The Dallas Cowboys have their Pro Bowl-caliber QB at training camp in Oxnard, and are "protecting him from himself,'' so sore-shouldered Dak Prescott is staying in California while the team travels to Canton for the Thursday night Hall of Fame Game preseason-opener against Pittsburgh.
But there is an awareness of a possible balance-of-power shift in the NFC East as the Philadelphia Eagles - not considered a contender in a division that Dallas, just 6-10 last year, plans to win - have plans of their own.
In Houston, the Texans are conducting training camp with Deshaun Watson semi-present as he awaits his desired escape. A report has it that such an escape is "heating up'' as Watson trade talks between the Texans and Eagles intensify.
We've been told that nothing is "imminent,'' but that can change rapidly - and if and when it does, the look of the NFC East would be altered as well.
All along, there has been no doubt that Watson is preparing to play NFL football in 2021, even if he does nothing at all in this Texans training camp - a camp at which he is in attendance, in large part to avoid $50,000 daily fines as he awaits rulings on his legal issues ...
And as he awaits a trade.
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We have written often at SI that the Eagles are among the teams that have expressed interest in a Watson trade ever since he made it clear he wanted out of Houston. The price, and the desire, has obviously ebbed with the legal issues. But the desire remains.
In fact, Eagles insider Howard Eskin WIP Radio in Philly recently put a number on it.
"I’ve talked to people in Houston,'' Eskin reports. "And they are all but resigned to the fact that they’re going to have to trade him. ... There are only three teams, in talking to people around the league, that I know of, that really have a strong desire. That would be Denver, Miami ... (and) the Eagles have the three first-round picks, and that’s what they’re gonna have, and this is the prediction I’m going to make: based on the information that I got, when — and I’ll say WHEN — he is traded, I think there is a 90% chance that he will be with the Philadelphia Eagles.''
If it happens, it will add up being a bonanza for Houston. It will end up being a boon for Philadelphia, a team presently considered a non-contender that would immediately shed that tag. And it would figure to be a blockade to Dallas, with two annual games against one of the NFL's most gifted QBs, the 25-year-old Pro Bowler Watson.
And suddenly, Dak Prescott would have competition for the title of "best QB in the NFC East.'' Oh, and the Cowboys would have competition for the title, period.