NFCE notes: Preseason All-NFCE team, an updated injury report, and if you’re a Skins/Eagles fans, who you got tonight?

• I did a long-form Q&A with my buddy Keith McMillan, who is now writing for The Insider at The Washington Post.  Well deserved.  Anyway, the Q&A got like 80 comments in the first hour.  If you’re a Cowboys fan, just skip it.

• Jay Ratliff won’t play tonight.  Jason Witten is doubtful.  Those are two enormous losses for the Cowboys, assuming Witten won’t play.  Here’s the rest of the injury report:

Cowboys Giants
DT Jay Ratliff, ankle, OUT CB Prince Amukamara, ankle, OUT
S Matt Johnson, hammy, OUT DT Marvin Austin, back, OUT
TE Jason Witten, spleen, DOUBTFUL S Tyler Sash, suspended, OUT
S Danny McCray, neck, DOUBTFUL WR Hakeem Nicks, foot, QUESTIONABLE
CB Mike Jenkins, shoulder, QUESTIONABLE OLB Mathias Kiwanuka, groin, QUESTIONABLE
OLB Kyle Wilber, thumb, QUESTIONABLE LB Michael Boley, hammy, QUESTIONABLE
WR Andre Holmes, knee, QUESTIONABLE OT Will Beatty, back, QUESTIONABLE
RB DeMarco Murray, wrist, PROBABLE CB Jayron Hosley, toe, QUESTIONABLE
WR Dez Bryant, knee, PROBABLE DE Adrian Tracy, hammy, QUESTIONABLE
WR Miles Austin, hammy, PROBABLE RB Da’Rel Scott. Knee, QUESTIONABLE
ILB Dan Connor, hip, PROBABLE RB Ahmad Bradshaw, hand, PROBABLE
RB DeMarcus Ware, hammy, PROBABLE  
RB Phillip Tanner, hand, PROBABLE

• Pete Prisco of CBS did his All NFC East team. I mostly agree with his picks, although I’m not sure how David Baas made his list.  If you’re a regular follower of my site, you already know my feelings on most of these players below (hence, no quick blurb on each player), so in the interest of avoiding redundancy we’ll leave the blurbs out, but we can certainly discuss them further in the comment section:

Offense Defense
QB: Eli Manning, Giants DE: Jason Pierre-Paul, Giants
RB: LeSean McCoy, Eagles DT: Jay Ratliff, Cowboys
WR: Hakeem Nicks, Giants DT: Linval Joseph, Giants
WR: Victor Cruz, Giants DE: Trent Cole, Eagles
TE: Jason Witten, Cowboys OLB: DeMarcus Ware, Cowboys
TE: Fred Davis, Redskins MLB: Sean Lee, Cowboys
LT: Trent Williams, Redskins OLB: Brian Orakpo, Redskins
LG: Evan Mathis, Eagles CB: Corey Webster, Giants
C: Jason Kelce, Eagles S: Kenny Phillips, Giants
RG: Chris Snee, Giants S: Nate Allen, Eagles
RT: Todd Herremans, Eagles CB: Brandon Carr, Cowboys

• I’m curious what the Redskins and Eagles fans think about the game tonight, both from a rooting perspective, and who they want to win.  If you don’t mind Giants and Cowboys fans, could you please stay out of the following polls?

If you’re a Redskins or Eagles fan who are you rooting for tonight?

If you’re a Redskins or Eagles fan who do you think will win tonight?

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  1. DerfDiggy says:

    *gets my popcorn ready*

    Quite a few wrong people that voted.

    1. Mike G. in CT says:

      Myself included Mr. Diggy.

      1. Derf Diggy says:

        Much Respect…..

  2. Juz Saying says:

    Giants have kicked The Boys tail 41times but The Cowboys have Kicked there Candy A 54 times

  3. Roger Newkirk says:

    If only both teams could lose, Jimmy!

  4. Jake says:

    Don’t get me wrong because I like the guy and he seems very down-to-earth and all, but aren’t we horrendously overvaluing Cruz after 1 season?

    Nicks I can see, but if you starting a team would you really pick Cruz over DJax, Maclin, Dez or even Miles Austin? I sure wouldn’t.

