I grew up with a defensive minded coach for a father so you will never get an argument from me on this point, but Weitzman presents a solid case for what makes defense so vital to whomever emerges as the top dog in the NFC East.
Defense has, more or less, ruled thus far. It's been defense that has allowed Washington to hang around despite sending Kirk Cousins out there every week. It's been defense that has allowed the Cowboys to hang around despite injuries to Romo and Bryant and disappointing performances from members of the offensive line. The Giants, at 3-3, are tied for the best record in the NFC East because they have the division's best (healthy) quarterback, but the play of their defense has been a factor, too.
As for the current division leader, the Eagles were able to overcome three Sam Bradford interceptions, and crawl back into contention Monday night with a 27-7 victory because their defense completely smothered Manning and the Giants.
As a follow up to the opening link, we have some good news regarding the state of the Dallas Cowboys defense. For the first time all of the pieces that the team worked so hard to put together will finally be taking the field together.
"There is no question that everyone's excited about getting some of these guys back and healthy and in the lineup practicing and playing together. We saw a couple of pieces come back a couple of weeks ago when we played New England." - Jason Garrett
Short of Orlando Scandrick and Terrell McClain, both of whom are lost for the season, this is the best possible combination of talent that the Cowboys can put on the field defensively.
The Cowboys defensive leader addressed the fact that the defense has to step up. It is great that they have the talent back on the field, but Lee knows that they are going to have to play at their best every snap of the ball.
Following true to the statement in the opening link, it was the Eagles defense, and their ability to get in Eli Manning's face consistently that made the difference as two mediocre teams battled it out. The short version is that the Eagles pass rush ate Eli's lunch. The Cowboys will have the same opportunity this week. Broaddus gives us the how and why of where the Giants offensive line is struggling and what Rod Marinelli may do to take advantage of the opportunity.
Everyone is anticipating the changes made during the bye week; Cassell for Weeden, Collins for Leary, and Michael for Randle. Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan tapped the brakes on at least the switch at RB recently. According to the man who calls the plays for the Cowboys offense the change is not so drastic as some may believe. Randle is still going to figure prominently in the Cowboys plans against the Giants
"We haven't really talked about who the starters are. He's certainly going to take a good bulk of our reps. Start the game or not, we have great expectations for Joe to be there. But I wouldn't anticipate there to be big, huge changes for us at this point at the running back position." - Scott Linehan
It don't know about you, but it sounds to me like the coaches are setting up a two man competition for the starting job and may the best man win.
Has there ever been a ball player who said his team did not need to win? Anyhow, Jason said it three different ways, so maybe even the slow to catch on will understand that Dallas needs to win this one.
Not what we want to hear, of course, but it is looking more and more like Dez will be out another week.
Hey, its Woody. Check it out as he talks about the Ring of Honor.