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NFC East Roundup: No more Mr. Nice Guy in Big D

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Here’s the need-to-know news around the NFC East this week.

NFL: OCT 27 Redskins at Cowboys
Jason Garrett has got a challenge for you, Mr. Official.
Photo by Andrew Dieb/Icon Sportswire/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Spike that damn challenge flag, Jason Garrett.

Hey, if I were him, I would have slammed it down too.

It wasn’t just the blown call — doesn’t it seem like every call made by an NFL official qualifies as “blown” these days? It had much more to do with his own Dallas Cowboys.

Mr. Nice Guy finally had enough. There’s only so much self-sabotage one can take.

Suddenly Dak Prescott looks like ... well, Dak Prescott.

Suddenly the once vaunted Dallas offensive line looks like... well, the Giants’ line.

And suddenly, the Cowboys have gone from rising contenders in the NFC to straight pretenders.

Of course, an overreaction in the other direction would be foolhardy. (That means “recklessly bold or rash” for you Cowboys fans out there. And rash means... Oh nevermind.)

Keep in mind, Dallas also seemed in the throes of a full-on collapse last October, then went on to win the division and a first-round playoff game. And it helps that it can get right immediately, traveling to lovely East Rutherford, N.J. this weekend to face the always entertaining (and undertalented) New York Jets.

But which team will show up?

Will Prescott look like the $40 million quarterback he was through Week 3 or the maddeningly mediocre passer of the past few seasons? Will the banged-up line perform up to its vast potential and free Ezekiel Elliott? Will a talented defense that got pushed around by the Green Bay Packers rebound?

If that doesn’t happen, Garrett may go the way of Jay Gruden and that unlucky keycard he kept talking about.

So how ‘bout them Cowboys?

Here’s the other need-to-know news around the NFC East this week.

Dallas Cowboys

RT La’el Collins. LT Tyron Smith. LB Leighton Vander Esch.

That’s quite the list of players not practicing Wednesday, Blogging the Boys’ Dave Halprin informs us.

Vander Esch’s appearance on the injury report was a surprise, but the expectation is that he will play this weekend.

Collins (knee) received good news when the results of an MRI came back, but whether he plays against the Jets is a different question. But Jerry Jones is optimistic about Smith (ankle).

Meanwhile, LG Zack Martin (back), DE Tyrone Crawford (hip) and NT Antwaun Woods (knee) were limited in practice Wednesday.

Despite the bad loss to the Packers, Amari Cooper again showed why he’s one of the top receivers in the league, Danny Phantom tells us. Cooper caught 11 passes for 226 yards and a touchdown against the Pack. Green Bay could shut down Zeke, but not Cooper.

Meanwhile, Aaron Rodgers apparently “cussed out” an official against the Cowboys, yet he was not penalized for “abusive language” although Garrett was. Now that doesn’t seem fair, does it?

Speaking of Garrett, is his seat starting to get a bit warm? Tom Ryle has the answer.

Philadelphia Eagles

When it comes to injuries, no franchise has been better versed in recent years than the Iggles.

And this week is no different.

When published reports talk about a “window” for a player’s return, you know you have an issue. WR DeSean Jackson is one such player. His personal window stretches from Week 7 to Week 9, Bleeding Green Nation’s Brandon Lee Gowton lets us know.

Jackson’s continued absence leaves Philly with just Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor, Mack Hollins and JJ Arcega-Whiteside once again at wideout as it heads to Minnesota to face the Vikings.

Maybe one of them can catch this weekend.

Speaking of which, Gowton breaks down the matchup. (There are polls!)

Jackson was one of seven Eagles who missed practice Wednesday, Gowton says. He was joined by Orlando Scandrick, Darren Sproles, Corey Clement, Ronald Darby, Avonte Maddox and Tim Jernigan.

Of that group, Scandrick (illness) is expected to play this weekend. Clement (shoulder) was a surprise on the injury report — and might end up being quite a bad surprise at that if he reinjured the shoulder he hurt in Week 2.

Soooooo … what do the Eagles need more: a receiver or a corner? John Stolnis has the answer for you! (And there’s another poll!)

For those thirsty, Doug Pederson and Alexis Chassen have knowledge to drop on ya, including what all that nonsense Carson Wentz does before the snap means.

And how great are Eagles fans? They actually want to help Washington find its next coach (to fire)!

Washington Redskins

The Bill Callahan era has begun.

And he is starting the new gig with a focus on the basics, Hogs Haven’s Scott Jennings educates us. That includes sprints at the end of practice, moving captains to the front of the team stretching lines and concentrating on “fundamental football.”

I’m sure that will fix everything.

Callahan wasn’t messing around, Jennings says. The days of “Camp Jay” are over in Washington.

However, in the “The more things change department ...” it appears as if Case Keenum will get another shot as the starting quarterback. Rookie/franchise quarterback/victim Dwayne Haskins will continue to learn from the sideline.

But there’s nothing to worry about in DC — just as long as Dan Snyder listens to the damn T-shirt.

Now that Gruden is gone, I’m sure Trent Williams will report, right Bruce Allen?

And look! There’s another T-shirt!