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NFC East Notebook, Oct. 8: Tony Romo and John Elway; Nick Foles to start

News and notes from the Cowboys, Eagles and Redskins

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY

The New York Giants fell to the visiting Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, moving to 0-5 and destroying any real chance of winning the NFC East this year. The Dallas Cowboys put forth a valiant effort against the Denver Broncos but came up just short, allowing Philadelphia to tie them atop the divisional standings and opening the door for the the Washington Redskins.

It's seemingly a three-way race for the division crown ... for now. The Cowboys will look to build off their loss. The Eagles will look to continue their momentum. And we'll see how the Skins look following a week off.

Dallas Cowboys

Peyton Manning put up a 51 spot on the Cowboys defense Sunday afternoon; now it's time to point the blame. The defensive line has been ineffective for the past two games, not coincidentally both were losses. In those two games, the Cowboys have recorded one sack and one additional quarterback hit. In addition, the unit has allowed more than 100 yards in both games and it appears as if no help in on the way.

While the defense may be to blame, Tony Romo is not -- at least according to Blogging the Boys, which touted the Dallas quarterback as the better signal-caller on the field Sunday. Romo became the fifth quarterback to pass for both 500 yards and five touchdowns in a single game, yet still critics are judging Romo for the loss. Ironically, BTB sees a lot of John Elway in Romo.

BTB believes the team has no real winning formula. The Cowboys can't rely solely on Romo. The defense is not reliable, the offense doesn't consistently run the ball, and puzzling turnovers and penalties steadily plague this team. Coaches have been fired, schemes have been changed and personnel has been replaced, so what else can Dallas do?

Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles may have won Sunday, but the team suffered a costly loss as well.

Michael Vick pulled a hamstring Sunday, and hours later reports surfaced that Vick was likely going to miss the Eagles' next game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Vick is considered day-to-day and has not been ruled out of Sunday's game just yet, but given his injury history Chip Kelly likely would err on the side of caution.

Should Vick sit, Nick Foles would get the start. Spelling Vick on Sunday, Foles went 16-of-25 for 197 yards and two touchdowns, engineering four scoring drives in the 36-21 win over the Giants. Last year, Foles' only win as a starter came against the Bucs.

The main issue here is that Vick is not guaranteed to be the starter when he returns. If Foles play well in place of Vick, he could take the job away, according to Kelly, who joked that if Foles went 100-for-100 with 27 touchdowns, he'll remain the starter.

It's a delicate decision for the Eagles' first-year head coach, weighing long- and short-term goals, managing emotions in the clubhouse and being loyal to his players. But it's logical to believe Kelly will go with whoever gives his team the best shot to win. Right?

Washington Redskins

Coming off of a bye week, the Skins now have a chance to creep closer to first place when they travel to Arlington to take on the reeling Cowboys. This means the team has had a chance to address four key areas. Those specific areas include missed tackles, Alfred Morris' role in the offense, utilizing the no-huddle and Robert Griffin III's ability to read opposing defenses.

The best part about a week off is it gives the players extra time to get healthy. Tight end Jordan Reed will likely suit up on Sunday night; and Logan Paulsen is optimistic he can, too. Both Morris and Kai Forbath are expected to be ready as well.