The NFC East is the worst division in the NFL, which means that it is only slightly better than the miserable AFC South. If these eight teams were public companies, they would all be de-listed from any stock markets until they showed significant improvement in performance.
Washington leads their division with a 5-6 record, and Dallas anchors last place with a 3-8 record.
Why the negative narrative? Let's take a look:
NFC Standings: Week 13
AFC Standings: Week 13
Did you notice the trend that there are one or two teams leading each division with some sense of authority, yet the NFC East and AFC South are essentially up for grabs? We know the league has been after some sense of parity for years, but perhaps these two divisions have taken it a bit too far.
Dallas Cowboys and Johnny Manziel
Tony Romo is out for the season with a second broken clavicle, and the Cowboys may join several other teams in the hunt for a quarterback in next year's draft, according to this article on NFL.com, where owner Jerry Jones laments passing on Johnny Manziel:
"Consequently, I think we have made a 'D', if you want to give it that, make it an 'F', relative to how we have approached this situation if Romo should get hurt," Jones said, according to The Dallas Morning News.
While it would have required a first-round pick to acquire Manziel in the 2014 draft, Jones was non-committal about making a first-round investment in the position in 2016.
"I don't know about first round necessarily, at all, but ... Weeden was an opportunity to develop the future. Again, he hadn't played much football, and he had some age on him because he played baseball, but still it was an opportunity for us to develop for the future. It did not work. There's your first-round pick. Half of the first-round picks that are made don't work. That's not negative, they just don't work. So we've got to keep that in mind."
Manziel hasn't worked out for the Cleveland Browns, largely due to off-field problems that resulted in a rehab facility stay and, most recently, a benching for Monday night's game against the Baltimore Ravens. Instead of drafting Manziel at No. 16 overall, theCowboys chose Notre Dame offensive lineman Zack Martin, who has been outstanding. Still, Jones acknowledged the decision as a missed opportunity to build for the future at quarterback.
"Do you remember two years ago when we sat there right to the last second on the clock with Manziel? My whole point is, there you are," Jones said. "That was the whole purpose of doing that. At that particular time, for a first-round pick, I thought that Romo had more time. And if we sat there and worked with Manziel for four or five years, now we all know what's happened.
"We know the off-the-field issues. But on our board, one of our top five or six picks dropped down to us and it was at the quarterback position, and I absolutely was a vote of one in that room to basically go there. And I understood why. I understood the risk that was involved. And we got a great player instead. But those are the circumstances that come up when you're thinking for the future. I was at that particular time, debating the value of him for the future as well as debating a backup."
The Houston Texans will have a crowded field of teams pursuing quarterback talent in the 2016 NFL Draft, and Dallas may be included in that hunt. Then again, I'm fairly confident that Jerry Jones could pry Johnny Manziel away from the Cleveland Browns with a three-day old, half-eaten sandwich if he is seriously interested in him at this point.
That's your preview for tonight's game. The comments section is open, and the usual rules apply.
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