Eye On the Enemy: NFC East Roundup
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.
DALLAS COWBOYS (9-4)
Week 14 Opponent: @Chicago Bears (5-8) (Thursday)
Score: Cowboys 41, Bears 28
Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News reports that Tony Romo‘s rib injury no longer bothers him:
Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has been enduring more than a sore back.
Romo said late Thursday night after the 41-28 win against the Bears that he’s also played with a rib injury for almost two months.
Romo said he had a fractured rib, but sources said Friday that the quarterback misspoke. Romo actually has torn rib cartilage, the sources said, and not a break.
The rib injury no longer bothers Romo, according to one source.
Romo had back surgery in late December 2013 to repair a herniated disk in his back, and for the last five weeks he’s played with two small fractures in the transverse processes of his back.
Romo said the fractures in his back are almost healed.
“It’ll be nice when it’s just about the back improving instead of all the other little junk,” Romo said.
Jerry Jones feels that Dez Bryant‘s passion in-game is a positive, writes Clarence E. Hill Jr. of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has no problems with the passion and emotion receiver Dez Bryant showed on the sideline of Thursday’s 41-28 victory against the Chicago Bears.
What some people interpreted negatively via the lens of a television screen as another Bryant tirade, Jones sees as a positive for the Cowboys.
Jones said Bryant is a great teammate and loved by all in the Cowboys locker room.
“He’s a teddy bear. He’s a teddy bear,” Jones said on his radio show on KRLD-FM. “He’s the neatest guy to be around you’ve ever seen. But I’m going to tell you one thing: he’s got a passion button, and there’s no stopping him. And you just – you just can’t calm him down when he gets going. And he uses a lot of energy doing that. I’ve seen him use productive part of his energy in an early part of a game getting nuts over there.
NEW YORK GIANTS (3-9)
Week 14 Opponent: @Tennessee Titans (2-10) (1:00 p.m.)
Line: Giants (-1).
Jordan Raanan of NJ.com on how Eli Manning has performed under pressure:
The numbers for Manning under pressure this season are not good. He’s completing 39.1 percent of his passes under pressure, according to Pro Football Focus. Only Jacksonville’s Blake Bortles and Jets’ Geno Smith have done worse.
Manning was under heavy pressure in the second half on Sunday in Jacksonville, and again didn’t make enough plays. The Giants managed three points and their offense (by virtue of two fumbles for touchdowns) gave away 14. They finished a net minus-11 in the second half.
McAdoo hinted that Manning needed to hang in the pocket more and step into throws with pressure in his face.
“There are times you want to get the ball out quickly, there are other times you may have to hold onto it and it will take longer than you’d like under adverse conditions,” McAdoo said. “First and foremost, we need to take care of the football. After that we can hang in there and take a hit to complete the ball. That is part of the game.”
Alex Raskin of the Wall Street Journal wonders if Manning may be following Tom Coughlin out of town following the abysmal season:
The Giants’ draft-day trade for Ole Miss quarterback Eli Manning was the first major headline of the Tom Coughlin era, which had begun just three months earlier in January 2004. So it would be somehow fitting if now, in December 2014, both men were entering their final month with the team.
They have always been inextricably linked in the minds of football fans, who remember Coughlin and his staff developing Manning from a bumbling rookie into a two-time Super Bowl MVP. Making a joint exit seems like the proper thing to do, as if Manning is simply leaving the dance with the guy who brought him.
The duo downplayed the topic on Monday, a day after the Giants choked against the abysmal Jacksonville Jaguars, but the dance is almost certainly over. The one-point defeat pushed the Giants’ losing streak to seven games, topping last year’s six-game skid to open the season. Coughlin said he was “responsible for everything,” but Manning—perhaps for the first time in his career—publicly disagreed with his coach.
WASHINGTON REDSKINS (3-9)
Week 14 Opponent: St. Louis Rams (5-7) (1 p.m.)
Line: Rams (-3).
Mike Jones of the Washington Post talks about five story lines surrounding the Redskins including Colt McCoy‘s start:
1.) McCoy’s start – This represents the quarterback’s second straight start, and his first at home. But what’s most important is the way he and his offense get out of the gates against the Rams. In each of his first two starts, McCoy has struggled before eventually finding a rhythm. In the first quarters of his two starts this season (at Dallas and at Indianapolis), he has gone a combined 8-for-15 for 57 yards and an interception. The Redskins need better production from their quarterback this time around. Jay Gruden and Sean McVay have to come up with plays that McCoy is comfortable with, and McCoy must be keyed in and execute. A slow start proved costly against Indianapolis, and it could hurt the Redskins again as they face a Rams offense that boasts plenty of weapons. McCoy could be without his top deep threat, DeSean Jackson, who didn’t practice Wednesday, Thursday or Friday while nursing a lower leg contusion that knocked him out of the last game.
Tom Schad of the Washington Times reports that defensive coordinator Jim Haslett addressed the lapses against the Colts:
When Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett watched the tape of Sunday’s 49-27 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, he saw cornerbacks sitting on underneath routes while receivers ran free behind them. He saw simple coverages — two-deep and three-deep zones — result in lengthy touchdown passes.
The mistakes are correctable, Haslett told reporters Thursday, but it’s disappointing that some of them happened at all.
“That was probably the most disappointing thing,” he said. “We didn’t do anything [complex]. We played three-deep. You learn that stuff in high school.
Matt Cassidy is a journalism student at Temple and an intern at Birds 24/7.