How I See It: NFC East Stock Watch



1. Alex Barron, Dallas Cowboys right tackle: OK, this is starting to feel like piling on, but then, how do you leave this man off the list? If he simply gets one punch on Redskins linebacker Brian Orakpo, there's a chance he could've knocked him off stride. Instead, he was beaten off the snap and had to put his arm around the linebacker's neck. In normal circumstances, you'd rather see an offensive tackle take a holding penalty if it means protecting your quarterback from a clean shot. But on the final play of a game, it's probably best to let Orakpo race on by and see if Romo can still make a play.

2. Jason Garrett, Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator: He took full responsibility for that clueless call at the end of the first half while talking to reporters Wednesday at Valley Ranch. On Monday, coach Wade Phillips had attempted to take the blame. But Jerry Jones' decision to pretty much let these men operate independently is going to cause problems from time to time, and you saw that in dramatic form Sunday night. Garrett also failed to stick with a running game that appeared to have some potential in Sunday's game. Just a really bad night for Garrett all the way around.

3. Kevin Kolb, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback: Even before he suffered a concussion, he just didn't play with a lot of confidence. This was supposed to be his big debut, but he was shaky from the start. And Michael Vick's nice relief effort is causing a quarterback controversy this week. I still think Kolb will be a decent starter in this league, but he didn't help himself in that first quarter at all. And it's not like coach Andy Reid put him in the best situations either.


1. Perry Fewell, New York Giants defensive coordinator: Someone give this man a raise. He's changed the mindset of this defense and the players have responded to him in a big way. Chris Canty looked like a beast at defensive tackle and the defensive ends had a big day. Mathias Kiwanuka may be coming off the bench, but he still managed two sacks. All this petty stuff that was happening last season and into the offseason seems to have vanished. I also love what Fewell's done with the back end of this defense.

2. Brian Orakpo, Washington Redskins outside linebacker: He grew up in Houston, Texas, hating the Cowboys and he made them pay with a dominating performance Sunday night. Drawing a holding penalty is just as good as a sack in a lot of coaches' minds, so Orakpo had a big night. He's just too strong for most offensive tackles to handle. And then he turns on the speed out of nowhere. In a division of elite pass-rushers, Orakpo's definitely on the rise.

3. LaRon Landry, Washington Redskins safety: We've spent the past couple years bashing Landry for his lack of coverage skills. But on Sunday night he finished with 17 tackles and he looked pretty solid in coverage. He was one of the most confident players on the field and he told me a lot of it had to do with being closer to the line of scrimmage. The days of him lining up 20 yards off the ball are over. Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett has done a nice job putting Landry in position to succeed.