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NFL Fact or Fiction: Dak’s Sprained Foot, Hard Knocks and Greg Olsen’s Wedding Photo



NFL Fact or Fiction: Dak’s Sprained Foot, Hard Knocks and Greg Olsen’s Wedding Photo

We’re in the midst of the slow news cycle of the NFL offseason, but the latest season of Hard Knocks has given us plenty to talk about. 

New York Giants general manager Joe Schoen might have revitalized the long-running reality show with all of the access he gave the HBO cameras during the offseason. He’s definitely the star of this new version of Hard Knocks, and it was surprising to see how open he was in front of the cameras. But Schoen’s words created bulletin board material for the Philadelphia Eagles. 

Schoen fired up NFL players, while a viral picture of Dak Prescott put a scare into Dallas Cowboys fans before the Fourth of July festivities last week. And speaking of viral photos, Greg Olsen had a glorious wedding photo that made many laugh and smile. 

Let’s examine Prescott’s and Olsen’s viral photos for this week’s Fact or Fiction.

Cowboys should panic about Dak Prescott’s foot injury

Manzano’s view: Fiction

Many Cowboys fans were worried about a picture posted on social media last week showing Prescott with a walking boot on his right foot while on a trip to Cabo San Lucas in Mexico. 

But it’s way too early to press the panic button, especially after reports emerged of Prescott being on track to participate in the team’s first training camp practice on July 25. ESPN reported that Prescott is no longer wearing the walking boot and called the foot sprain a “minor” injury.

It’s not ideal for the star quarterback to have a foot sprain weeks before training camp, but even if Prescott is forced to miss a few summer practices— which was probably always going to be the case as a veteran—he doesn’t need as many reps after grasping Mike McCarthy’s “Texas Coast” offense last season. That’s one of the positives of Jerry Jones’s unpopular decision for retaining McCarthy. 

The QB-coach duo have plenty of chemistry, but it might be a make-or-break season as both head into contract years, with plenty of pressure to deliver a lengthy postseason run. 

Giants’ offensive line held back Daniel Jones last season

New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones

The Giants’ GM said injuries on the offensive line last season hindered Jones’s performance. / Jim Rassol / USA TODAY NETWORK

Manzano’s view: Fiction 

Schoen strongly defended quarterback Daniel Jones during a memorable scene from the first episode of the offseason edition of Hard Knocks. Schoen said the injuries on the offensive line last season hindered Jones’s performances, adding that not even Patrick Mahomes could win behind the depleted offensive line. 

There’s an argument that Mahomes probably wouldn’t win many games had he started for the Giants last year, but he would have definitely given them a better chance to win. Jones has been an inconsistent quarterback since entering the league as a first-round pick in 2019. And, yes, Jones’s injuries the past few seasons have also played a role in why he hasn’t found consistency in the NFL. But Schoen putting the blame on poor offensive line protection for Jones’s rocky ’23 performances sounded like an excuse. 

Outside of a surprising 2022 season, the Giants and Jones have done plenty of losing, and that’s even with a stud left tackle in Andrew Thomas. It’s great that Schoen defended Jones, whom the Giants re-signed for four years, $160 million after his career ’22 season. But there’s enough film on Jones to know that his inconsistent performances extend further than not having a healthy offensive line. It also hasn’t helped that the Giants have struggled to find reliable pass catchers for Jones. But perhaps having rookie wideout Malik Nabers, an improved offensive line and a healthy season from Jones could prove why Schoen strongly backs his inconsistent quarterback. 

Saquon Barkley will surpass 1,200 rushing yards in 2024

Philadelphia Eagles running back Saquon Barkley

While Schoen defended Jones, he didn’t offer support for Barkley, who signed with the Eagles. / Kevin R. Wexler / USA TODAY NETWORK /

Manzano’s view: Fact

Sticking with more content from the Giants’ Hard Knocks season, Schoen didn’t defend former Giants running back Saquon Barkley the same way he did Jones. It was clear that the Giants were ready to move on, as the episode displayed how the team contemplated its option for replacing the versatile running back. 

Schoen told his front office executives and coaches that they can find more value in free agency and through the draft, and even mentioned to Frank Gore that running backs diminish after 27. Welp, Barkley turned 27 in February.  

That didn’t sit right with many NFL players, including Barkley’s new Eagles teammate, A.J. Brown, who had this to say: “The Saquon video fired me up and it wasn’t even about me. I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure you get yours fam!”

Obviously, Brown wants to make the Giants regret giving up on Barkley. Perhaps a season with more than 1,200 rushing yards will do that. Barkley has plenty of wear and tear on his body, but he still managed 962 rushing yards in 14 games behind that poor Giants’ offensive line. 

Barkley won’t get to run behind recently retired center Jason Kelce, but the Eagles still have a strong offensive line on an offense led by star quarterback Jalen Hurts. The Eagles have the ideal surroundings to make the Giants regret letting Barkley walk in free agency. 

Greg Olsen needs to be invited to more weddings 

Manzano’s view: Fact 

Not only is Greg Olsen a great TV analyst, but he’s also apparently great at being the life of a party. The former Panthers’ tight end—he was also great at that, too—went viral for a picture of him having a blast at Christian McCaffrey’s and Olivia Culpo’s wedding where Olsen might have had a few fancy drinks from the bar menu. 

Sports Illustrated writer Jimmy Traina wrote on social media, “Every single person who ever attends a wedding should look like Greg Olsen at the end of it.” He’s absolutely correct. And I would definitely watch a reality show of Olsen crashing weddings during the NFL offseason.

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