Eye on the Enemy: NFC East Roundup

Photo Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Once a week, we’ll take a spin around the NFC East to check in on what’s going on with the Eagles’ division rivals.

Week 4 Opponent: New Orleans Saints (1-2) (8:30 p.m.)
Line: Saints (-3)

Rainer Sabin of the Dallas Morning News put together a comprehensive Cowboys Gameday piece with a full overview of Sunday’s contest:

A win would mean …
The Cowboys would tally three consecutive victories for the first time since the 2012 season and would have a 3-1 record for the first time since 2008.

A loss would mean …
The Cowboys fall to New Orleans for the ninth time in their last 10 meetings and be saddled with an all-too-familiar .500 winning percentage.

Charean Williams of the Forth Worth Star-Telegram reports that Jerry Jones likes where his team is headed:

Jerry Jones likes where the Cowboys are, and where they are headed. If his team can get healthy on defense, with Anthony Spencer, Rolando McClain and Henry Melton on the field at the same time, the Cowboys owner believes they have something brewing.

The Cowboys haven’t been to the playoffs since 2009. They have finished .500 the past three seasons.

But some analysts have the Cowboys as a “darkhorse” playoff team after three games.

Clarence E. Hill Jr. of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram talks to Dez Bryant about Rob Ryan‘s defensive scheme:

Dez Bryant has been double covered his entire career.

But when the Cowboys played the Saints last year, it was the first time he faced bump-and-run double coverage from the defensive backs on the goal line.

That little wrinkle came courtesy of defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, who ran the Cowboys defense in 2011-2012. It was part of a complete blanket coverage strategy from the Saints, who held Bryant to one catch for 44 yards in a 49-17 blowout.

Bryant expects the same strategy from Ryan on Sunday.


The Giants (2-2) and Redskins (1-3) played in Washington on Thursday night this week.

Bill Pennington of the New York Times breaks down the Giants’ sound beating of the Redskins in Washington on Thursday night:

In a thorough 45-14 rout of the Washington Redskins, quarterback Eli Manning threw four touchdown passes and ran for another score. Tight end Larry Donnell, who came into the season with only three career receptions, caught three touchdown passes.

The Giants’ offense moved up and down the field throughout the game, rarely appearing out of sync, with a third-down conversion rate of nearly 70 percent. Manning completed 28 of 39 passes for 300 yards. Showing new variety and balance, the Giants also rushed for 154 yards.

Jordan Raanan of NJ.com on the revival of Eli Manning and the Giants’ offense.

The ball was getting released quickly and he completed 28-of-39 passes for 300 yards. Only two of his first 20 passes hit the ground … and both of those were drops. It’s these kind of performances and results that will put a smile on any quarterback’s face, even Manning.

“You know, when you win,” Manning said, “you smile a little bit more.”

The Giants offense as a whole is having a lot more fun than earlier in the spring and summer. They”re no longer bogged down in new verbiage and schemes. Offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo has lightened the load on his players in order to simplify things. It appears to have worked.

Mike Jones of the Washington Post writes about Kirk Cousins‘ atrocious performance:

Six turnovers, near non-existent pass coverage and 11 penalties proved too much for Washington to overcome.

Looking drastically different than in his two previous outings this season, quarterback Kirk Cousins threw four interceptions, all in the second half, and lost a fumble. He completed 19 of 33 passes for 257 yards — a far cry from the 427-yard, three-touchdown performance against Philadelphia on Sunday. Tight end Logan Paulsen had the ball stripped from his grasp for the other turnover. Washington’s offense succeeded on only 1 of 8 third downs and rushed for just 86 yards.

 Matt Cassidy is a journalism student at Temple and an intern at Birds 24/7.