- Dan Graziano, ESPN Staff Writer
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It's the last Twitter mailbag of 2012, and I hope you're enjoying this new format as much as I am. Seems to really work a lot better. You can send questions at any time of the week just by tweeting them with the hashtag #nfceastmail. You don't even have to tweet the question to me. Just put the hashtag on, and I'll see it. For example ...
@TY_Ortega: how do you expect the #Cowboys to defend RGIII this weekend? Send pressure?
@ESPN_NFCEast: I think the Dallas Cowboys will be careful and judicious about the extent to which they pressure Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III on Sunday night in the NFC East title game, and for a couple of reasons. First, the Cowboys' top pass-rusher, DeMarcus Ware, is playing in spite of significant elbow and shoulder injuries, and defensive coordinator Rob Ryan has already said they'd have to pick their spots in terms of when to use him. Second, Griffin was 6-for-7 for 131 yards and two touchdowns when facing five or more pass-rushers in his Thanksgiving Day victory over the Cowboys and has the highest Total QBR in the league (97.7) in such situations this year. So I wouldn't expect much blitzing, and I think if the Cowboys learned anything from Thanksgiving it's that they have to be careful about when and where they send that pressure.
@JMurphy312: in 2 yrs fewell's defenses have finished 27 and 30 overall. Is he in jeopardy?
@ESPN_NFCEast: Perry Fewell was the New York Giants' defensive coordinator when they won the Super Bowl last year, so the question becomes, "How much rope does that buy him?" The Giants and head coach Tom Coughlin are fond of Fewell, who's regarded around the league as a good coach and has, in recent years, come up as a head-coaching candidate in a few places. But the numbers are what they are, and no, I don't think Fewell is completely safe if the Giants don't pull okf a miracle and make it into the playoffs and make another run. Coughlin changed defensive coordinators after the disappointing finish to the 2009 season, and if it's determined that Fewell's inability to adjust to what opposing offenses are doing was part of the reason the defense flopped, he could be on the hot seat. I still think they need help at linebacker, and that Kenny Phillips being hurt all year has had more of an impact than some people realize. But if you asked me which Giants coach should be the least comfortable right now, Fewell is the guy I'd name.
@kevinsubramania: Does Michael Vick stay if Chip Kelly comes to Philly as coach?
@ESPN_NFCEast: Kelly's is the name being kicked around the most as the replacement for Andy Reid as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, and I expect the team to pursue him. There's a theory taking shape that Kelly might want to keep Vick, who some think is suited to run the kind of high-speed offense Kelly runs at the University of Oregon. But first of all, I think it's a mistake to assume that Kelly, who has a nimble coaching mind, would just transplant his system from college to the pros, where opposing defenses have considerably more speed than they do in the Pac-12. And more importantly, the Vick issue is a fiscal one for the Eagles. Even if Vick were to stay and compete with Nick Foles for the starting quarterback job in camp, the Eagles would want him to renegotiate a contract that would pay him a base salary of $15.5 million next season. Word is, Vick doesn't want to do that, so the Eagles are likely to cut him in early February and look at other options -- no matter who the coach is.
@ESPN_NFCEast: I know they like Meriweather as a guy who fits what they like to do on defense. They believe they saw a flash of what he could bring in the one game he did play, and assuming he comes back healthy I'd say he's a strong candidate to return at that strong safety spot for Washington next year. They like him in run support and in blitz packages more than in coverage, but he fits a role for sure. Jackson's suspension won't be up until after training camp, at the earliest, and they're going to have to make their 2013 plans without him.
Thanks for the questions. Back next week with more. Enjoy the weekend.