  5. DerfDiggy says:

    and also, small typo…The last 3 years for playoff wins…regarding Cowboys/Eagles.

  6. Derf Diggy says:

    Damnit…That was supposed to be a reply to Mike G in CT.

  7. Derf Diggy says:

    LMAO @ a “two horse race for the next few years”.

    Really? is that what a 1 game difference in the division gets you? I’ll give you the Giants/Eagles are better on paper(and the field) vs. the Boys in recent years, but every team in the NFC east has a troublesome OL, and gaps in various parts of their defense. The team that’s usually 2-4 games in last place, beat the SB champions…twice last year. With Rex Grossman and whoever the hell else they trotted out there.

    You’re giving credit to the birds, because you’re a fan. You’re giving credit to the Giants, because they’ve proven themselves on the field. You hate the other two teams that have basically accomplished the same as the Eagles in recent years….I, the Boys have more playoff victories in the last 5 years than the Eagles.

    1 NFC east team made the playoffs last year, that team won the SB.

    New season, lots of football to be played. Let’s see how it plays out before damning the long term futures of teams we hate.

    1. Mike G. in CT says:

      I’m not damning futures because I hate them – the evidence is there – mismanagement and roster building practices by Dan Snyder and Jerry Jones have hampered the success of their franchises for years. I’ll give you credit where it’s due – in recent years the Boys have been closer to the Birds. But the point about team building, given the current state of their rosters still stands. The cowboys have no line depth and have not had continuity in that position. By season’s end and in a draft or two that could change drastically, however the approach to building the roster that Jones has employed has prevented that sense of continuity. I am making these arguments separate from the fact that I root like crazy against the cowboys. I don’t hate the redskins by the way (mom’s a DC native, can’t hate them)- mostly just feel bad for them, but in no way have they accomplished similar things, under the ownership of Dan Snyder, to the Eagles, Boys, and especially the Giants.

      As you have said lots of football needs to be played, but my sense is that unless a paradigm shift arises in the approaches of the Redskins and Cowboys, their chances for success in the long term will be reduced. By contrast, as you said, the Giants have proven it, and the Eagles have had the longest run of success in the history of the franchise under their current leadership – I”ll yield that some serious proving needs to be done this year, but there are pieces in place to do just that. Therefore, I don’t really think it’s a reach to say that given past evidence and the current state of the teams, the division is a really up for grabs between two teams. I hope I am wrong and that the other teams surprise – RGIII could be the start of something pretty special in DC, and the Boys have begun to fill roster gaps on the defensive side of the ball. Starting tonight we get to find out, that’s the best part.

      1. Derf Diggy says:

        Fear The Star…

  8. rabbit says:

    Since it’s still theoretically possible that a game can end in a tie,I wont have too root for either team.

  9. NYG_slater says:

    *Warning* long post ahead.

    Obviously I hope the giants win, but i think the game will be very close. Overall, I think the giants have a slight edge, but nothing comfortable. You mentioned most of the key matchups in your previous post, ill just add some of my thoughts:

    In order for Dallas to win, they’ll NEED to win two matchups. First, is DeMarco Murray vs Giants Defensive Line. The cowboys NEED to have significant production from Murray in the run game AND passing game, screens, flares etc… just to have a chance, if they cannot establish a way to safely manufacture yards in the short and intermediate game…. its over, they’ll lose. A target for Murray would be 100 rushing yards and 6+ receptions for 40 passing yards. This is even more critical if they don’t have Witten. Dallas used two TE sets in 53% of all plays and Jason led them in receptions and receiving yards. Murray needs to pick up the slack here.

    Secondly, Ware is going to need to generate turnovers via sack fumbles, or turnovers via pressure forcing interceptions. Obviously, he can do both, but he needs to do more than just get sacks and pressure. Without additional offensive opportunities in good field position, I don’t think the cowboys can win.

