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NFC East Notebook, Oct. 29: Nick Foles to start; Cowboys D historically bad

News and notes from Dallas, Philadelphia and Washington.


What a chaotic weekend in the NFC East in Week 9. The Cowboys were mere seconds away from beating the Detroit Lions, but blew a 10-point fourth-quarter lead and were yet again unable to create distance from the rest of the division. Meanwhile, the New York Giants won their second straight behind another stellar defensive effort.

There are no shortage of injury questions in the nation's capital, as Robert Griffin III was removed in the fourth quarter in the loss to the Denver Broncos. Michael Vick left early against the Giants, though the Eagles may have Nick Foles back from a concussion in time for the game vs. the Oakland Raiders.

Dallas Cowboys

When the Cowboys are winning, it seems as if their defense is a major catalyst. And the same can be said for when they lose. After surrendering a 10-point lead to the Lions, including a go-ahead touchdown in the final minute, there are a lot of complaints about the Cowboys' tendency to give up big plays.

Evidence: In terms of giving up big plays, the Cowboys have allowed three of its highest big-play games since 1999 this year -- against the Lions, Broncos and Redskins in the past month.

More bad news? Dallas is the only team to allow more than one 400-plus-yard passer in a season; they've allowed four, the most in NFL history.

Philadelphia Eagles

Though Vick couldn't finish the game against New York last week, the Eagles may have Nick Foles back for the Oakland game. Foles, who was concussed earlier this month, is likely to practice Tuesday and start on Sunday.

Perhaps Foles can jumpstart an offense that has produced three points in the last two weeks, and accordingly to Birds 24-7, has been "figured out." Chip Kelly said it's not about being "figured out," rather it's about executing, which the Eagles have failed to do of late.

Washington Redskins

During Mike Shanahan's Monday press conference, he said RGIII's knee is sore but the quarterback is fine. RGIII will undergo some rehab on his left knee but should be fine to practice on Wednesday.

Shanahan also discussed Brandon Meriweather's controversial comments about tackling low and ending careers. The Skins' coach defended his player, saying if he hits he he won't be allowed to play in today's NFL, though he did admit he wasn't sure about Meriweather's word selection.

Hogs Haven outlined three reasons why the Washington offense has not been as productive as it was a season ago. The offensive line play has been poor, allowing opposing defenses to successfully blitz them up the middle. The receivers are dropping passes, cannot get separation and the veteran, Santana Moss, has taken a huge step back. And the coaching staff has not provided RGIII with enough weapons.

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