FSB’s Dallas Cowboys blog. Representing the rest of the NFC E..."/> FSB’s Dallas Cowboys blog. Representing the rest of the NFC E..."/>

NFC East Breakdown: Week 5


(Dan T. writes for The Landry Hat, which is FSB’s Dallas Cowboys blog. Representing the rest of the NFC East are G-Men HQ, Inside the Iggles. and Riggo’s Rag.)

Are the Washington Redskins really the second-best team in this division? They might be. The Redskins came back from a 14-0 deficit to defeat the rival Eagles 23-17. The loss was damaging to the Eagles because it gives them two losses in the division. Meanwhile, the New York Giants slaughtered the Seattle Seahawks. It was no surprise that the Dallas Cowboys defeated the hopeless Cincinnati Bengals, but no one expected it to be that close.

Dallas Cowboys (4-1):

Looking Back: See what happens when the Dallas Cowboys come out of the gates running the ball? Felix Jones shined again, and early with a 33-yard touchdown run, and the Cowboys roared to a 17-3 lea. Jones continues to fight for rookie of the year and very possibly will get his third rookie of the week award this season. Marion Barber, who still averaged 4 yards per carry, never got his motor running. But the Bengals played a spirited game and kept it close, too close, in the second half. Folks, Wade Phillips’s job is officially on the line after this game. The Cowboys were not prepared for this game. Tony Romo looked confused and lost most of the game. He fumbled and threw an interception. The Cowboys did get their first interception of the year, but oddly it was by a linebacker. The secondary is still leaving too much cushion for the wide receiver and paying for it.

Looking Forward: The Cowboys face the Arizona Cardinals who are coming off a huge win over the once undefeated Buffalo Bills. Kurt Warner might just have a field day on this secondary, and the Cowboys HAVE to be ready for an all-out air war. The problem is, the secondary hasn’t shown it can handle the pressure. It might be a blessing that the Cowboys are struggling this early in the season. It also may be a death wish. It’s hard to tell. When it comes down to it, a close win is still a win. This one won’t be a blowout.

New York Giants (4-0):

Looking Back: The Giants do not appear to have lost a step from their miraculous Super Bowl run last year. Even with two major losses on defense and several others to free agency, the G-Men continue to chug along. The Giants overpowered the Seahawks in every stage of the game. In their 44-6 win, Eli Manning played another error-free game. Plaxico Burress didn’t even play because of a 1-game suspension. They didn’t need him. A guy named Domenik Hixon did just fine, with 4 catches for 102 yards and a touchdown. The Giants also ran the ball effectively, with bruiser Brandon Jacobs getting 136 yards and two touchdowns on just 15 carries.

Looking Forward: Next up for the G-Mean are the Cleveland Browns, another team struggling to find its stride. Derek Anderson’s playing time is in jeopardy if he continues to throw more interceptions than touchdowns. Brady Quinn is waiting in the wings. Plaxico Burress returns to the lineup and he’ll be hungry. The Browns don’t have much of a chance to win this game unless Anderson can return to the caliber of player he was last year. But right now, all the Browns are doing is regretting not trading him in the offseason for picks and players. The Giants are running on all cylinders and will be tough to beat when they are on.

Philadelphia Eagles (2-3):

Looking Back: The Eagles, still a good team, are in trouble. They now have lost three of four games and two of those losses are in the division. Without Brian Westbrook playing well, the Eagles are a mediocre team. After a 14-0 lead, the Eagles became lifeless. Clinton Portis ran all over the run defense and once again the Eagles had trouble in the red zone.

Looking Forward: The Eagles face the 49ers in a must-win game for both teams if they want to keep in the playoff hunt. Donovan McNabb will have Reggie Brown back for a second week in a row, and they may not bode well for the 49ers. McNabb hasn’t had the big games like he had in the first two weeks of the season. This is a big game for the Eagles because a loss could ruin the entire season.

Washington Redskins (4-1):

Looking Back: Jim Zorn is quickly the favorite as coach of the year. His gutsy 4th and 1 play to seal up the win over the Eagles puts the Redskins in the hunt for a division title. They are playing great team ball, and Clinton Portis looks tough. The Skins won the old fashion way, by running the ball. They didn’t seek out the big play and they just kept plugging the ball down the field. The Redskins now play the rest of their division rivals at home, another plus for this team. Jason Campbell has 0 interceptions in 153 pass attempts, by the way. That’s a remarkable stat and this kid is finally getting attention. Also, Shawn Springs and Jason Taylor did not play in this game.

Looking Forward: The Redskins are in prime position to seal a spot in the playoffs because their next three opponents are the Rams, Browns and Lions. No one would have guessed this team at 7-1 at mid-season. Next up are the NFL’s worst Rams. If Zorn prepares his boys to play, the Redskins should easily become 5-1 and retain second place in the tough NFC East.