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NFC East Breakdown: Week 12


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

You can kiss the Philadelphia Eagles goodbye from the playoff hunt, and quite frankly, Donovan McNabb and head coach Andy Reid might want to pack their bags. Did McNabb really yawn on the bench? Meanwhile, the Dallas Cowboys are heating up at the right time, while the Washington Redskins are stalling on offense and the New York Giants look unstoppable. Coach Wade Phillips has to be proud with his defense lately, but his locker room speech was pretty pathetic. He’s smiling too much. No need to smile yet.  Several sources say that he did. Terrell Owens may want to consider slamming offensive coordinator Jason Garrett again if it means he’ll have 200 yards receiving again with a touchdown or more. Whatever works, right?

Dallas Cowboys (7-4):

Looking Back: For the first quarter, Cowboys fans were freaking out a little bit. The game could have easily been 14-0 in favor of the San Fransisco 49ers, but they were held to two field goals. Shaun Hill was throwing the bombs and Isaac Bruce was hauling them in. The Cowboys defense stood strong and after the first quarter, they dominated the line of scrimmage. Tony Romo was throwing his own kind of bombs, to almost forgotten wide receiver Terrell Owens—remember him? Cowboys fans were ready to murder the guy after watching his interview with Deion Sanders, where he criticizes the coaching staff for not getting him involved. But once he caught that 75-yard bomb, things sort of changed. Some fans had memory loss. Terrell Owens and Tony Romo are back. And that’s not good for the five teams that face the Cowboys as the season comes to a close.

Looking Forward: The Cowboys need Marion Barber to have some impact in the game against Seattle, another team the Cowboys could overlook in anticipation of the Pittsburgh Steelers and their No. 1 ranked defense. Barber didn’t score against the 49ers and although he had 19 carries, he only amassed 59 yards. He did catch 7 passes for 50 more yards. Seattle almost beat the Redskins, and they’d love nothing more than to spoil the Cowboys run—the Cowboys haven’t won three games in a row since they started the season 3-0. A win puts them at 8-4 and locks them in for a wildcard berth.

New York Giants (10-1):

Looking Back: The score was closer than the Giants would have liked, and the Arizona Cardinals made a valiant attempt to oust the best team in the NFC and possibly the NFL. Eli Manning was stellar, throwing for three touchdowns and 240 yards. The Cards were able to slow down the powerful Giants rushing game, but that might of had to do with Brandon Jacobs being injured. The Cards couldn’t stop the passing game. The key factor in this win was the Giants actually stopped the Cards rushing game even better, holding Tim Hightower to just 21 yards on 11 carries. The Giants also had great field position on almost every drive thanks to special teams expert Domenik Hixon.

Looking Forward: The Giants next play the Washington Redskins who are desperately fighting for a playoff spot. Damn those pesky Atlanta Falcons. To beat the Redskins, the Giants just have to play their kind of football game: run the ball well, and dominate the time of possession, while sending thick pressure on the opposing quarterbacks. It’s a recipe of disaster for the Redskins who have very little of a chance to win this game.

Philadelphia Eagles (5-5-1):

Looking Back: The Eagles didn’t just lose to the Baltimore Ravens; they got demolished. It was so bad that Coach Andy Reid benched Donovan McNabb. It got worse when McNabb was spotted yawning on the sidelines. Poor guy tired? The game was pathetic to watch. For the fourth game in a row, Brian Westbrook stunk it up. It’s not like Jo Flacco was the next John Unitas out there; he just didn’t throw the interceptions.

Looking Forward: Reid is already saying that McNabb will start, but is that what he really wants? Personally, he should turn the page on this season and give the ball to their QB in the wings, some kid named Kolb. Why not, right? I mean, McNabb is just not performing and the Eagles aren’t going to have it very easy with the high-flying Arizona Cardinals this weekend.

Washington Redskins (7-4):

Looking Back: Sorry Redskins fans, but your team really looks like it is going to tank it in December. You played a very bad team and should have lost it. You didn’t dominate anything and you allowed a guy named Maurice Morris to run all over you. It was sad to watch, really. I guess without a healthy Clinton Portis, the Redskins are an average team, and possibly even below average. Are their playoff hopes fizzling? I think so.

Looking Forward: The Giants would love nothing more than to abuse the Redskins and seriously damage their playoff hopes. The Redskins haven’t been able to get the offense moving, and the defense isn’t exactly impressive. The Giants are so much better than this team that there would have to be many turnovers and some injuries for the Giants to even come close to losing this game.