1. Dallas Cowboys (7-5): It’s not just that the Cowboys laid down against the Cardinals in an important game that could have generated some breathing room atop the division, it’s that they laid down, had the game won, yet somehow still managed to lose.
Jason Garrett summoned his inner Marty Mornhinweg in his team’s dreadful loss to the Cardinals last week. With the game on the line, Garrett chose to ice his kicker on what would’ve been a game-winning field goal, a move unprecedented in its stupidity, save for Mornhinweg’s outrageous decision to take the wind in overtime in a 2002 overtime loss to the Bears.
What’s more, Garrett decided to throw cold water on an explosive Dallas ground game, calling for quarterback Tony Romo to attempt 42 passes, while Godsend rookie running back DeMarco Murray carried only 12 times for 38 yards.
It’s been that type of season in the NFC East. Dallas isn’t a good football team. Stupid coaching decisions, inconsistent play, and a leaky defense have prevented the Cowboys from running away with what should be an easy division title.
2. New York Giants (6-6): The Giants haven’t won in a calendar month and they’re still the second best team in the division. That’s tremendous. I don’t want to hear about moral victories or going toe-to-toe with the undefeated Packers. Eli Manning played admirably and Brandon Jacobs looked rejuvenated, if only for one game. But, man, that defense was embarrassingly inept.
Rodgers is setting an all-time standard at the quarterback position, but to allow him to get his team into field goal range in only two plays with under a minute to play can’t happen. So while there are good vibes coming from New York this week, keep in mind that they’ve lost four straight games, one of which was a prime time loss to the woeful Eagles. Anyone ready to spring wood over a late season run by the Giants needs to remember that.
3. Philadelphia Eagles (4-8): The good news is that Vince Young should never take another snap at quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles. I appreciate the three hours of fun Young provided in the win over New York three weeks ago, but he’s just a terrible quarterback. What really sticks out about Young is total lack of athleticism at the position. He looks slow and lumbering, not quick and elusive in the pocket. God bless any team who signs Young as its top signal caller for next season.
Of course, the bad news for the Eagles is that they have no professional grade linebackers or safeties. Additionally, their corners are frequently some combination of selfish, out of position, clueless, or poorly coached.
Some other points of interest: The Eagles lead the league in interceptions thrown and turnovers. They’re also last in the league in red zone defense, allowing opponents to score 24 touchdowns in only 34 trips inside the 20-yard line. Outside of those minor shortcomings, the Eagles could be a really good football team.
4. Washington Redskins (4-8): There’s no point in even talking about the Redskins, so let me give you this stat: Despite carrying the ball like a jackass, the last time LeSean McCoy lost a fumble was Week 4 of the 2010 season. You might remember that game. Donovan McNabb returned to Philadelphia and “led” the Redskins to a 17-12 win. It was the last highlight of McNabb’s rapidly deteriorating career. An especially pathetic highlight considering he completed only eight passes for the game.