Last season the Cowboys secondary put the "D" in Dallas, as in the nearly failing letter grade as non-covering corners and mistackling safeties roamed the back line of defensive coordinator's Rob Ryan's unit. Fortunately, for Rex's younger and more rumpled brother, Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones saw it that way as well. Rather than make a coaching change, Jones focused on upgrading the defensive back talent, specifically by adding free agent Brandon Carr and trading up for LSU rookie Morris Claiborne. Specifically, the moves madewere to combat their traditional NFC East foes - yes, even the Redskins, although in that case, seems rather begrudgingly so.To be really fair about it, and fair on judgment, we have to look specifically where we had our biggest breakdowns, and weve got to make sure that weve matched up good with the teams that gave us our biggest problems, Jones said. As it turns out, it was the New Yorks, the Philadelphias, and if you will, Washington played a good game against us, too. "So its in our division. So what you saw from us during the offseason, personnel-wise, is matching up."The latest injury news - via CSNphilly - involving Eagles left tackle Jason Peters is one ouch of a story - and likely ends any hope of a 2012 appearance. "According to a league source, Peters ruptured his Achilles tendon again after the Roll-A-Bout he was using malfunctioned. Peters was maneuvering in his kitchen when the device broke, and he fell on his face and re-injured the Achilles."The five-time Pro Bowler needed a second surgery, and his recovery was set back three weeks. He is going to sue the manufacturer of the device."The Eagles signed free agent Demetress Bell to step in as the blindside protector. Good luck with that.Without the five-time Pro Bowler Peters, Michael Vick will once again be running plenty, but out of necessity. On Sunday, the nation honored all the moms out there. On Sunday, Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora used the occasion to jab Eagles running back LeSean McCoy. Via his Twitter account, Umenyiora said, "Happy Mothers Day Lesean Mccoy! Enjoy your special day!!"Apparently the pass rusher has not forgotten that last season on Twitter McCoy described him as "Overrated n soft 3rd best d-line on his team honestly." Former LSU safety Chad Jones, drafted by the New York Giants in the third round of the 2010 draft, was expected to help shore up the middle of Big Blue's secondary. Two months after the draft,Jones was involved in a serious automobile accident. Two years into his NFL career, Jones never stepped onto the field. Entering his third season, he is looking for a new team after the Giants releasedJones on Monday following a failed physical. No Laurent Robinson means the Cowboys once again are searching for a third receiver behind Miles Austin and Dez Bryant. With Kevin Ogletree currently leading the race, the team might need to keep looking. Ben Standigblogs about the Redskins, Wizards, Hoyas and the D.C.area college basketball scene for CSNwashington. You can reach him by email at email@example.com,follow him on Twitter @BenStandigand catch his musingsat the D.C. Sportalist.
As the Cowboys take their long week off after consecutive Thursday games the Redskins, Giants, Eagles, and other wild card contenders are in action. Here is Tandler’s weekly Redskins-centric spin around the NFL.
—The Giants are on a six-game winning streak and while that’s not easy to do against any level of competition it needs to be pointed out that their slate was squishy-soft with the last five wins coming against teams that currently have losing records. Now things get real with a trip to play the Steelers and a home date against the Cowboys. I’m not really sure how good the Giants are but if they split these two games I’ll be more impressed with them than I am now.
—The 5-6 Eagles travel to play the Bengals, who are just about out of contention for a sixth straight playoff appearance at 3-7-1. In fact, the Eagles might be just about out of it, too. Their big problem is 3-6 conference record, which puts them behind several other wild card contenders in this tiebreaker. It’s important because that is the second tiebreaker behind head to head. It’s better for the Redskins if the Bengals win but it probably won’t matter much. The consensus in Philadelphia seems to be that the Eagles are a rebuilding team that got off to a hot start, kindling some unrealistic hopes and expectations for the rest of 2016.
—The team is the hottest pursuit of the Redskins is the Buccaneers, who travel to San Diego to play a game that starts at the same time as Washington-Arizona. The Chargers are 5-6 but they are buried in last in the tough AFC West. This game is a coin flip. Redskins fans should root for the Chargers. If the Bucs lose, the Redskins would still hold the second wild card at the end of the day even if they should lose to the Cardinals.
—The 5-6 Saints are on the fringes of the wild card picture. They host the Lions, who are leading the NFC North by a game and a half over the Vikings and two games over the Packers. It’s probably best if the Lions win, which would just about eliminate the Saints. Still, there is a scenario where the Lions go into a minor tailspin, lose the division to either the Packers or Vikings but have a good enough record to take the second wild card. So like with most games within the NFC until the dust settles some more, there is some upside and some downside no matter which team wins.
