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November 22, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Dan Graziano

Dan Graziano
  (12:00 PM)

All righty. Chat time. Per the results of our weekly Twitter contest, the first question will be on the Washington Redskins. Someone please submit one.

Eric (Madison)

Is Jabar Gaffney legit, or was that a one game performance? It's amazing what happens when he actually holds on to the ball...

Dan Graziano
  (12:01 PM)

I think Gaffney is completely "legit," in that he's a viable NFL wide receiver, a veteran route-runner and a useful guy in an NFL offense. I don't think he gets 100-plus receiving yards a week, and I think the likelihood of that drops even more once Santana Moss gets back. But Gaffney and Grossman seem to have a nice veteran rapport.

Jake (New Jersey)

Can you PLEASE choose the Giants to lose in your predictions. I'm pretty sure the opposite has occurred every week with your predictions for the Giants except one (Rams).

Dan Graziano
  (12:02 PM)

I think you're right, Jake. But I still think it's the offensive line that's the issue, as opposed to my crummy predictions. Just a thought.

Craig (DC)

How much of a concern for the Cowboys are the suddenly hot Dolphins?

Dan Graziano
  (12:03 PM)

A big one! They've outscored their opponents something like 86-20 during their current three-game win streak, and while I believe those opponents have been the Chiefs, Redskins and Bills -- i.e., no one as good as the Cowboys -- that's an eye-opener. Matt Moore is playing very well at quarterback, Brandon Marshall is a very difficult receiver to cover, Reggie Bush is running well and the defense is getting into the opponents' backfield. The Cowboys should win, but they need to take this version of the Dolphins very seriously.

Godeecher (Brown Town)

What quarterback do the Redskins need to draft to fit into their system next season. RG3 or Barkley?

Dan Graziano
  (12:04 PM)

I think Barkley's the better player, but I have a feeling Griffin might fit the Redskins' system better. I wouldn't be surprised if they end up targeting him.

JW (DELAWARE)

The Eagles season aside, why hasnt Lesean Mccoy been mentioned in the MVP race? He's clearly the MVP of the team thus far and leads the league in rushing yards and touchdowns. ( i think) Anyway, does the Eagles overall disappointing season have anything to do with this?

Dan Graziano
  (12:05 PM)

Yeah, I think the only reason he's not in the MVP talk is that he plays on a 4-6 team. I mean, the second-place-behind-Aaron-Rodgers MVP talk, of course.

Z (Pierre, SD)

Dan-O,Watching Dallas play I feel like Jason Garrett still is having trouble being both a head coach and a play caller. Do you think if there are issues (Dallas not making the playoffs/winning a playoff game) the rest of the season Jerry might force Jason to bring someone in to help with play calling?

Dan Graziano
  (12:06 PM)

Jones has said many times he doesn't want to do that. It's completely reasonable to think that a coach in his first full season with both of those responsibilities would still be learning how to manage them. I think Jerry likes Garrett a lot and is enjoying watching him grow into the job.

Shut.Up.Phyllis (Work)

Dan,How do you feel after losing to my scrub team (Owen Wilson's Nose) in the Fantasy Football League?

Dan Graziano
  (12:06 PM)

I feel awful. Wes Welker was going to save me, I thought. What the hell?

CHRIS (LOS ANGELES)

How bout Rex last week? Do Skins fans realize how little talent he has around him? With no running game, a bad line, and maybe the worst receiving corps in the league, he was an Armstrong drop from a four TD day.

Dan Graziano
  (12:06 PM)

It's not a big surprise when Grossman plays well. Just like it's not a big surprise when he throws a bunch of interceptions. That's the story of his career.

mark (nyc)

Is a complete rework of the giants offensive line necessary? or just some conistency issues?

Dan Graziano
  (12:08 PM)

I don't know. We were talking about this in the press box late Sunday night. Diehl and McKenzie look kind of old, to me. I have no idea why Snee is having a bad year, but I imagine he's not going anywhere and will get a chance to rebound. Baas looks like a good player, though he's had some trouble staying healthy. And I'm not sold on Beatty, but he's still young and growing into it. My guess is they look at addressing left guard and hope the group jells.

Shu (The ATL)

Will you be here for a full hour or do you have that lunch thing in 30 minutes with your wife and sons again?

Dan Graziano
  (12:08 PM)

It was not 30 minutes. I cut out 10-15 minutes early that day. And I will be cutting this off at 12:45 today, but why is none of your business!

ASN (NY)

Are you relishing in an I told you so mode about the Giants now?