    As for the giants, I think they’ll win if they can force a draw in the previous matchups OR accomplish one of the following:

    First, if the giants establish a run game through Bradshaw or Wilson, it’s over. The ability to make big play is always a real threat in this offense. But If they can produce a run game to bridge 3rd and short they’ll win. As a giants fan, I’d rather be in 3rd and medium than 3rd and short, mainly because of Eli and Cruz. Also, one of my biggest gripes is Gilbride will ALWAYS try to establish an uber conventional running game in the first half and wait till halftime to make adjustments. Sometimes, I wish he’d just rely on Eli, our RBs, and Hynoski a bit more in the short passing game (think GB and NE). I don’t know if Gilbride thinks something magical can occur and the giants will suddenly revert back to their 2008 running juggernaut ways, but I haven’t seen him open with a game plan that doesn’t feature a straight vanilla/conventional running attack. I would love to see him take a page from Andy Reid here and mix in more screens, flares and wheel routes. In Gilbrides defense, he seemed to mix in more flares during our playoff run last year, but I would love to this more often. Hynoski can be a real threat here. Sadly, even with all our explosive offensive weapons, I feel the cowboys can keep the game close, or have the lead, in the first half if they can stop a conventional style running game. This will be tougher without Ratliff, but our offensive line is pretty putrid in run blocking.

    Secondly, the giants will win if they eliminate quick scoring drives for Dallas. I will be very surprised if Dallas can sustain scoring drives of over 12+ plays a series. It just leaves too many opportunities for JPP, Tuck, and Osi to impact the game– its just playing with fire.

    I could add a few more things, but I’m already well past TLDR territory.

    Thank god football is back. Hopefully neither team suffers serious injuries tonight.

  10. ct17 says:

    Good luck to everyone this year. Hope we have a season of competitive play. And let us all be thankful we are in the NFC East and not some pitiful division out west. Seriously, there is a reason the Cardinals were let go.

  11. Mike G. in CT says:

    In all seriousness though, the Cowboys offensive line is too new to hold it together against the Giants. Later in the season they might have a chance once they’ve played together for a bit, but certainly not this week. Giants easily, although Dallas could surprise if their running game is effective. O-line will probably need time for that too, but you’d expect run blocking to be further along than pass protection at this point.

    1. David_Does_Dallas says:

      Ouch. Not much faith in the Boys around these parts.

      1. David_Does_Dallas says:

        That wasn’t suppose to be a reply to your comment.

        1. Mike G. in CT says:

          It’s accurate that I don’t have much faith in the cowboys – they simply haven’t built themselves for long runs of success the way the Eagles and Giants have. The Eagles and Giants both load up on lineman (Giants less so on offensive line, but I’d be their upcoming draft will be focused there ) and then build in skill position players. Neither team is perfect, but they have been able to keep a solid foundation from the inside out. The cowboys got Tyron Smith, but not a whole lot else in recent years for their lines. Nor have they done the most important thing, which is to build consistency along the lines so the units can work in concert. Eagles have learned this the hard way, most recently after we lost Tra Thomas and John Runyan. The talent at the top for Dallas is awesome – Ware is in every discussion for best players in the NFL period, but who is his backup? I believe Jimmy harps on the ‘Boys’ depth all the time. My personal biases aside (love the Birds, Dallas, ahem, not so much – “someone” taught my 20-month old daughter to boo whenever she sees the Cowboys’ star or hears their team name), the division is better when it’s more competitive, but the team building practices of Dallas and Washington basically have left it a two-horse race for the next few years at least.

          1. David_Does_Dallas says:

            Good thing you put your personal biases aside there….. anyways, that post was not meant as a reply to you.

            1. Mike G. in CT says:

              well I mentioned my biases, even though they might be obvious, but I was trying to offer an opinion based on what seems to be a pattern in the way the NFCE teams are run. And sorry I missed the non-reply thing – hectic day in the chemistry lab and my wife may have to be induced in labor. That would be what caused any biased/snarky-type language.

              1. David_Does_Dallas says:

                No worries. Hope everything goes well, my wife is 6 months pregnant herself.

  12. ubrab says:

    Not C. Jenkins above Joseph in your team?

    Insider comments are hilarious, they are similar every year, all predicting 9-7/10-6 all over again.

  13. Mike G. in CT says:

    Also, wouldn’t the crater improve the scenery and property value in East Rutherford?

  14. Mike G. in CT says:

    I am rooting for the meteor. Word has it it’s faster than Desean Jackson and hits just a smidge harder than Dawk ever did.

    1. brisulph says:

      classy… wishing for tens of thousands to die.

