- Dan Graziano, ESPN Staff Writer
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It's Thursday of a rivalry week here in the NFC East, and with mere days left until Cowboys-Redskins and Eagles-Giants, I can think of no better way to prepare than with a hot, steaming plate of links.
It sounds as though the experience that Victor Cruz and Chris Canty had while at a New York City nightclub where a fatal shooting took place the other night was fairly harrowing. They're both fine and neither was involved in the problem, but Cruz at least got a bit of a talking-to from Tom Coughlin about the whole thing. Nothing good ever happens at 2:30 in the morning, was the message from coach to player.
If you're a Giants fan and you were planning to boo Steve Smith when he returned with the Eagles on Sunday night... well, he gave you another reason or two. Man says he'd rather have the extra guaranteed money he got from the Eagles than have been back with the Giants.
John Clayton's expecting Tony Romo and the Cowboys to navigate the odd upcoming portion of their schedule (which includes next week's annual Thanksgiving home game) somewhat expertly, in part because the veterans on the team are so used to it. The quality of their opponents over the next three weeks could help with that as well, though Sunday's is a rivalry game, and those are never to be taken lightly.
Clarence Hill says the impending return of Felix Jones as DeMarco Murray's backup, the emergence of fullback Tony Fiammetta and the overall improvement of the offensive line as a run-blocking unit make it more important than ever that the Cowboys prioritize the run game in their offense. I don't have much to add. He's 100 percent correct.
Bob Ford takes an insightful look at the DeSean Jackson situation, concluding that while Jackson may have a point and the team should have prevented this from becoming this much of a problem when they had a chance, Jackson needs to understand that the team is in no mood right now to address his contract to his satisfaction.
There's also some dispute in the Philadelphia media about the point during Sunday's game at which Michael Vick actually broke his ribs. Andy Reid says second play of the game. The professional skeptics whose job it is to question everything the coach says are doing their jobs. I just wish the doubt didn't seem to be based on something LeSean McCoy said offhand in a postgame interview. But these are the kinds of things that happen when you were picked to finish first and you're 3-6. I'll bet the 2010 Cowboys could tell them some stories.
Rex Grossman didn't learn he was starting last Sunday's game until Saturday, which he says was fine since he was ready anyway and wishes he could go back to the Week 5 loss to the Eagles, do things differently and not have lost the job to John Beck in the first place. But if wishes were horses, then beggars would ride, and if turnips were watches I'd wear one by my side.
Jason Reid says Redskins GM Bruce Allen needs to take more of a significant role in player-personnel matters whether Mike Shanahan likes it or not. I don't know this for a fact, but I'm pretty sure that wasn't the deal when Shanahan signed on for his five-year contract. Impatience seems rampant in Washington, and Shanahan has three more years after this one. Just because he didn't get a quarterback for this year doesn't mean he won't or can't figure out a way to get one for next year.