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Need to Know: The week that was--Barry gone and plenty of money to rebuild the D

Need to Know: The week that was--Barry gone and plenty of money to rebuild the D

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, January 7, 53 days before the NFL franchise tag deadline.

Timeline

Days until:
NFL free agency starts 61
NFL draft 110
First Sunday of 2017 season 246

Top stories of the week that was and Tandler’s comments

Defensive coordinator Joe Barry fired—My take on Barry all year has been that it won’t make any difference if he’s gone if the organization doesn’t take further steps. Those steps include getting in a defensive coordinator with a proven philosophy and then signing and drafting quality players who are fits in that philosophy. Fans got their scalp and that’s fine. But a new man on the headset won’t change things all by himself.

Mock draft 1.0—Sure it’s waaaay too early. I mean, there’s another week and a half to go before the deadline for underclassmen to declare. But I’ll bet you’re going to check out who Ben Standig has the Redskins taking with the 17th pick. I don’t know what they’re going to do but I am confident in saying that it won’t necessarily be a defensive player. It will be the best available player. Scot McCloughan has a philosophy and he’s going to stick to it.

Cousins on new contract: 'Not trying to suck out every dollar possible'—The quarterback’s approval rating has taken something of a hit since he that critical interception against the Giants six days ago. His somewhat uncomfortable and neutral answer after the game when asked if he wanted to remain with the Redskins didn’t help things. His attempt to smooth things over the next day on his regular appearance on with Grant and Danny on 106.7 The Fan but it fell kind of flat. His awkward attempt to say that he didn’t want to take too little because the precedent would hurt future quarterbacks’ earnings was widely panned as disingenuous.

Redskins have ample cap space to work with—As noted above, the Redskins have a lot of defensive needs and a starting quarterback who is a free agent. They also have Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson going into free agency, among others. The good news is that they have a lot of cap space to work with and the ability to create more if they choose to move on from some veteran players. The organization has done a good job of bouncing back from the $36 million cap penalty that was spread between the 2012 and 2013 seasons and get into such good cap position now while remaining reasonably competititve.   

Tandler on Twitter

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Cowboys WR Terrance Williams gets 3-game substance abuse ban

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USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys WR Terrance Williams gets 3-game substance abuse ban

Dallas Cowboys receiver Terrance Williams has been suspended three games for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy, a ban he will serve while on injured reserve because of lingering issues from offseason surgery for a broken right foot.

The league said Thursday the suspension will be in effect Sunday when the Cowboys visit Washington. After Dallas’ open week and a home game against Tennessee, the final game of the ban will be Nov. 11 at Philadelphia.

But Williams will miss at least three more games after that while on injured reserve. His first possible game is Dec. 9 at home against the Eagles.

Williams was arrested in May on a charge of public intoxication in the Dallas suburb of Frisco, where team headquarters is located. The case was dismissed after Williams completed a state-mandated alcohol awareness education course.

Williams was ineffective before being placed on IR, as he mustered just two catches for 18 total yards over the Cowboys first two games. Dallas will also be without wide receiver Tavon Austin on Sunday when they face the Washington Redskins. Austin is suffering from a groin injury, and expected to be out multiple weeks.

NBC Sports Washington's Ethan Cadeaux contributed to this story.

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Adrian Peterson's kids and the Internet are why he designed that shoe-in-facemask shirt

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@AdrianPeterson

Adrian Peterson's kids and the Internet are why he designed that shoe-in-facemask shirt

Luke Kuechly was just trying to make a tackle.

During the Redskins-Panthers Week 6 matchup, the Carolina star dove to wrap up Adrian Peterson and, like many, many, many before him, failed to bring the RB down.

Unfortunately for Kuechly, something else happened on the play that is going to help it live on much longer than your routine defensive mistake.

That something, of course, is that Peterson's cleat came off in the collision and lodged itself in Kuechly's facemask. And the uniqueness of that is why Peterson is now selling T-shirts commemorating it:

"I thought it was pretty cool," Peterson said Thursday in the 'Skins' locker room when asked why he felt moved to create the shirts, of which there are three to choose from on his site. "My kids got a big kick out of it. Obviously, the Internet did as well."

No. 26 has carried the ball 2,651 times in his career but said he's never had an attempt go like that one that involved his footwear and Kuechly's headgear.

However, because he's a legend, Peterson was able to deal with the lost shoe and still go on to pick up a nice chunk of yards as well as a first down.

"As I'm breaking free and I feel my shoe coming off, the only thing on my mind is, 'OK, let me make sure I plant my foot in a way where I don't slip,'" he explained. "That was the only thing I was focusing on on that play."

Will Kuechly get a shirt, though? After all, without him, they wouldn't exist in the first place.

"I might send him one," Peterson said.

What's lower: the odds of Kuechly wearing that shirt should Peterson ever send it along or the odds of another shoe finding its way into the linebacker's facemask? 

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