Dan Graziano
  (12:09 PM)

(a) The season is not over, and (b) I am not the I-told-you-so type. The Giants are what I believed they were, but have shown the ability to outplay the talent level of their roster. Don't give up on them yet.

Jake (Asgard)

What's up with the Eagles O-line? Vick gets battered all year while VY seems to go untouched in the pocket.

Dan Graziano
  (12:11 PM)

I think the line has played better than it's been given credit for, though I did think, just eyeballing it, that Sunday was one of their better pass-protection games. I think part of that may have been the Giants' D-line hanging back to guard against McCoy. Or maybe they just like Vince better than Mike!

CorgiCowboy (Greater DC Area)

Who's the better QB at this point in the season: Tony "Senor Novembre" Romo or Eli "Spaceship Helmet" Manning?

Dan Graziano
  (12:11 PM)

Cute nicknames aside, I'll have the All-Division Team out tomorrow morning as usual. You have to wait until then for my answer!

Eddie M (Dallas)

Who's to blame for Sunday Night's debacle for the Giants? Coaching? Players? How can a team not be amped to completely stick the final dagger in a team that ruined their own season last year? Perplexing to me.

Dan Graziano
  (12:11 PM)

I think the Eagles deserve at least some of the blame...

Courtney (Titletown Boston)

What is your opinion on Sunday night's Vince Young performance?Did he do enough to show anyone he should be a starter somewhere?

Dan Graziano
  (12:14 PM)

Looked like the same guy I remember from Tennessee -- erratic but somehow got it done in the end. I'm not sure what the market is for that, though.

underated??? (ny)

Hey dan. Last week you compared eli and romos number and said that they were pretty much the same. Yet Eli is having an MVP type year and romo is underachieving. What does that tell you about perception?

Dan Graziano
  (12:14 PM)

That it's not worth much. But to be fair, Romo has been directly responsible for two losses this year due to interceptions, and he's justifiably penalized for that by outside perception.

ASN (NY)

What was wrong with Giants D Sunday night? Letting the Eagles drive the ball like that is unacceptable - they can't always rely on Eli to work his magic.

Dan Graziano
  (12:15 PM)

I was surprised they didn't get more pressure on Young. It seemed they were focused on stopping McCoy, and they did (until that last run!), but why go away from your bread-and-butter if you're a pass-rush team?

Patrick (NYC)

Any thoughts on the players' stall tactics on HGH testing?

Dan Graziano
  (12:17 PM)

I have a lot of those, but I side with the players on this. They agreed, during negotiations, to submit to HGH testing once a reliable test could be established. They contend that it has not, so they will not submit to the testing until they believe it has. I think the league is trying to bully them into doing something they never agreed to do.

Gabe (Rockville)

Maybe it's just me but it seems the Shannahan's always play by their "rules" and don't seem to make enough adjustments to the flow of the game. Your thoughts?

Dan Graziano
  (12:18 PM)

Well, yeah. That would be a legitimate criticism of them. I have long believed that the best coaches are the ones who can figure out ways to put the players they have in the best possible positions to succeed -- not ones who try to find the right players to fit their "system."

Matt (Manhattan)

Recently heard on NYC sports radio, Bradshaw out for Monday's game. When are the Giants going to figure out that Jacobs is done, line issues or not. Scott had a couple of decent runs on Sunday.

Dan Graziano
  (12:19 PM)

I just don't understand why people keep saying "line issues or not." The line issues are the ONLY ISSUES for the Giants' run game right now. You can't judge Jacobs or Bradshaw or Scott or any other back on their roster if there are no holes to run through. And there haven't been. All year.

FYI (The Draft)

RGIII has said he will be returning for his senior season at Baylor. So for what it's worth I am fairly confident you can ignore those questions about whether the Redskins should draft him.

Dan Graziano
  (12:19 PM)

Noted.

King Amakamura (Leominster, Massachusetts)

INT aside, how did my son play?

Dan Graziano
  (12:20 PM)

The INT was a gift, but I guess good for him for catching it. He played hard, made some mistakes, looked like a pretty good athlete. Nice first game, I'd say, your majesty.

Bill_In_DC (washington DC)

"But to be fair, Romo has been directly responsible for two losses this year due to interceptions,"And to be fair he's also been directly responsible for at least three wins with Dallas behind in the 4th qtr

Dan Graziano
  (12:21 PM)

Right. But the question was why people are rating Eli's year ahead of his when they both seem to have been equally great based on the numbers. I stand by my answer.

FatDuck (Edinburgh UK)

Good afternoon sir, I still cant shake the feeling that the Cowboys organisation suddenly seems a whole lot more professional and organised under Garrett.

