NFC East: Chad Ocho Cinco

Who's in charge of the Dallas Cowboys?

September, 17, 2010
9/17/10
8:59
AM ET
In his weekly column for ESPNDallas.com, Ed Werder takes a look at the division of power between head coach Wade Phillips and offensive coordinator Jason Garrett. Both men have taken blame for what happened at the end of the first half against the Skins. Here's an excerpt from Werder's column regarding the now infamous play call:
"It was inexcusable that Phillips was not mentally into the game on the final play of the half, as though he -- like Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco -- had left the sideline and gone to the locker room prematurely. And Garrett called a play that had zero chance of succeeding when he asked [Tony] Romo to take a snap from the Cowboys' 36 and throw a Hail Mary into the far end zone.

"The sequence of events has created the question of exactly who is in charge of what, and the various inquiries have served only to reveal what some have described as a systemic issue the Cowboys will never overcome: The possibility that Phillips and Garrett get along behind the scenes much like Romo and T.O. did."

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was asked about the Phillips-Garrett dynamic Thursday at Valley Ranch:

"It's not an issue," Jones said. "They have a real good relationship and on that we've done some very successful things because of [it] and it will continue between them. As far as it affects our team, I don't think it will be an issue."

Jones also went out of his way to remind everyone that Phillips has "veto" power over Garrett and he can use it at any time. Phillips and Garrett were spotted talking and making extended eye contact before practice Thursday, according to ESPNDallas.com.

A Giant entry

April, 10, 2009
4/10/09
5:04
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

After talking to a New York Giants official this morning, here's how I would handicap the club's interest in the following trade scenarios:

1. Anquan Boldin

2. Braylon Edwards

3. Chad Ocho Cinco

Here's what he said when I asked about Ocho Cinco: "I know his name has come up, but that seems like a stretch to me. Edwards and Boldin are pretty much in a dead heat."

Podcast: Westbrook would welcome Ocho Cinco

April, 8, 2009
4/08/09
2:57
PM ET
Eagles running back Brian Westbrook says he would welcome Chad Ocho Cinco to the Eagles. Westbrook says the players and coaches know how to handle someone who is a little more high-maintenance.

Who will be the Giants' No. 1 WR in '09?

April, 7, 2009
4/07/09
4:30
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

ESPN.com's John Clayton takes time out of his busy schedule each week to answer dozens of e-mails from adoring readers and stalkers. In wading through The Professor's Mailbag today, I ran across an interesting theory on what the Giants will do to replace vanquished wide receiver Plaxico Burress.

Q: I'm a Giants fan and I'm kind of worried at their WR situation without Plaxico Burress. Who do you see in a Big Blue uniform -- Chad Ocho Cinco, Anquan Boldin or Braylon Edwards?

George in New York

The Prof: I would put them in this order: Edwards, Ocho Cinco and Boldin. I think Edwards can be had for a first- and third-round pick. It's debatable whether the Bengals will trade Ocho Cinco, but he might have the lowest price. I think Cardinals' ownership will block a Boldin move even though I think it's time to consider trading him. He's at maximum value and he's not ever going to make as much as Larry Fitzgerald as long as he's in Arizona.

Peppers says he wants to play for Cowboys

March, 17, 2009
3/17/09
4:54
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

  Peppers

No matter how dysfunctional their locker room may or may not be, the Cowboys are still one of the most popular destinations for players in search of big paydays. Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis tried to use the Cowboys as leverage heading into free agency, but the feeling was never mutual. Now, Julius Peppers has become the latest star to say he wants to join the Cowboys.

He wants to play outside linebacker for a 3-4 team, which makes the Cowboys a good fit in one way. The problem for Peppers is that Dallas is preparing to make DeMarcus Ware the highest-paid defensive player in the league. Ware and Peppers would certainly become the most formidable pass-rushing duo in the league, but it's not going to happen.

Last offseason it was Chad Ocho Cinco who wanted to join the Cowboys. I guess Peppers will be the biggest "potential" Cowboys of this offseason. But again, it's not going to happen.

Thursday Beastlines: Cowboys and Eagles

November, 13, 2008
11/13/08
10:44
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

The top stories in the NFC Beast are all right here:

Cowboys

Eagles

Rapid Reaction: Cowboys 31, Bengals 22

October, 5, 2008
10/05/08
9:12
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

If the Cowboys truly want to be considered an elite team, it's not simply about winning and losing. After taking a 17-0 lead over the Bengals, the Cowboys let them back in the game.

The Bengals were a two-point conversion away from tying it at 24 in the fourth quarter. With the win, the Cowboys moved to 4-1 on the season to keep pace with the surging Redskins. The Giants are the division's only unbeaten team at 4-0.

A week after being criticized for not running the ball in a loss to the Redskins, the Cowboys ran it 38 times against the Bengals. Rookie Felix Jones had nine carries for 96 yards, including a sensational 33-yard touchdown run.

Marion Barber did the heavy lifting with 23 carries for 84 yards. The Cowboys, though, were not in a celebratory mood. This isn't a team that's allowed to be satisfied with relatively narrow wins over bad teams. I'm told that Phillips had a run-in with a Fort Worth columnist after the game, so I'll try to track that story down for you.

Chad Ocho Cinco had threatened to kiss the Cowboys star at midfield if he scored a touchdown, but he was a non-factor for much of the day. T.J. Houshmandzadeh led the Bengals with seven catches for 85 yards and a couple of touchdowns.

Tony Romo threw for three touchdowns, but he also threw an interception in his eighth consecutive game. That's the longest streak in the league, but the most alarming part, is that it occurred when the game was still in doubt. A team like the Cowboys has to put the Bengals away. On Sunday, they weren't up to the task -- until late.

The Giants preparing for 'spirit' of Ocho Cinco

September, 17, 2008
9/17/08
1:42
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

I just received a transcript from Bengals coach Marvin Lewis' conference call with Giants reporters this morning. In attempting to praise wide receiver Chad Ocho Cinco for his new approach, Lewis ended up taking another swipe at him. Asked to comment on the controversial receiver's recent name change, Lewis responded:

"He is still Chad to me and it doesn't matter to me what name is on the back of his jersey, he is still Chad. That is what he is and it is good to have him back and not to worry about the other guy that was around here for the last two years. He has his spirit back and he feels good about things and that is good. He has kind of put some of the issues he was dealing with in his past behind him and that has been a good, refreshing experience in this season thus far compared to where we were the last two seasons."

How's that for a back-handed compliment? What's interesting is that coaches are often more candid when talking with reporters who cover other teams. It's like they let down their guard a little bit because of the different audience.

That said, Lewis hasn't shied away from being critical of Ocho Cinco (isn't this fun?). It's just a little curious that he would use a conference call with New York reporters to take another swipe.

And what does it mean to say a player has his "spirit" back? I think Ocho Cinco has looked like a clown at times, but it's probably unfair for Lewis to cryptically refer to his "issues."

All that does is make us want to know more about the player's state of mind.

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