Breaking Burgundy's weekly look around the NFC East includes possible changes in Dallas...
Dallas Cowboys (2-1)
Week Three – Falcons defeat Cowboys 39-28: It all seemed to be going well until the third quarter hit. In the first half, everyone on the offense did his job and the Boys scored 28 points, fueled by Joseph Randle and the running game. After the half, the defense fell apart. Sean Lee went to the locker-room to get stitches and a decimated group demonstrated that the “next man up” ideology is not to be relied on. Greg Hardy, Rolando McClain, Jeremy Mincey, Randy Gregory, and Orlando Scandrick all missed the game, and it was painfully obvious.
In The News: Fans are already calling for Matt Cassel and Christine Michael to get their chances in the offense, but the reality is the Cowboys are better off sticking with who they played last week. Brandon Weeden may not blow anyone away, but he’s played well and filled the role that he’s been asked to. Weeden had a solid rating in the mid-80s and completed 22-26 passes in week three. Check downs and safe throws are all that he or Cassel can comfortably do and there’s no reason to switch to more of the same; it could only go down hill. The problem isn’t the offense, it’s the defense. Greg Hardy and Rolando McClain will be back soon, but it’s unlikely they will turn things around entirely. The coaches are taking the blame for the unit’s atrocious showing, and hopefully that means adjustments can be made. If it’s a personnel issue, then it will be much harder to fix. At least the potential for shut down performances is there; Dallas allowed only 7 rushing yards against the Eagles last week. For now, Dallas should buckle down until Dez and Romo can make their ways back, and hope that they can manage to stay atop the East.
Up Next: New Orleans Saints (0-3)
New York Giants (1-2)
Week Three – Giants defeat Redskins 32-21: The win is encouraging for the Giants, no doubt, but once again, the team lead by a supposedly clutch quarterback, Eli Manning, faltered in the fourth quarter. After finding themselves in a 25-6 deficit, the Redskins scored 15 points in the fourth quarter to make it closer than it should’ve been. Despite the rocky finish, the Giants still had a solid outing. Manning moved the ball well and the defense managed to force three turnovers.
In The News: Get ready to salsa! It looks like Victor Cruz will be back in blue for the Giants in week four. He’ll most likely be limited, but the veteran receiver’s presence will be advantageous in the locker room and will force opposing defenders to play less attention to Odell Beckham Jr. In an attempt to add more depth to the receiving corps, the Giants are also working out slot-wizard Wes Welker and former-Giant Hakeem Nicks. Welker especially could give the Giants a new dimension to the passing game and provide Eli with a veteran check down option on most plays. After a dismal 0-2 start, New York now has a chance to tie for the division lead. Wow
Up Next: Buffalo Bills (2-1)
Philadelphia Eagles (1-2)
Week Three – Eagles defeat Jets 24-17: A win is finally in the books for the Eagles after week three, but Eagles fans still aren’t at rest. The good: the defense and running game looked awesome. The bad: Sam Bradford is still terrible. He looked fantastic in the preseason, but so far has more picks than touchdowns in games that count and has yet to throw for two scores in a single game. The Jets are a quality opponent on both sides of the ball, but especially on defense, so 24 points and a victory is acceptable, but there’s no question that Philly is well short of its offensive expectations.
In The News: DeMarco Murray is back at practice after missing last Sunday’s game due to a hamstring injury. He’s been stagnant so far this season but hopefully will benefit from Kelly’s now more dynamic approach to the run game. Ryan Matthews, the Eagles’ second RB, certainly put in a good day in Murray’s absence. On the contrary, Kiko Alonso wll likely miss another game, and guard Andrew Gardner along with kicker Cody Parkey have been placed on the IR. The biggest question concerning the Eagles, of course, is how they will get back on track. The answer seems to lie in Chip Kelly’s genius (or lack of it). Despite a still lackluster performance in week three, Kelly seemed to use many more of his old tricks than he did in the first two games. In both of the Eagles early loses, their plays were so predictable that the opposing defenses were supposedly calling out what they were going to be before the snap. Kelly made sure to use more than just the inside zone run on Sunday, and add more looks and complication to his O-line schemes and tempo. If the trend continues, Philly may still have a chance to live up to at least some of their preseason hype.
Up Next: Washington Redskins (1-2)