Dan Graziano
  (12:21 PM)

That has been pointed out a few times by local media who know the team well. I think that's a big reason why Jerry Jones is happy with Garrett and planning to keep him for a long time.

Matt (CT)

Dan, Do you think Fewell is over thinking his weekly def changes... Against the Pats he basically ran man-man and had a bunch of blitzes and it worked great... Yet he keeps going back to more of a zone while only rushing the dline and they just dont seem to have the same success when doing so... Can he please just stick to playing man and running more blitz's?

Dan Graziano
  (12:22 PM)

Oh, I don't think you'll see it, Matt. Maybe every now and then, depending on the opponent. But if the Giants start blitzing more, it's going to put too much pressure on the areas of the defense where they're thin -- i.e, LB and CB.

Brian (Afghanistan)

What does the cowboys defense need to do to be more consistant? One week it is tackling, one week coverage and some weeks the run D. Is this a coaching issue or talent?

Dan Graziano
  (12:23 PM)

I think it needs to be fully healthy. They seem to miss Mike Jenkins a lot when he's out.

Brian (NY)

Thoughts on Herzlich? Does he continue to start even after Boley comes back?

Dan Graziano
  (12:23 PM)

No. Boley's been one of their best players this year. Herzlich is a rookie. I was a huge fan of his in college before he got sick, and obviously a huge fan of his story since. But he's a rookie and still learning.

VARG (PHILLY)

the eagles cant ever cover a tight end, how are they going to handle the duo of NE. The lb are not good enough.

Dan Graziano
  (12:24 PM)

Nnamdi's going to have to cover Gronkowski because of his size. Only hope they have to stop that guy.

Jake (Asgard)

If; and yes it's early, but IF the Giants fall out of the playoffs is Coughlin out of a job?

Dan Graziano
  (12:24 PM)

I don't think so. I think he's done a remarkable job with the roster he was given.

Gabe (Rockville)

Do you see the skins drafting another NT and moving Cofield to DE? I think that would be a nice pair with Jenkins coming back from injury and not knowing what to expect from him.

Dan Graziano
  (12:25 PM)

I don't see it. They identified Cofield as a guy who could play NT in their system. Cofield was excited to make the switch. I think he's a lot better than he was in September, and I think they like him where he is.

Alex (Toronto)

Bold predictions for the week. Eagles win at home, Dolphins upset the boys. It's going down

Dan Graziano
  (12:25 PM)

You got nothing on Giants-Saints?

Joshua (Los Lunas)

Did DeMarco prove he is a feature back with Sundays performance. Not a hundred yard day but hit his holes hard and was missing his "moose."

Dan Graziano
  (12:25 PM)

He's obviously proven that. All that's left to find out is if he can hold up over time.

Dave K. (D.C.)

Is Ryan Kerrigan already a better OLB than Brian Orakpo?

Dan Graziano
  (12:26 PM)

I'm not sure even he'd say that.

DragonSoul (Ga/NJ)

I have been saying since 09 that they needed to change McKenzie, and Ohara, they did one, but not the other. Apparently Diehl is also having issues. If the Fans can see it, why can't they? Is it because JR thinks he can be great at patch work?

Dan Graziano
  (12:26 PM)

The Giants always believe they can patch from within.

Patrick (NYC)

What happened to the back shoulder throw to Hakeem? The Giants haven't run that play since Wk 2 and it is there best play!

Dan Graziano
  (12:27 PM)

I think Nicks is getting a massive amount of attention from defenses. I wonder if it'll change as Victor Cruz continues to burn people.

FFL Player (Work)

Graz, I stashed Santana on a few of my rosters hoping he can come back and be a good 3rd WR in my leagues. Whats the word on him? Is he worth hanging onto for the Playoffs?

Dan Graziano
  (12:27 PM)

Yeah, I tried to trade for him in one league for that reason. It's a hand injury, not a pulled muscle or anything. Once it's healed, he should be his old self.

Bryan (Springdale, AR)

I know the Cowboys will draft a safety or two, but do you see Sensabaugh and Elam starting next year?

Dan Graziano
  (12:28 PM)

Yeah, I think they've both been great. I wouldn't call starting safety an area of need for them if both of those guys are back and healthy next year.

Jake (Asgard)

What's up with Manningham? He seems to have totally disappeared since Cruz got on the seen.

Dan Graziano
  (12:28 PM)

From what I see, Jake, he's not getting open. And if you're not getting open, Eli's going to move onto the next guy.

