Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Breakfast links: Cowboys banged up on D
By Dan Graziano
Tuesday links are in the over and will be ready in 3... 2...
New York Giants
The Giants Tough Guy of the Week Award goes to cornerback Justin Tryon, who apparently broke his arm in the first half of Sunday's game, broke it even more tackling Reggie Bush to prevent a fourth-quarter punt return and is out for the year now after surgery to repair the break Monday. Tryon tweeted the X-rays of his arm pre-surgery. Not for the squeamish.
While the Giants have slugged their way to a 5-2 start, there are underlying issues, not the least of which so far are their inability to run the ball on offense or stop the run on defense, as Mike Mazzeo writes.
We heard a lot after Sunday night's game about how much better the Eagles were playing on defense now that they've spent some time in Juan Castillo's scheme. But Sheil Kapadia writes that it goes deeper than that -- that the increased comfort level of the players is allowing Castillo to add more wrinkles to the defense that should benefit it going forward by allowing it to do more to confuse offenses.
As for the offense, the biggest thing the Eagles have going for them right now is the emergence of LeSean McCoy as one of the best running backs in the league, and the wisdom the coaching staff has shown in deciding to take advantage of McCoy's blossoming and unique abilities.
Monday might have been a worse day for the Cowboys' defense than Sunday was, as the news on a couple of key players came back negative. Inside linebacker Sean Lee has a dislocated left wrist and doesn't know whether or not he'll be able to play Sunday against the Seahawks. Cornerback Mike Jenkins is saying his hamstring injury could cost him 3-to-4 weeks. And to top it all off, punter Mat McBriar has a serious injury to his non-kicking foot that forced him out of Sunday's game and could cost him more time. All serious problems, but Lee's may be the biggest. He and DeMarcus Ware have been the Cowboys' best defensive players this season, and they looked lost without him Sunday night in Philadelphia.
Jean-Jacques Taylor suggests that defensive coordinator Rob Ryan should tone down his act until such time as the Cowboys are once again "an upper-echelon team." I guess that's a worthwhile point of view, but I feel like I've read it before about Rob's brother, Rex, and I just don't think there's much point in hoping for it. These guys are going to do it their way, and if the teams for which they're working don't like it, the Ryan brothers' attitude that is, they're welcome to find somebody else. They both believe themselves to be great at what they do and they're confident enough that they're not going to change the outward manifestations of their personalities just because they stand out from the staid, establishment NFL crowd.
Lots of people tweeted at me Monday asking about the job status of Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. Here it is in a nutshell: His father is the head coach. And while Mike Wise makes some interesting points (with the help of Bobby Bowden) on the pitfalls of hiring your son to be your offensive coordinator, facts are facts. It's a stone-cold waste of time for anybody right now to wish or wonder about Kyle Shanahan losing his job. Besides, this isn't a coordinator problem, folks. This guy's out of players, and probably didn't have enough good ones to begin with.
The Redskins have apparently decided to replace injured running back Tim Hightower with former Cowboys running back Tashard Choice. Dallas cut Choice over the weekend due to shoulder and leg injuries and their insistence on continuing to carry two kickers once it came time to activate rookie linebacker Bruce Carter. If he can get healthy, Choice should soon find himself part of a weird, unpredictable running back committee with Ryan Torain and Roy Helu in Washington.