The Dallas Cowboys came away from Philadelphia with a win on Sunday but they really suffered a massive loss. Starting QB Tony Romo suffered a broken clavicle during the game and early reports are suggesting that he could miss as many as 10 games. Dallas will turn to former Cleveland Browns starter Brandon Weedon during the next few months. With injuries to superstar WR Dez Bryant and TE Jason Witten, and a struggling run game this not a recipe for success. The NFC East is wide open at this point. But who wants to step up?
New York Giants– Eli Manning gets his contract extended but the team is struggling. The Giants have a history of starting slow. Remember in 2007, they started 0-2 with all the calls for head coach Tom Coughlin to be fired, but they finished strong and won the Super Bowl that season, defeating the previously unbeaten New England Patriots. This however, is a different team. No longer blessed with the fearsome pass rush the 2007 team featured. The offensive line is not as powerful either. But in this current version of the NFL with rules changes, a team with a good passing attack can still win out and overcome deficiencies in other aspects of their game.
Philadelphia Eagles– Speaking of deficiencies in their game, what the hell has happened to the Eagles offense? I had this team pegged as the runaway favorite for the East this season. The Eagles managed 7 yards of rushing against the Cowboys on Sunday with the NFL’s leading rushing last season. This is a Philadelphia team which smoked opponents in the preseason with their high octane offense, yet they only managed 55 plays Sunday and had the ball just 19 minutes and 30 seconds. Head coach Chip Kelly has managed to keep opponents off balance in his first two years with his up-tempo style of play and read option game, but opposing defensive coordinators seem to be getting wise to the game. RB DeMarco Murray needs to be running downhill, not laterally and that is what the Dallas defenders made him do all day. Kelly has a team full of the players he wanted for his system. If they don’t seize the opportunity created here by the loss of Romo in Dallas, Kelly could be returning to the college coaching ranks after this season.
Washington Redskins– If you thought the Redskins were going to come away with a win on Sunday, you either got lucky or are a Washington homer. The Redskins were a home dog, getting 3 points while facing arguably the best defensive line in the NFL. Yes, Washington is 1-1 right now and leads the NFL in team rushing, but I am not sold on this team. Their next four games will go a long way toward determining their outcome. Two key division matchups starting Thursday Night against the and three of the next four are on the road.
Dallas Cowboys– Yes, currently ahead in the division, but only the most die hard Cowboys fans with blinders on can think that this team is going to advance to the division title with Brandon Weeden at the helm. The defense has lost some key players, the running game is languishing and quite frankly won’t get any better with Weedon under center. Opposing defenses will simply bring 8 men in the box and challenge Weedon to beat him with his arm. That doesn’t seem probable in many cases in the next 10 games.
The race to the division title is going to be an interesting one. As the season unfolds, I am going to keep waiting for the Eagles offense to finally explode and if it doesn’t, the New York Giants could slide right in at 9-7 and take the divisional crown.