Sagar (London)

I know you do your NFC East - All Division team tomorrow morning, but this won't be answered. What player in the division is the farthest ahead of his counterparts in the division.Like Tom Brady over Sanchez/Moore/Fitzpatrick in the AFC East. Who's that dominant at their position in the NFC East.

Dan Graziano
  (12:30 PM)

Well, it was McCoy at RB, and he still has a big lead over Murray due to Murray's late start. So that's probably the answer, but I don't want to shortchange Murray's performance. So if there's a 1(b) answer to this, I'll say Jason Peters at left tackle. No one's even close.

Kevin (SA, TX)

Dan, Any news yet on T Williams for the Skins? Haven't heard anything yet and wondering.

Dan Graziano
  (12:30 PM)

Tuesday's not a big day for injury news, as teams are generally off. I'd expect an update tomorrow.

Nnamdi Asmougha (Philly)

Why won't my team just let me play bump-and-run when that is what i do best?

Dan Graziano
  (12:30 PM)

I assume you're asking me because they won't answer you when you ask them?

Matt (Manhattan)

Dan, any thoughts on Jacobs comments about the fans booing? After this year's performance, shouldn't he be keeping his mouth shut? This isn't the first time he's spoken out.

Dan Graziano
  (12:31 PM)

I wrote about this yesterday. He's venting. And I've never understood why people boo their own team anyway, so he and I seem to be on the same page there. I think it's actually good that he's not ripping his linemen, which he could be doing.

Joe (NYC)

How about Jason Witten over all other TE's? It really isnt close...

Dan Graziano
  (12:32 PM)

It's not, though Fred Davis' numbers are right there with his. Davis can't block, though, so he doesn't really challenge for the spot.

Gabe (Rockville)

"Experts" are already saying Kerrigan is better than Orakpo because of his visual impact on the game. Orakpo has been getting a lot of local criticism for not keeping containment but overall I think he as been a disruptive force for the skins. Your thoughts?

Dan Graziano
  (12:33 PM)

As a pure pass-rusher, Kerrigan is already elite. Orakpo is the more complete player right now, due in part to his experience but also his remarkable ability. What's the rush? They're both very good. Why do people want Kerrigan to be "better?"

Brian (NC)

Or DeMarcus Ware over everyone else at OLB...

Dan Graziano
  (12:33 PM)

Yeah, I almost said him. He's pretty much in there in permanent ink every week.

Byrum (Chesapeake)

Should Cowboys have more success running on Dolphins than Skins? I really like that Jason stuck to it Sunday with limited success. He's learning

Dan Graziano
  (12:34 PM)

Good call, Byrum. Committing to the run even when it's not working as well as you want it to is essential to a balanced offense. It's encouraging for the Cowboys that they did that. As for Thursday, I think they'll still find the going tough in between the tackles if Fiammetta isn't back.

Kevin (SA, TX)

Dan, Last week you said nobody in the return game has done much for the All NFC East team. Did banks do a little more this week to impress?

Dan Graziano
  (12:35 PM)

Yes. And so did DeSean Jackson. Still waiting for someone to score, though!

Steven (Jersey)

Did Murray not run as well because the fullback was out or was it due to the fact that the Skins have a dominating front 7.. or is it a combination of the two? Also to answer Orakpo/Kerrigan questions...Orakpo is a freak it isn't even fair.

Dan Graziano
  (12:35 PM)

Combination.

Jon McCain (Arizona)

Where has Fred Davis disappeared to?

Dan Graziano
  (12:35 PM)

Guy's been all over Twitter all morning, asking for advice on which movie to go see today.

Shu (The ATL)

or Grazzy over the other division bloggers...

Dan Graziano
  (12:35 PM)

That's not even close!

Bryan (Springdale, AR)

Don't you think if the Cowboys had been playing someone other than the Redskins that they would have broken away from the running game for a while? That 7 point lead doesn't look too comfy against a more potent offense.

Dan Graziano
  (12:36 PM)

Also a good point. You guys are on today! The answer, of course, is that we don't know. But if you're a Cowboys fan you hope it indicates that Garrett gets the importance of sticking with the run.

Brandon (Raleigh)

I've been playing with the Playoff Machine for 3 hours and still haven't gotten fired!! Do the Giants have a legitimate shot at a wildcard birth if they don't win the division? Personally I think they miss out with the Falcons, Bears, and Lions all having easier upcoming schedules.

Dan Graziano
  (12:37 PM)

A lot depends on what the Cutler injury does to the Bears. But given the schedules and the rosters, I would say one or more of those teams is going to have to play poorly for the Giants to overtake them.

jl (ct)

How about Darrel Young at fullback?

Dan Graziano
  (12:38 PM)

Yeah, he's an animal. But Fiammetta was starting to push him.

