NFC East Coaches Failing; Will They Survive?

NFC East Coaches Failing; Will They Survive?

What was once the best division in football is at its lowest point since the league realigned its two conferences to have four divisions of four teams in 2002. Its teams have so underperformed that, in the conference, even the lowly NFC West has a better overall record -- 22-26, compared with 21-27 -- despite St. Louis' 2-10 record and Seattle and Arizona's 5-7. You can thank 10-2 San Francisco for that, or you can blame the men who have run the NFC East into the ground.

There isn't a dominant team in the division. There isn't a contender. One will get a home playoff game, but only in the wild-card round and only by default. The others will spend the postseason at home, either looking for answers or looking for a new coach.

Tom Coughlin, Jason Garrett, Andy Reid and Mike Shanahan are all educated, competent men, but each has played a major role in his team's failure. Although unlikely, it is not out of the realm of possibility that each will lose his job at season's end. They essentially run billion-dollar corporations. A sub-.500 return on investment is hardly acceptable.

These are smart football men. Reid is the longest-tenured coach in the league and has been to five NFC Championship Games and a Super Bowl. Coughlin has won a Super Bowl, and Shanahan has won two. Garrett is in his first full season as the Cowboys' coach, but he has spent his career in the NFL, and he went to Princeton. A Princeton man should know when to call a timeout and when to clock the ball.

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