowboys may be coming off an impressive 13-3 record and an NFC East title, but with the recent rash of arrests, suspensions, legal troubles and allegations surrounding their players, what does that say about the origination as a whole? Do the Cowboys ignore the red flags, and only focus on the player’s talent?

The most recent drama around Dallas is the release of wide receiver Lucky Whitehead, who may, or may not have, had a warrant issued for his arrest. It could just be a case of mistaken identity, but since Whitehead was a roster bubble guy, the Cowboys cut him.

As is the case with most NFL teams, the better the player, the more leeway he’ll receive.

Dallas owner Jerry Jones claims his team has a “high bar” set for the character of his players and they don’t have a tolerance for off field issues.

OK...

2) The Cowboys aren’t the only good team in the NFC East, the New York Giants made the wildcard last year with an 11-5 record, but defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul believes they’ll have eleven wins by mid November, because he sees a 16-0 season in their cards.

“I feel like with the players that we have, as long as we all work together, we’ll be undefeated,” JPP told Newsday. “Nobody can defeat you when you all are working together.”

It wasn’t exactly a Joe Namath-esque guarantee, but he’s trying to bring some New York swagger.

3) Former Rams great, Eric Dickerson, seems to always have something to say, and this time he’s weighing in on Los Angeles’ quarterback battle.

"For me, my guy that I would start the season with is Sean Mannion," Dickerson said Friday on The Herd. "I've been saying that since last year. Give him a shot. You drafted him. He was great at -- where'd he go to school? -- Oregon State, playing in a pro-style offense. He's a big guy, got a great arm."

The Rams did draft Mannion in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft, but they also have the first pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, Jared Goff, still around. I’d imagine Goff, even though he wasn’t very good as a rookie last year, has the upper hand in that QB battle.

I wonder if Dickerson just likes seeing his name in the press.

4) There was some concern from the Carolina Panthers, that Pro Bowl tight End Greg Olsen would hold out, but he recently made his intentions clear. He will play out the remaining two years remaining on his contract.

"At the end of the day it really came down to with everything going on, obviously now with the transition to [interim GM] Marty [Hurney], kind of the slight chaos that went around for another week I didn't think that it was right to add fuel to that fire," Olsen said, per NFL Network's Tiffany Blackmon. "Make things that much more complicated, add any more distraction or controversy to our team."

Olsen is set to make $6.5 million this year and next, which makes him one of the highest paid tight ends in the NFL. His 2017 base salary ranks third at his position, his 2017 cap hit is second, and his contract average places him seventh among tight ends.

5) One more on the Panthers, rookie wide out Curtis Samuel was dropped off at camp by his Mom.

This is awesome.

6) This is hilarious.

7) A little knowledge dropped by our very own Andrew Link.

His injury history is the reason I never would have drafted him that high. Malik Hooker could come of the PUP list and have a stellar NFL career, but it’s a first round chance I wouldn’t have taken.

8) Another Colts player that is starting on the PUP list is quarterback Andrew Luck. His shoulder injury is exactly where it needs to be according to the team, but they better figure out how to protect him this year. With 41 more sacks in 2016, Luck’s career sack percentage is approaching Jay Cutler territory.

9) In case you missed it, the Chicago Bears’ color rush game (September 28) will again feature them wearing the all navy uniforms. And once again, they’ll face the all white wearing Green Bay Packers.

10) Every negative I read in regards to the Bears’ Jordan Howard doing in 2017, what he did last year, points to the question marks surrounding Chicago’s quarterback position. NFL.com lists Howard as a fantasy player to avoid because teams are “likely to key in on stopping the run.” Rotoworld lists his worst case scenario, as his rookie year being his career year, in part because of “awful quarterback play.”

While I understand the hesitation with Mike Glennon and/or rookie Mitchell Trubisky under center for the Bears, I wonder if they realize that Howard averaged 20 rushing attempts and 105 yards per game in the six games that Matt Barkley was starting at quarterback?

If you don’t think teams were focusing on Howard during those Barkley games, then you’re probably banking on Barkley beating out Brian Hoyer for the starting QB job in San Francisco.