      1. Mike G. in CT says:

        joke in bad taste on a worse day, apologies

  15. poolboy87 says:

    One thing to point out on the Jason Witten injury. He was listed as doubtful BEFORE getting his CT scan that would determine whether or not he was cleared to play yesterday. The Cowboys did not update their injury report post scan, and Jason Witten traveled with the team to New York. The fourth TE that the Cowboys signed? He’s still in Dallas…or wherever, about to be cut in favor of a PS RB.

    Not saying that Witten is going to play, just don’t think we can glean pretty much anything from his injury report status. The Cowboys know right now whether or not he’ll play.

  16. Tyler D says:

    There are a couple of guys Prisco picked that I was kind of like WTF? Bass, Nate Alen and and Carr. Carr hasn’t played a down in the the NFC East and no disrespect but I think there is a huge diffrence between playing in the AFC West look at Nnamdi. Did I miss something last year becasue Nate Allen was average last year at best. And Bass I love my Giants but come on, nobody on the Giants O-line should be all NFC East even Snee based on last year.

    1. Troy O says:

      He may be taking into account that Snee played with injury .. So its not the norm.

  17. RedskinsFan says:

    4 guys in my office, two are Redskins fans (although one is tepid, he’s more into College Football (Virginia Tech), the other is me), a Lions fan, and a Browns fan.

    It’s unanimous as to who will win, and the aggregate score is something like 30-14. There is ZERO confidence in the Cowboys in these parts.

    No ballot box stuffing required.

  18. AJ says:

    I find it funny how most people think the Giants will win, but the majority is rooting for the cowboys. I can’t stand either team, but you can always count on the cowboys to stumble late in the season. So, I hope they take it tonight. Plus it would be great if the giants were the team to mess up the SB winners’ winning streak.

  19. Tracer Bullet says:

    I need Option C: Meteor

  20. DerfDiggy says:

    Die hard Redskins fan here in MD, JimmyK….HTTR and all that jazz…CowGIRLS(tee hee!) are winning, and winning big!

  21. Steve says:

    More than that now!

  22. NYG_slater says:

    lol David baas? I’m 99% certain prisco didn’t know who to pick a safety so he compared salaries and went with the guy being paid the most.

    1. NYG_slater says:

      argh….*didnt know who to pick at CENTER*……i think i’m losing it.

    2. NYG_slater says:

      and jimmy…Do you agree with Babin over cole or tuck for prisco’s nfc east team? I’d take cole every time and tuck when healthy.

      I’m actually a little surprised babin hasn’t become a situational pass rusher for the eagles. He’s the type of player that doesn’t need a ton of snaps to be productive. I think you would play to his strengths without sacrificing much production.

      1. The Reddgie says:

        “I’m actually a little surprised babin hasn’t become a situational pass rusher for the eagles”

        You’re just ahead of the curve, he probably will be by the end of the season, especially if Graham can continue his development. BG is better at playing the run anyway, which suits him better to playing early downs.

  23. Frencheagles says:

    It’s like last SB… So hard to root for any team. But I still have more respect for the Giants, so I’ll root for them. And I think they’ll win.

  24. Common Sense says:

    Iam going with the underdog.

  25. Holy crap… 35-1 Giants so far in the “Who do you think will win?” poll.

    1. Brian says:

      If that was the case about an hour ago, I think one or two people here are stuffing the ballet box. The Cowboys got 49 votes in an hour, and the Giants got… 2?

      1. I was referring to the second poll.

  26. Good to know anytime I need a good laugh I can go to the Insider comment section. There some decently well thought out posts but a lot of Kool Aid drinkers.

  27. KJ Brophy says:

    I think the Giants win as well, I am also not rooting for either team. I will never root for the Giants, Cowboys, or Redskins unless it benefits the Eagles

    1. deg0ey says:

      You could possibly argue that a win for one of these teams is more likely to be of benefit for the Eagles…but I agree with you – I don’t really care who wins, I just want to see both teams looking terrible before eventually going 7-9 🙂

  28. Imp says:

    I pretty sure Giants are going to win. As for who I *want* to win? Eh… I can’t bring myself to root for either of these two teams. I’m rooting for a 20-20 tie, where nobody looks good.

    1. Brian says:

      Root for the worse team: the Cowboys.

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