- Dan Graziano, ESPN Staff Writer
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Pretty special weekend of NFL football, was it not? See, you guys don't ever want to believe me, but you really can have fun watching games when you don't care who wins. Anyway, to the business at hand. The Cowboys have tinkered with their coaching staff, the Eagles can't seem to get theirs started, the Redskins begin an offseason of fretting over their franchise player and the Giants (as is their offseason m.o.) are making no noise whatsoever. All this and more in your Monday links.
There was a little flare-up at the end of the week about the players' union possibly investigating the Redskins' handling of Robert Griffin III and his injury in their final game, but the NFLPA declined to pursue it. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said over the weekend that the league is satisfied that the Redskins' decision to keep Griffin in the game was cleared with doctors, and so that's that. Also stuff in there about the much-maligned FedEx Field turf and Washington's chances to host a Super Bowl. These last two are addressed independently of each other, but I have to believe they are connected.
Everybody handled themselves well in the wake of the incident, but Redskins left tackle Trent Williams was still fined $7,875 for shoving Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman in the face during a postgame altercation last Sunday night. For some reason, it is noted in that story that Sherman was not fined. There is apparently no rule against being shoved in the face by another player.
New York Giants
Again, real tough to find Giants links these days, so here's Ohm's salary-cap breakdown from Friday, in case you hadn't seen that already. Takes you through some names of players who might be cap casualties or asked to restructure their deals. The relatively low base salaries of Ahmad Bradshaw and Justin Tuck make me think the talk of them not being on next year's team was premature, but I wouldn't feel comfortable if I were Corey Webster or David Diehl.
Also, since we linked to the others, here's the final installment in ESPNewYork.com's "Five Giant Issues" series -- a look at the 2012 performance of Eli Manning. Consistently brilliant in 2011, mortal in 2012. May have been the biggest difference of all between this year's 9-7 team and last year's.
Anthony Spencer is making it clear he'd be fine with playing defensive end in a 4-3 scheme, which the Cowboys will now be playing under new defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin. And I think he's right. I actually think you can make the case that he'd transition better than DeMarcus Ware will, given his size. The issue with Spencer is whether the Cowboys can afford to keep him, given that they project about $18.2 million over the salary cap right now.
Clarence Hill wrote that Kiffin's performance could determine the long-term viability of Jason Garrett as the Cowboys' head coach. I think he's right, obviously, and I'm not buying that Garrett had no input in the hire. Rob Ryan wasn't his top choice two years ago, the Cowboys weren't the only team interested in Kiffin this offseason and the switch to a 4-3 likely has as much to do with salary-cap concerns as it does with anything else. They have some young, cheap potential solutions in some key spots.
As a third college candidate, Notre Dame's Brian Kelly, told the Eagles thanks-but-no-thanks over the weekend and decided to stay in school, the Eagles remain in need of a head coach. As Les Bowen writes, the way their search has gone so far leaves us few clues as to what they're looking for or with whom they'll end up.
CSNPhilly.com reported Sunday that former Ravens coach Brian Billick, who won a Super Bowl title while coaching Baltimore 12 years ago, has been interviewed and is among the leading candidates for the job. Interesting, as we haven't heard Billick's name very much as a candidate in the five years since he was fired by the Ravens. I have said before that I don't see the Eagles luring any of the usual-suspect Super Bowl champion coaches (Bill Cowher, Jon Gruden) out of their TV jobs, but Billick is a guy who seems eager for any chance he could get to prove he can coach in the league again.
Pretty special weekend of NFL football, was it not? See, you guys don't ever want to believe me, but you really can have fun watching games when you don't care who wins.