Ashley Fox: Cowboys' woes a positive development for Eagles

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Donovan McNabb remains the best option at QB for the Redskins.

The Dallas Cowboys are done, and that certainly helps the Eagles. Tony Romo is going to miss upward of eight weeks with a broken clavicle. By the time he is healthy and ready to return, the Cowboys will be out of the playoff picture and there will be no reason for Romo to play.

Jon Kitna certainly is not the answer.

The Cowboys have been struggling all season, even with Romo, who went 0-3 at Cowboys Stadium. With Romo on the sideline, they should continue to struggle.

The 38-year-old Kitna has not started a game since Week 5 of the 2008 season, when he was with Detroit. He left that game against Chicago with back spasms and had not played a meaningful snap until Monday, when he stepped in for Romo with no practice reps with the first-team offense.

In addition to the uncertainty with Kitna, the Cowboys' offensive line has issues. Their run game has been nonexistent. The defense, supposedly one of the team's strengths, gave up 31 unanswered points to the New York Giants on Monday night after Romo went out. It has been suggested that the Cowboys quit in that game and that it probably won't be the last time.

Goodbye, season. Hello, snaps for the rookies.

This is a wonderful development for the Eagles, who will not get their first crack at Dallas until Dec. 12. They finish the season at home with the Cowboys on Jan. 2.

 

Quarterbacks, beware

Warren Sapp's Twitter account is QBKILLA, and while Sapp certainly was a quarterback killer during his playing days, that moniker is more appropriate today for the New York Giants' defense.

In seven games, the Giants have injured five quarterbacks badly enough that the quarterbacks could not return to the game. Romo was the most recent and most severe, but the Giants also took out Chicago's Jay Cutler (concussion) and Todd Collins (neck stinger), Carolina's Matt Moore (concussion), and Detroit's Shaun Hill (broken left forearm).

In the last four games, New York has 18 sacks and has allowed quarterbacks to complete just 53.7 percent of their passes. The Giants rank second in the league in total defense, giving up 263.3 yards per game. Not bad for new defensive coordinator Perry Fewell, who replaced Bill Sheridan.

Osi Umenyiora, who is second in the NFL with eight sacks, said he likes that the defense is known this season as a quarterback killer.

"When I found out we had knocked out five quarterbacks, that was kind of shocking to me," Umenyiora told the New York Daily News last week. "But when you get pressure on the quarterbacks, they're a little fragile sometimes. Hopefully we'll keep getting big hits on the quarterback, and if they get hurt then I'll be sorry, but there's nothing we can do about that."

 

Five is still best

There was the faint whiff of a quarterback controversy in Washington last week after the Washington Post's Jason Reid reported that he had been getting e-mails from Redskins fans calling for Rex Grossman to start ahead of Donovan McNabb.

Bet No. 5 didn't like that very much.

It is an absurd request. True, McNabb has struggled picking up Mike Shanahan's version of the West Coast offense. Through seven games, he has his worst passer rating (76.0) since his rookie season in 1999 (60.1) and his lowest completion percentage since 2006. Also, McNabb has thrown one more interception than touchdown this season.

But Grossman, who has not taken a snap this season, has not started a game since 2007. There is a reason for that. He is not a starting quarterback in this league.

 

Favre to start?

Interesting stat from Elias Sports Bureau, courtesy of ESPN.com: Since Brett Favre's consecutive-starts streak began on Sept. 27, 1992, four teams have used at least 20 different starting quarterbacks: Chicago, Cleveland, Oakland, and Detroit. Talk about instability at the most important position.

Despite a stress fracture in his ankle, look for Favre to make his 292d start when Minnesota plays at New England on Sunday (Story, E11).

"I know it makes for good TV, talking about the streak and will it end, will this be the injury that stops him or whatever," Favre said last week. "Whether it ends this week or it ends at the end of the year, it ends, and I will always be proud of it. In the game of football, every week, it's a crapshoot with injuries, and I've been able to overcome a lot."

 


Contact staff writer Ashley Fox

at 215-854-5064 or afox@phillynews.com. Follow her on Twitter: www.twitter.com/AshleyMFox