Below are several whispers we've been hearing from around the NFC East:
• Even with RB Tashard Choice's autograph request of Michael Vick upsetting some folks in Dallas, it appears now that Choice has a better shot to return to the Cowboys than Marion Barber does. It's surprising that Barber was used for so long as a starter and Choice left to wallow in the underused No. 3 role for much of the season, but some Cowboys people believe now that Barber doesn't have the juice left to be a hard-charging, change-of-pace power back and be worth the money he's due to be paid in 2011.
• The Giants are concerned about Eli Manning's early-game interceptions and have shifted to more of a power-rushing attack early. Manning likes to throw early in games to get in rhythm, but his 12 first-half INTs have been momentum killers at times, and offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride seems to prefer giving the ball a greater percentage of the time to RBs Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs in the first few offensive series.
• The Eagles are slowly opening up the playbook for do-it-all Chad Hall, who is a hybrid running back-receiver capable of handling multiple positions on the field. He has been used in red-zone packages, two-minute offense, in motion, in the slot, in the backfield and split out wide. Head coach Andy Reid clearly has an affinity for Hall, who also contributes on special teams as Philadelphia's answer to the Patriots' Danny Woodhead.
• The Redskins have had a notoriously bad recent history with punters and kickers, and it has been a problem that has cost them games this season. So, the thinking is that the team will pay additional attention to these positions in the offseason with perhaps the idea of signing a pre-eminent free agent or using a draft pick at either spot.