Brian (NC)

I didnt think the Giants did enough conservative short passes (screens, quick mis-directions, etc) to help account for the lack of run game. Thoughts? Will they do more next week against a shaky NO defense?

Dan Graziano
  (12:39 PM)

Interesting note last week from our Stats & Info department about how Bradshaw had the highest percentage of his team's screen-game targets of any player in the league. Seems like they don't have a screen game if they don't have Bradshaw.

Wes (Austin)

Can you tell VARG that the Eagles are actually one of the best teams in the NFL at covering TEs this year? Just check out the handy stats at Football Outsiders.

Dan Graziano
  (12:39 PM)

Amazing how hard it is to kill old perceptions.

Jake (Asgard)

Any news on DRC? With those 2 big TE's and Welker I feel like we might see the dime package out an awful lot against the Pats

Dan Graziano
  (12:39 PM)

They will need him. I have no idea if he'll be back. Again, Tuesday. No injury news.

Mookman31 (DC)

Do you put any stock into recent stories about Steve Smith coming back to the Giants after this year?

Dan Graziano
  (12:40 PM)

I believe that's an agent trying to work the angles, no?

Shu (The ATL)

The playoff machine has the Cowboys in and Giants out in every possible sceenario....agree/disagree?

Dan Graziano
  (12:40 PM)

Really? Even if the Giants beat them twice?

Steven (Jersey)

Dan, after watching the Sooners use Murray we are all aware he's injury prone (he was hurt at the start of camp too), what is he doing to stay healthy and can he hold up down the stretch?

Dan Graziano
  (12:40 PM)

I assume he's drinking lots of milk and getting to bed early, but I need to look into that.

Dave K. (D.C.)

Is this the best Thanksgiving day football lineup in recent memory?

Dan Graziano
  (12:41 PM)

Three really cool matchups, I think. And all six teams won Sunday, right? I'm looking forward to it.

Don (A little late to the party)

With Safety such an issue prior to the season what do you see (right now) as the biggest area of concern for the Cowboys to address this coming off season? I know its early but I am a planner.

Dan Graziano
  (12:41 PM)

Offensive line, especially center.

Justin (DC)

When will Shanny finally wise up and feature Helu at RB full time? His handling of the RBs has been embarrasing since Hightower got hurt.

Dan Graziano
  (12:41 PM)

I think he's trying to ease the young man in. Why get him killed in his first season if you're not going to the playoffs anyway?

Shu (The ATL)

Where are you eating dinner on Thursday?

Dan Graziano
  (12:42 PM)

At my parents' house in New Jersey, with my wife and sons and brothers and their families. It's 100 percent, without a doubt, not even close, my favorite holiday.

Mo (San Antonio)

When are you coming back to Dallas? You seem to have brought some luck with you last time when we beat the Bills.

Dan Graziano
  (12:42 PM)

Will be there Dec. 11.

travis (philly)

why arent people talking more about VY's 2nd half where he was 15-18 as opposed to his early struggles

Dan Graziano
  (12:43 PM)

You don't seem to have watched "First Take."

Brian (Afghanistan)

What will be the best turkey bowl game this year? and who wins it?

Dan Graziano
  (12:43 PM)

I like the first one. Packers-Lions. I think the Pack wins, but both teams could score in the 40s!

Bryan (Fayetteville AR)

How do see the Cowboys record at the end of the season??

Dan Graziano
  (12:44 PM)

I had them 10-6 preseason. As I've said before, the Eagles (12-4) are the only team whose projection I've had to change so far.

Jake (Asgard)

When do we get a prediction for the turkey day game?

Dan Graziano
  (12:44 PM)

Probably tomorrow. I don't get the sense the site gets much Thursday traffic this week. Should I do all four games Wednesday?

Kent (Gary, SD)

Any Miles Austin injury news?

Dan Graziano
  (12:46 PM)

Didn't practice today. I wouldn't count on watching him play while you eat pumpkin pie.

Bill (NY)

Does Reese use a first round pick on a linebacker or offensive lineman?

Dan Graziano
  (12:46 PM)

You mean, ever?

Jake (Asgard)

With the Cowboys playing the thanksgiving every year do you think they'll know better how to prepare for the uber short week?

Dan Graziano
  (12:47 PM)

Yes.

Bryan (Springdale, AR)

I made a great batch of pumpkin pie beer that we will be substituting in place of the pie

Dan Graziano
  (12:47 PM)

I'll be right over.

Dan Graziano
  (12:47 PM)

I'm out, folks. Enjoy your holiday. See you next week.