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Friday, December 2, 2011
Breakfast links: Eagles hit bottom

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com

One game in the books already this week in the NFC East, and it has shaken up the standings. Well, not really. Just pushed the preseason favorite to the bottom, which is where you'll find them in Friday's links.

Dallas Cowboys (7-4)

Tim MacMahon thinks the Cowboys would be unwise to claim Donovan McNabb on waivers. It was one thing last week to claim Kyle Orton, a 29-year-old with experience in their system, because they're looking for a veteran backup for Tony Romo with Jon Kitna hurt. But as Tim points out, the last thing the Cowboys need as they gear up for a run at the division title and the playoffs is a circus atmosphere brought on by a backup quarterback who can't play anymore.

Jerry Jones is getting a different vibe from this year's team than he did from last year's. He says this year's team doesn't have "a bad case of that flu, which is the flu that we had last year, which said when the ball is snapped, something bad's going to happen." They seemed to be suffering the lingering effects of that flu in some fourth quarters earlier this season, but the mojo's been a lot more positive lately, for sure.

New York Giants (6-5)

Matt Ehalt writes that the Giants have gone four straight games without scoring a touchdown in the first half, which I find so inconceivable I had to go check it and risk making the links late. But it's true, and it's upsetting offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride. They haven't had one in the first quarter since the Buffalo game on Oct. 16.

If they do get a first-half touchdown Sunday against the Packers, it doesn't sound as though it'll come from Mario Manningham, whose status is in doubt and he thinks he might need to have surgery on his knee.

Washington Redskins (4-7)

Dan Daly doesn't think it'd necessarily be a bad idea for the Redskins to let LaRon Landry leave after this season is over. The way he plays -- and the way a strong safety of his talent is expected to play these days -- he's not going to suddenly find himself able to avoid all of the injuries that have held him back so far.

Rick Maese takes a look at the impact that outside linebackers Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan, and their ever-increasing comfort level, have had on the emergence this year of the Redskins' defense. This was the plan, of course, when the Redskins picked Kerrigan in the first round -- to key the defense around a couple of sack specialists on the outside.

Philadelphia Eagles (4-8)

DeSean Jackson's 25th birthday was not a happy one. He came up with four catches for 34 yards in the Eagles' loss to the Seahawks on Thursday night. Cameras followed him all over the field and the sidelines, chronicling a series of moves that led Jeff McLane to write that the talented wideout has "checked out mentally."

Evan Mathis says in this Rich Hofmann column that the Eagles "didn't give up." Mathis plays offense, and I actually think that, outside of maybe Jackson, this was the case. But the only way you can convince me that the Eagles' defense didn't give up on that game last night is if you convince me they weren't actually there. ESPN Stats & Information says the Eagles had eight or more defenders in the box on 17 of Marshawn Lynch's 22 attempts but that he nonetheless got 123 of his 174 rushing yards in those situations. Total system failure, folks.

We'll have more on the Eagles as the day goes along. They're the miserable blog gift that keeps on giving.