Dallas Cowboys defensive end Jason Hatcher doesn’t want to have to try to sack Peyton Manning in 2012, especially not in two games. Following the Indianapolis Colts’ announcement that Manning has officially been released by the team, speculation on where the future Hall of Fame quarterback has sky-rocketed. If he signs with the Washington Redskins, Manning will torture the Cowboys twice each season for the rest of his NFL days.
Any player can understand Hatcher’s concern; Manning is arguably the greatest quarterback to ever play the game and he’ll be looking to prove that once again with a new team this fall. The Redskins are the frontrunners to trade with the St. Louis Rams for the No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft and the Dallas faithful are praying that happens and Washington doesn’t sign Manning instead.
The other two NFC East teams, the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles are pretty set at quarterback; the Giants just won their second Super Bowl behind Eli Manning and the Eagles signed Michael Vick to a new $100 million contract last year. While the Giants won’t be making a change at quarterback probably until Eli Manning retires, the Eagles could use an upgrade, although that’s highly unlikely to happen.
Although former Eagles and Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb recently said Peyton Manning shouldn’t and won’t sign with the Redskins, it’s still a real possibility. Mike Shanahan has done a horrific job as Washington’s head coach since taking over in 2010; Washington has drowned itself in two gigantic free agent deals that Shanahan single-handedly destroyed. He’s not the same coach he was when he was with John Elway and the Denver Broncos; Peyton Manning would be wise to heed McNabb’s advice.
Hatcher and the Cowboys are hoping Peyton Manning listens to McNabb, too. Although the Cowboys played well against him last season, Peyton Manning will be on a mission to prove the Colts made a mistake in letting him go. Dallas should keep praying Manning not only signs outside the NFC East, but outside the entire NFC.