- Dan Graziano, ESPN Staff Writer
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New York Giants
The Giants are viewing Monday night's game against the Redskins as a chance to "create separation" in the NFC East, and indeed that's what it is. A victory would put them three games ahead of Washington with four to play (and give them the head-to-head tiebreaker) and either two or three ahead of Dallas, depending on what happens Sunday night in the Cowboys-Eagles game. The Giants haven't been the best at creating separation in recent years when they've had chances to do so. Could this year be different?
Antrel Rolle has said more than once he prefers to stay at safety, but the nice thing about Rolle is that he's not going to complain if the team wants to move him around. He played a bunch of cornerback, actually, in Sunday night's victory over the Packers, and he says he likes winning more than playing safety, which is music to the coaches' ears.
Pierre Garcon still has pain in his foot, but he's determined to make it through the whole season in spite of it. I'd say the way Garcon played on Thanksgiving, after only three days off following the Eagles game, indicates that he's got a chance.
The old saying about closing the barn door after the horse gets out may apply here, but Redskins left tackle Trent Williams is planning to wear thigh pads for Monday night's game. The good thing for Washington is that Williams will be healthy enough to play at all, after he bruised that thigh on Thanksgiving.
I have long been a proponent of the idea that there's value in sticking to the run game even when it's not working, and I've written as much about this year's Cowboys. But Tim MacMahon makes the interesting point that this might not apply when the offensive line is as wrecked as Dallas' line is, and that if they can't find success running the ball once DeMarco Murray comes back, they might be better off just giving up and throwing. Murray did return to practice Wednesday.
Vince Agnew appears to be the guy who'll take over for the injured Orlando Scandrick as the Cowboys' slot cornerback, mainly because of the wealth of experience he has playing the position.
This Jeff McLane notebook reports that defensive line coach Jim Washburn wasn't happy with the release of Jason Babin (who was claimed by the Jaguars on Wednesday night, by the way) and that Evan Mathis is a candidate to play center if Dallas Reynolds can't play Sunday. In that scenario, Danny Watkins could be the left guard.
2010 first-round pick Brandon Graham, who has played very well in limited action, is in line to replace Babin as a starting defensive end.