Breakfast links: Oscar buzz

Good morning to you all. It is Wednesday of the dead week between the conference title games and the Super Bowl hype. But we have much of which to talk here in the NFC East, including a postponed chat scheduled for later today and a number of other matters, including and beginning with your piping-hot links.

New York Giants

It's an interesting time in the life of Chris Mara, who wanted to be Giants GM five years ago only to lose the job to Jerry Reese. Mara now finds himself living and dying with his Super Bowl-bound football team, and Tuesday he spent the morning sweating out the Academy Award nominations until his daughter Rooney was announced as a nominee in the Best Actress category for her role in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Ian O'Connor has the story.

It was odd to hear Giants special-teamers Devin Thomas and Jacquian Williams say after Sunday's game that they knew 49ers return man Kyle Williams had a concussion history and might be susceptible to big hits as a result. But the Giants said Tuesday that such things were not discussed in the meeting room and there was no intent to injure Kyle Williams or give him a concussion. The NFL also said the Giants would not face discipline for the comments, since they made no illegal hits to the head.

Philadelphia Eagles

Eagles GM Howie Roseman discussed a number of issues with a pair of Philadelphia reporters Tuesday at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. Among those was the Eagles' decision to draft Brandon Graham over Jason Pierre-Paul in the 2010 draft. That Pierre-Paul has become a superstar for the Giants in a short period of time makes that decision look foolish, of course. But Graham has been injured and at the time Pierre-Paul was viewed as a long-term project. As we've said here many times, it's not automatic that Pierre-Paul would have come this quickly if he hadn't been in the Giants' system.

Phil Sheridan remains stuck on a number of things Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said in his postseason news conference a couple of weeks back, and he wonders which Eagles team Lurie has been watching.

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys are poking around the Senior Bowl, like all the other teams, as they begin their draft evaluation process. One of the first players they met with this week, according to Brandon George, was Alabama linebacker Courtney Upshaw, who may be the best pass-rusher in the draft. He'd fit a need at outside linebacker, especially if the team is parting ways with Anthony Spencer.

After talking with Jerry Jones this week, Calvin Watkins is convinced the Cowboys are ready to move on from cornerback Terence Newman. Calvin offers some other thoughts on Jones' comments and the issue of how much change is needed to the Cowboys' roster.

Washington Redskins

Thom Loverro takes up the issue of why the Redskins have been so good in recent years at beating the NFC's top teams in the regular season. They beat the Packers last year and this year they beat the Giants twice.

Rich Campbell looks at Raheem Morris, the former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach who's now the Redskins' secondary coach, and the energy he brings to the job.