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Friday, October 9, 2009
Final Word: NFC East



NFC Final Word: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley


Five nuggets of knowledge about Sunday’s games:

 
 John Rieger/US Presswire
 Todd Haley's familiarity with the Cowboys organization could give him an advantage.
Chiefs coach Todd Haley knows the Cowboys' personnel and would love to beat his former employer. Haley still has a lot of friends in the Cowboys organization, but he knows what a win could do for his credibility. Haley and general manager Scott Pioli have done a lot of interesting things to try to change the culture with the Chiefs, but winning is the only thing that will truly do the trick. I thought Haley and his defensive coordinator, Clancy Pendergast, put a tremendous game plan together to help the Cardinals beat the Cowboys in '08. Haley told me Thursday that he's watched that game on film twice this week. The Cowboys should win the game, but don't discount how important Haley's knowledge of the Dallas personnel will be in this game.

The Giants are going to beat the Raiders with or without Eli Manning. Who are we kidding? Coach Tom Coughlin's not going to let his team lose to a Tom Cable outfit. Steve Smith has been one of the best wide receivers in the league through four games -- and it will take more than the best cornerback in the game to slow him down. I talked to Justin Tuck on Thursday afternoon and he talked about how the Giants always seem to rally around injuries and other distractions. If Manning doesn't play, I think David Carr will be just fine. As long as he doesn't have any flashbacks of playing behind the Texans' offensive line, it shouldn't be much of a problem.

Can Jim Zorn find a way to lead his team to a win with all this turmoil going on? Dan Snyder and Vinny Cerrato have made an interesting move in bringing in offensive consultant Sherman Lewis to help right the offensive ship. What they've done is embarrass a good man in the process. Bully for offensive coordinator Sherman Smith for saying what was on his mind once Lewis was hired. This franchise is stumbling all over itself right now. Would anyone be surprised if they lost to the Panthers on Sunday? Didn't think so.

The Beast is headed to Philly to watch Donovan McNabb and Michael Vick on the same field: I'm eager to see how many snaps Eagles coach Andy Reid gives Vick in the shotgun. My best guess is eight or nine. And I think he'll see some snaps in the red zone. How will McNabb react? We're about to find out. If it's a blowout -- as I expect it to be -- then there won't be any problem. I think poor Josh Johnson's in for a long day. He'll be scrambling for his life -- and Eagles defensive end Trent Cole will have at least two sacks. Huge day coming for Brent Celek. Write that one down, folks. Clip and save.

Could Wade Phillips' job be in jeopardy if the Cowboys lose at Arrowhead? Jerry Jones has never fired a coach during the season, but this would be a huge embarrassment. Jones said Friday that Phillips' job would not be in jeopardy if he lost to the Chiefs, but let's wait and see what happens. One of the problems is that you really don't have an interim guy who could handle things. It's not like Jason Garrett is inspiring a ton of confidence right now. I guess former head coach Dave Campo might get the nod -- and Garrett could remain as offensive coordinator. Have a head coach, defensive coordinator and offensive coordinator ever been fired at the same time during a season? I'll try to look that up for you guys. Have a tremendous weekend.