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NFL Black Monday head coach Primer: NFC East

It’s onto the NFC for our look at the state of front offices. AFC East | AFC North | AFC South | AFC West | NFC East

New York Giants v Washington Redskins Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

We’re going to go around the league, looking at each division and seeing what vacancies could open up for Black Monday. Thankfully there probably won’t be any in Santa Clara, but a coach could bail to fill one of the vacancies elsewhere. Today, we have the NFC East.

We’re out of the AFC and going to the NFC. The AFC has a bit more stability given the massive hires done in the 2017 offseason. The NFC has already started their firings and getting a head start on the coaching search. Especially the East which had the first firing of the season.


Washington moved on from Mike Shanahan in 2014 and brought in Jay Gruden. Similar to the Shanahan contract, Gruden got a fully guarenteed 5-year deal. Hamstrung with the draft capitol they gave up for future bust Robert Griffin III, Gruden managed to coach a decent team that went to the playoffs in 2015 and just narrowly missed it in 2016. He does what he can with what he has, which isn’t much.

What they do have is a quarterback playing his second year on the franchise tag. Kirk Cousins was drafted the same year as RGIII and yanked the starting role as time wore on. Beyond Cousins, Washington doesn’t have much else. Their wide receivers were gutted with the departures of Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson and their running game seems to fluctuate between running back to running back. It might have something to do with the current losing season Washington suffers from.

Regardless, Gruden inked a two year extension in March so he’s not going anywhere. The team currently does not have a general manager. They did have Scott McCloughan running things but a battle with alcoholism wound up in his dismissal earlier in the year. In his place, team president Bruce Allen has been holding the reigns and it looks like they will continue without a GM.

The big issue with Washington hasn’t been coaching, but talent and boneheaded front office decisions. The multi-year franchise tag on Cousins may bite the team later in contract negotiations and replacing Garcon/Jackson with Terrell Pryor isn’t exactly looking well. There’s also the multitude of decisions over the years (like the trade for RGIII) that makes you wonder why there hasn’t been a shakeup, but it’s not happening. McCloughan had things going in the right direction when he came onboard, but they unfortunately went back to Allen and it shows. Allen has been with the team since 2010, no way they remove him now

Who should get fired: Bruce Allen and Dan Snyder
Who will get fired: Nobody

New York Giants

Winning two super bowls in 10 years isn’t enough to keep the staff around, and New York isn’t wasting any time. Following the conclusion of the 2015 season, the Giants politely shoved long-time head coach Tom Coughlin off the podium and went with Ben McAdoo. The change had to do with the offense. McAdoo brought an offense to New York that was lethal in its second year and the Giants were afraid he’d jump ship to a head coaching job elsewhere—allegedly. So out goes Coughlin and in comes McAdoo. In his first season he took the Giants to the playoffs, where they were beaten by the Green Bay Packers. The story was less about the loss and more about what they were doing leading up to the game, as photos came out of the team partying on yachts rather than practicing. Anyways, first season a success arrow up?

Not when Odell Beckham Jr. goes down at the start of the season with an ankle injury. The injuries to the star players continued and one of the Super Bowl favorites wound up struggling against the San Francisco 49ers. Not the 49ers with Jimmy Garoppolo. The 49ers with C.J. Beathard with only a couple starts under his belt. The 49ers without Trent Taylor, George Kittle, and Solomon Thomas.

Those 49ers.

What a difference injuries and a year makes. Maybe there was logic in keeping McAdoo around for another season, but when your own players are running away from 49ers receivers during Celek Time, there’s a problem with the coaching. So New York got on the coaching search thing early and canned McAdoo. He’s going to wind up as offensive coordinator somewhere.

They also canned General Manger Jerry Reese. Reese was there for both Super Bowl championships, but also might have had a hand in jettisoning Coughlin for McAdoo. To be fair, Coughlin wasn’t lighting anything on fire either, but given how quick they were to show McAdoo the door, one has to wonder if it had something to do with the decisions to get there.

There’s really not much else to do with the struggles of the New York Giants. They’ve already done extensive house cleaning and will be a prime spot for a head coaching candidate and a general manager. Be afraid. They may come poaching the 49ers for someone in the front office.

Who has been fired: Ben McAdoo, Jerry Reese
Who will get fired: No one else is getting canned.

Philadelphia Eagles

Well this team certainly shut me up. The Eagles were getting laughed at a year ago and were in place to make a Super Bowl run, except for that nasty knee injury to their quarterback. One year ago they hired Doug Pederson, not a terrible hire, but one that makes you raise an eyebrow. In Kansas City, Pederson was the offensive coordinator, but he wasn’t calling plays. Still, 3 years in Andy Reid’s system probably was enough for the Eagles, a team he was the offensive quality control coach for and also played quarterback for before Donovan McNabb.

With Pederson, the Eagles traded Sam Bradford to the Vikings and traded up to draft Carson Wentz. Wentz made a name for himself his rookie season and had the Eagles as the team to beat at one point until tearing his ACL. Now the future is a bit murky for the team.

Pederson on the other hand is going nowhere. He’s proven he can call plays and coach. He took a team devastated by poor personnel decisions and made them competitve almost immediately. Howie Roseman also is not going anywhere as the Eagles have done what they can to keep him around in any capacity. Besides the freak accidents, the Eagles are again a power. Rather interesting how they fire Andy Reid, then hire his protege a few years later, isn’t it?

Who should/will get fired: Nobody

Dallas Cowboys

Dallas will be Dallas. In the last few seasons, what has been a laughing stock of a team has once again jumped into the NFL elite, mostly due to the play of their stellar offensive line. Things would be more interesting if owner/manager Jerry Jones could control his team, but, Cowboys. Ezekiel Elliot is coming off a 6-game suspension for sexual assault but it may be for naught since the team is hanging by a very thin thread in the NFC playoff race.

Head Coach Jason Garrett was hand picked by Jones to take over the team, from Wade Phillips and until a playoff appearance in 2014, was speculated to be fired. A playoff appearance in 2015 and the emergence of Dak Prescott in 2016 helped cool the seat for Garrett and the only way he’d get canned now would be if they wanted to blame someone for the legal issues or regression of the team.

Jerry Jones continues to own the team, run the team, and do just whatever he pleases, like feuding with Roger Goodell over ...stuff. Legal or not, he’s going nowhere and until he sells the team off, there won’t be a GM opening. I wish I could say more about the Cowboys, but it’s pretty boring when you think about their front office. Well, unless you bust out those strange photos of Jerry Jones from a few years ago. shiver

Who should get fired: Jerry Jones
Who will get fired: Nobody