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NFC East Breakdown: Week 16


(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.)

Two teams in the NFC East are vying for the final wildcard spot and it just so happens that they play each other Sunday. There’s not a more fitting ending to the season than having the Dallas Cowboys play thePhiladelphia Eagles with a playoff spot on the line. The Cowboys win and they are in. The New York Giants shored up home-field advantage throughout the playoffs with a thrilling overtime victory over theCarolina Panthers. The Eagles lost their serious bid for the playoffs by losing to the Washington Redskins, a win that ensures the Redskins won’t finish with a losing record.

Dallas Cowboys (9-6):

Looking Back: The Cowboys had numerous opportunities to win the game against the Baltimore Ravens, but none of the moons and stars were aligning properly for that to happen. Tony Romo was unstable as the offense continues to reveal all of its weaknesses. A lot of pressure is now on offensive coordinator Jason Garrett, who couldn’t figure out that throwing the ball to a 6-foot 4-inch receiver named Roy Williams, who was covered by a guy 5-feet 9-inches, would have been a good idea. At least the Cowboys still control their own destiny Sunday only because the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are playing a tab bit worse. One thing that December has show, other than the Cowboys will for the 12th year straight not have a winning record in this month, is the Cowboys are sure deep at the running back position. If only we could say that about cornerbacks and quarterbacks.

Looking Forward: Beat the Eagles, and they are in. That is all that is worth talking about right now. If that doesn’t happen, I won’t be bored this offseason with topics. You can just sense the urgency of the Dallas Cowboys from thousands of miles away. If they miss the playoffs, this team could, and maybe even should, be gutted. Start with the coaching staff. Maybe call Miami and see if they want to return some of our coaches.

New York Giants (12-3):

Looking Back: The Giants pulled out a squeaker against the Panthers. Earth and Wind were on fire, rushing for 301 yards. That does not happen very often, but the Giants have a knack for running the ball when they have their three guys on the field. Even without Plaxico Burress, the Giants still look like a team to be reckoned with.

Looking Forward: The Giants play a meaningless game against the Minnesota Vikings, who may be fighting for the division title in this game. Tom Coughlin didn’t rest his starters last year against the New England Patriots, but he wanted his team to send a message, which they did.

Philadelphia Eagles (8-6-1):

Looking Back: The Eagles looked awful against the Washington Redskins and it is doubtful they can pull it together against the Cowboys, but this team is unpredictable. The Eagles didn’t appear to have a game plan for the Redskins and they couldn’t even get in the endzone. With a few seconds left in the game, the Eagles game very close to tying it, but it just wasn’t meant to be. Now, to get into the playoffs they need to win and get some help. That tie with the Bengals, the one Donovan McNabb said he never knew could happen in the NFL, is going to hurt them more than they could ever dream.

Looking Forward: DeMarcus Ware is staring down the NFL sack season sack record and that spells doom for McNabb, who is likely playing his final year in green. The Eagles threw bombs with the Cowboys in the second game of the year and the Cowboys barely left with a win. I am not so sure this game will be a repeat. The secondary has gotten a little bit stronger and the Cowboys don’t quite have the special teams they did 15 long weeks ago.

Washington Redskins (8-7):

Looking Back: The Redskins pulled out an ugly win against the Eagles, one that likely saved head coach Jim Zorn’s job. Heck, Zorn deserves at least three years to turn this organization a round. Rarely do rookie head coaches win right away, although this year seems to prove that statement wrong. No one looked particular good in this game, but the Redskins finally got a win.

Looking Forward: I know a lot of people think Clinton Portis is the oil of the Redskins machine, but he’s just not a team player. He doesn’t practice hard, he constantly exits the game winded, and he attacks coaches with his illiterate statements. Plus, he just doesn’t stay healthy anymore. So, trade him. Get rid of him. Jim Zorn is the coach and he deserves a chance more than Portis does.