The Cowboys will sit idly this weekend as the Giants, Redskins and Eagles vie for position in the NFC East standings. The Giants will play the Green Bay Packers who will again be without All Pro quarterback Aaron Rodgers, while the Eagles and Skins are set to do battle, with first place in the division on the line for Philadelphia and perhaps the post-season on the line for Washington.
At the end of the day, the NFC East standings could have Philadelphia on top, followed by Dallas, New York and Washington all within a game of each other. But if we're counting on the teams in this division to play accordingly, well, don't get your hopes up.
The Cowboys have some work to do during their bye week, as they've traded wins and losses each week since Oct. 20. One potential fix would be to give play-calling duties back to head coach Jason Garrett.
Garrett handed over play-calling duties to Bill Callahan when he was named the team's offensive coordinator. But now, Garrett's job is on the line, so it's only fair he has every chance to salvage it with this move.
With Garrett calling the shots, the Cowboys tend to throw the ball downfield more often, which would benefit Dez Bryant. In addition, Jason Witten has not been as much of a factor in this offense. Under Callahan, the team executes more dink-and-dunk passes, evident by Tony Romo's career-low 7.2 yards per pass average.
Speaking of Witten, the Cowboys' veteran tight end spoke out about his frustration this season, saying the team needs some sort of change to occur in they want to be as successful as he believes they can be.
It's a tremendous week for Philadelphia, which is currently tied with Dallas for first place in the NFC East with a chance to take the sole spot at the top with a win over Washington. Of course, they'll have to win at Lincoln Financial Field, where they're winless this season.
The Eagles shocked the NFL world Week 1 when their offense exploded against the 'Skins, dropping 33 points in what felt like 45 seconds en route to a season-opening victory. This go-round, the Eagles are preparing for a different type of Redskins offense.
Sticking with the theme of offense, Chip Kelly has put some of his players in position for new career marks.
Nick Foles has 16 touchdowns in four starts, and he's on track to throw 26 touchdowns. LeSean McCoy is on pace to tally nearly 1,500 rushing yards and more than 500 receiving yards, as well as seven total touchdowns. And DeSean Jackson could potentially shatter previous career highs. Jackson is projected to have 86 catches, 1,445 yards and 11 touchdowns, all would be new career marks.
The last time Washington faced Philly, it was Michael Vick under center for the Eagles. This time around, it'll be Foles, who is playing the best ball of his career.
In Hogs Haven's interview with Philly.com, Eagles writer Jimmy Kempski was asked if Foles is the real deal.
"Nick Foles has a QB rating this season of 132.5. He has thrown 16 TD passes and 0 INT. By comparison, RG3 has a QB rating of 83.8, and has thrown 12 TD and 9 INT. If Nick FOles' next 13 passes are INT, his QB rating will still be higher than RG3's," he said. "I'm not trying to suggest Foles is better than RG3, mind you. He's not. I'm just trying to put in perspective the type of season Foles is having."
Washington will need to win this week if the team wants to maintain reasonable post-season aspirations. The keys to a victory include preventing McCoy from reaching the second level, stopping big plays from Jackson, win the penalty/mistake battle, feed Alfred Morris and pressure the aforementioned Foles.
NFC East Standings
Dallas Cowboys 5-5
Philadelphia Eagles 5-5
New York Giants 3-6
Washington Redskins 3-6
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