—That scenario where the Lions fade from the division lead become a whole lot less likely if the Texans can go to Green Bay and beat the Packers. This is an interconference game so it’s an easy call to pull for Houston.
—Seattle, with a three-game lead in the NFC West, hosts the Panthers, who are on the outer fringe of the wild card race at 4-7. Another loss likely would ensure that Carolina won’t be able to defend its NFC title. This isn’t a pivotal game but probably better if the Seahawks win to end it for the wounded but potentially dangerous Panthers.
—My one loss last week was the Seahawks giving 5.5 on the road to the Bucs. I won with the Saints over the Rams and the Falcons over the Cardinals. This week I’m giving the Seahawks another go, giving 7 to the Panthers, and I’m taking the Patriots -13.5 against the Rams (the loss of Gronk doesn’t do much to equalize these teams) and the Saints giving 6 to the Lions.
MORE REDSKINS: Betting on the Redskins' playoff chances
Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, December 3, one day before the Washington Redskins play the Arizona Cardinals.
—Today's schedule: No availability
—Days until: Redskins @ Eagles 8; Panthers @ Redskins 16; Redskins @ Bears Christmas Eve 21
Injuries of note:
Out: TE Jordan Reed (shoulder), DE Anthony Lanier (leg)
Questionable: G Brandon Scherff (ankle), OT Ty Nsekhe (ankle), Bashaud Breeland (ankle), LS Nick Sundberg (back)
Final injury report
Redskins vs. Cardinals
FOX, Sunday, 4:25 p.m., Dick Stockton and Chris Spielman
Line: Cardinals -2.5
Resetting the playoff odds
The Redskins start their stretch drive to the playoffs tomorrow. The will play five games in 29 days. After that, they will have either earned the right to keep playing or will they go home.
Let’s get out the imaginary $100 in casino chips and look at the various possibilities of the finish to the season and spread out the chips based on how likely each scenario is. As always, you are welcome to jump into the comments if you agree or disagree.
Win NFC East, $0—This might be worth a buck or two but this place doesn’t have any chips smaller than $5 and it’s not worth investing even that much in the chance of this happening. The scenario would have to be the Redskins winning out, the Cowboys losing out, and the Giants losing at least two more games. I’d put something on the first scenario and a few chips on the last one but no way is Dallas going 0-4. Keeping my chips in my pocket on this one.
Wild card as No. 5 seed, $40—To do this the Redskins would have to stay ahead of the wild card contenders behind them (see next scenario) and make up a game and a half on the Giants. They play New York in Week 17 so the Redskins would have to make up one game between now and then and they could then determine their status on January 1 at FedEx Field. The Giants go to Pittsburgh on Sunday and host Dallas a week after that so we will see how that looks in a couple of weeks. As of now, the No. 6 seed would go to Detroit for the first round of the playoffs while the No. 5 would play the Falcons in Atlanta. That, of course, is subject to change.
Wild card as No. 6 seed, $35—I think getting the five seed is slightly more likely than getting the six since I think the Giants are a mirage. But even if New York keeps it going, the Redskins can clinch a spot by running the table in their last five games. That would make them 11-4-1 and no other wild card contender could catch them. If they win four of five, only the Bucs can catch them and it would take a 5-0 finish for Tampa Bay. Winning three of five still gives them a good shot at getting in although at that point you are also opening the door for the Vikings, Saints, Packers, and Eagles to catch fire and jump ahead of them.
Out of playoffs, $25—I might be putting a little too much here but it’s the NFL and it’s certainly not beyond the realm of possibility that the Redskins could finish 2-3 and miss out altogether. Their margin for error is slim and an injury here and a bad break there could have them on the outside looking in.
Tandler on Twitter
Final results in. Approval rating for #Redskins DC Barry 38%, about what I expected. Did expect more "strongly disapprove".— Rich Tandler (@Rich_TandlerCSN) December 2, 2016
In case you missed it
- Reed out, seven other Redskins questionable
- Vikings loss a payoff for Redskins fans
- Can the Redskins keep the Cardinals passing attack down?
- Jordan Reed ruled out for Redskins against Cardinals
- Want to beat the Cardinals? Get to Carson Palmer
- New #RedskinsTalk Podcast - Trent Murphy talks about going home