Last season the Cowboys secondary put the "D" in Dallas, as in the nearly failing letter grade as non-covering corners and mistackling safeties roamed the back line of defensive coordinator's Rob Ryan's unit. Fortunately, for Rex's younger and more rumpled brother, Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones saw it that way as well. Rather than make a coaching change, Jones focused on upgrading the defensive back talent, specifically by adding free agent Brandon Carr and trading up for LSU rookie Morris Claiborne. Specifically, the moves madewere to combat their traditional NFC East foes - yes, even the Redskins, although in that case, seems rather begrudgingly so.To be really fair about it, and fair on judgment, we have to look specifically where we had our biggest breakdowns, and weve got to make sure that weve matched up good with the teams that gave us our biggest problems, Jones said. As it turns out, it was the New Yorks, the Philadelphias, and if you will, Washington played a good game against us, too. "So its in our division. So what you saw from us during the offseason, personnel-wise, is matching up."The latest injury news - via CSNphilly - involving Eagles left tackle Jason Peters is one ouch of a story - and likely ends any hope of a 2012 appearance. "According to a league source, Peters ruptured his Achilles tendon again after the Roll-A-Bout he was using malfunctioned. Peters was maneuvering in his kitchen when the device broke, and he fell on his face and re-injured the Achilles."The five-time Pro Bowler needed a second surgery, and his recovery was set back three weeks. He is going to sue the manufacturer of the device."The Eagles signed free agent Demetress Bell to step in as the blindside protector. Good luck with that.Without the five-time Pro Bowler Peters, Michael Vick will once again be running plenty, but out of necessity. On Sunday, the nation honored all the moms out there. On Sunday, Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora used the occasion to jab Eagles running back LeSean McCoy. Via his Twitter account, Umenyiora said, "Happy Mothers Day Lesean Mccoy! Enjoy your special day!!"Apparently the pass rusher has not forgotten that last season on Twitter McCoy described him as "Overrated n soft 3rd best d-line on his team honestly." Former LSU safety Chad Jones, drafted by the New York Giants in the third round of the 2010 draft, was expected to help shore up the middle of Big Blue's secondary. Two months after the draft,Jones was involved in a serious automobile accident. Two years into his NFL career, Jones never stepped onto the field. Entering his third season, he is looking for a new team after the Giants releasedJones on Monday following a failed physical. No Laurent Robinson means the Cowboys once again are searching for a third receiver behind Miles Austin and Dez Bryant. With Kevin Ogletree currently leading the race, the team might need to keep looking. Ben Standigblogs about the Redskins, Wizards, Hoyas and the D.C.area college basketball scene for CSNwashington. You can reach him by email at email@example.com,follow him on Twitter @BenStandigand catch his musingsat the D.C. Sportalist.
PHILADELPHIA — Arguably the Redskins best player, all of the NFL knows that Trent Williams can still play at a high level while dealing with injury.
How long Williams can play though injury seems the more important question though as reports emerged the left tackle will need knee surgery at some point. That could come in the next few weeks, or as Redskins fans hope, perhaps at the end of the season.
Currently playing with a torn medial patella-femoral ligament in his right knee, the six-time Pro Bowler has not practiced since sustaining the injury three weeks ago in Kansas City. He was able to gut out a strong performance last week against the 49ers, and is expected to do the same Monday night against the Eagles.
One factor that might be pushing Williams to play with such a damaged right leg is that backup tackle Ty Nsekhe is also out after having surgery on his core muscles.
Nsekhe is expected back relatively soon, but the timeline remains murky. When he can come back, perhaps Williams will reconsider his options.
Surgery for the torn MPFL will leave Williams with a five or six-month recovery.
It's obvious the Redskins' offense is best with Williams on the field. Nsekhe, however, proved a capable backup last season when Williams served a four-game suspension.
Without Nsekhe, the Redskins would go to veteran T.J. Clemmings should Williams be unable to play. Nsekhe has not played since a Week 3 win over Oakland. The Redskins added Clemmings to the roster in early September, after their fourth preseason game. He spent the last two seasons with the Vikings.
For now, the Redskins will continue to hope Williams can play through the pain.
"Trent is a tough guy, so we will see how it works, see how feels tomorrow and go from there," Jay Gruden said of Williams on Saturday.
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Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, October 22, one day before the Washington Redskins visit the Philadelphia Eagles for Monday night football.
Today’s schedule: Travel to Philadelphia, no media availability
—Cowboys @ Redskins (10/29) 7
—Redskins @ Seahawks (11/5) 14
—Giants @ Redskins Thanksgiving (11/23) 32
Final report on injures of note:
Out: CB Josh Norman (rib)
Questionable: OT Trent Williams (knee), CB Bashaud Breeland (knee), S Deshazor Everett (hamstring), RB Rob Kelley (ankle),
Five Redskins who are under pressure vs. the Eagles
Every NFL player is under pressure and the stress increased in games that are in the prime-time spotlight like the Redskins have on Monday night. But the spotlight is brighter on some players than it is on others.
—With a banged up defense, the Redskins are going to have to put up some points to win this game. That means that QB Kirk Cousins is going to have to help the Redskins get some points on the board. In the opener against the Eagles he threw a key interception, posted a season-low 72.9 passer rating, and got sacked four times. He has been playing better since then and he may need his best game of the year for the Redskins to pull out the win.
—DT Fletcher Cox is an All-Pro caliber defender and the battle between him and G Brandon Scherff will be important. But the Eagles other defensive tackle, Timmy Jernigan, is also a handful and it will largely be up to G Shawn Lauvao to keep him under control. Jernigan isn’t a great pass rusher (1.5 sacks, 10 pressures) but he tough against the run. The Redskins needs to establish a running game to win and Lauvao vs. Jernigan will be a key battle to get the ground game going.
—There still is plenty of time for WR Terrelle Pryor to have a breakout game and turn around his disappointing season. Monday would be an ideal time to start. He has 16 receptions on the season and with the exception of a couple of plays, his impact has been minimal. When the line gives Cousins time to throw the ball he will need a big target and Pryor is the ideal candidate.
—With Jonathan Allen on injured reserve, it will be up to DE Matt Ioannidis to continue to get pass pressure up the middle. Playing with Allen, the second-year player has 3.5 sacks and 16 pressures. He will need to keep that up in Allen’s absence. On Monday, Ioannidis and the rest of the pass rushers need to get Carson Wentz on the ground when they have the opportunity.
—As much as the Redskins would like to see Wentz take a bunch of sacks, chances are he will get away from the pressure on occasion and scramble to make a play. At times like that, S D.J. Swearinger and the rest of the defensive backs need to stay in coverage and not lose their men. It’s hard to cover a receiver for five seconds or more while the quarterback scrambles around but Swearinger needs to maintain his position as the last line of defense.
Tandler on Twitter
To update this tweet from the beginning of practice, Williams did practice on a limited basis and he is questionable for the game, although it is likely that he will play.
In case you missed it
- No Norman Against Eagles
- A Very Meaningful Monday Night
- The Redskins week that was--Fallout from Allen Injury
- Fantasy Football -- Updated Week 7 rankings