Each NFC East Team’s Biggest Draft Need

By Leo Silbert

It is getting to the point of the year that fans are trying to figure out who their team needs to draft or what position needs the most help.  Some teams like the Patriots don’t have a glaring need so they are able to pick for desire and are allowed greater risks.  Other teams like the Browns have needs all over the map so they are best suited to just take the best available player.  I’m going to sort this out by division and within the divisions I’ll sort them by 2016 records.

Next up, the NFC East:

  1. ezekiel-elliotDallas Cowboys- The Cowboys put together a season that seemed to have come right outside of a movie script.  The veteran qb goes down with an injury and it is up to a couple of hotshot rookies to keep the team afloat until the star veteran could return.  Except, the veteran never returned and not because of his injury being too severe, the hotshot rookies were on a roll and looked unstoppable.  They seemed to be taking the team over in the same kind of way that Kurt Warner and Marshall Faulk took over the Rams in their first years starting on the team, except Zeke and Dak were true rookies.  That was all until the team got to the playoffs and lost to Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in their first playoff game.  Now it is time for them to find their flaws and the biggest one is their ability to rush the passer consistently on defense.  They might not be in this position where their biggest need is at this position if Randy Gregory didn’t end up becoming a head case, but it is where they are now.  And this draft, besides just being a deep edge rusher draft is also a draft where a late first round prospect at edge rusher plays for a Lovie Smith in college who runs the same defense as Rod Marinelli with a lot of the same terminology in Dawuane Smoot out of Illinois.  Dallas really is building something special here, and once they get a consistent pass rush, they can potentially advance to the next round of the playoffs.
  2. landon-collinsNew York Giants- Going into the season, most Giants fans expected the Giants to have the most explosive offense in the NFC East and one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL while their defense would be improved from the worst ranked defense in the league but not being anything special.  And that right there is why the games are played.  The Giants’ defense turned into one of the very best units in the NFL with all 3 of their big free agent acquisitions proving their worth, a 2nd year pro at safety going from looking lost in coverage into arguably the best safety in the NFL, and strong showings from multiple rookies.  So yea, for now the Giants’ biggest need isn’t on that side of the ball.  Their offense on the other hand looked like it was a Ferrari parked in a garage and not moving because no one knew where the keys were.  There wasn’t a 100 yard rushing effort by a running back until week 17, Victor Cruz couldn’t get separation on the outside, Eli Manning was missing some throws, the tight ends looked like they had anchors strapped to their feet after the catch, but most importantly was that the Giants had some of, if not the very worst offensive tackle play on both sides of offensive line in the NFL.  Eli Manning threw the ball sooner after the snap than any other quarterback in the league yet he was still constantly under pressure.  Ereck Flowers and Bobby Hart are not good enough to be starting tackles in the NFL, and their inability effected how every other person on the offense struggled.  Now, I have said before that this draft is a weak offensive tackle draft, but late in the first round is where a team can actually get value at the position in this year’s draft.  If the Giants can fix their offensive tackle problems, they may be able to find the keys to the Odell Beckham Jr lead Ferrari.
  3. trent-williamsWashington Redskins- Coming off their first playoff appearance since 2012, the Redskins had high expectations for this past season.  On offense, they had some of the most yards in the league behind Kirk Cousins throwing for over 4900 yards and a receiving corps that ran deep with 2 great receiving threats at tight end.  They had a very good offensive line and they had a developing running back in Robert Kelly who can stand to have a change of pace backfield mate.  Their defense on the other hand needs some help.  They were the worst team in the NFL in 3rd down defense, allowing 46.63% of all third downs to become first downs.  By comparison, the Buccaneers who were first in the NFL in that category allowed just 34..36% of third downs to be converted.  That big of a difference is unacceptable and something needs to be done to fix that.  One thing that would help them greatly is an inside linebacker who can go out in coverage and stop the run equally well.  Mason Foster was adequate at that, but he doesn’t have sideline to sideline speed and none of the other linebackers on the roster have that kind of skill since Su’a Cravens will be moved to strong safety which will help that position.  If the Redskins get a speedy linebacker to compliment Foster, they will be a lot closer to having a competitive defense.
  4. NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Philadelphia EaglesPhiladelphia Eagles- The Eagles came into the year with a rookie qb pegged as the starter after they traded away Sam Bradford with little time before the start of the season.  Carson Wentz started out fast but slowed down as the season went on.  They also switched to a new scheme on defense, switching to a 4-3 wide nine scheme from a 3-4 two gap system and for the front 7 it worked out wonderfully.  Brandon Graham had a career year, Fletcher Cox lived up to his contract, Jordan Hicks and Nigel Bradham were great at linebacker, and in the secondary Malcolm Jenkins showed how he is a top 5 safety.  But both their offense and defense had an Achilles heel.  For the offense it was their wide receiving corps which was one of the worst in the league with only Jordan Matthews playing at a passable level on offense while on defense their best corner back  was Leodis McKelvin who isn’t good enough to be a top 2 corner on most teams in the NFL.  According to Pro Football Focus they had the lowest ranked receiver in the NFL in Nelson Agholar and the lowest ranked corner in the NFL in Jalen Mills.  Both of these positions are in dire need of help, but their receivers need to improve to help the development of Carson Wentz.  If they get a good wide receiver, they may be able to help Carson Wentz into not having a near 1:1 touchdown to interception ratio in his 2nd year and may make the Eagles’ offense into a more serious threat across the board.

Previous articles in this series:

AFC East- https://sportselite1.wordpress.com/2017/01/15/each-afc-east-teams-biggest-draft-need/

AFC North- https://sportselite1.wordpress.com/2017/01/15/each-afc-north-teams-biggest-draft-need/

AFC South- https://sportselite1.wordpress.com/2017/01/16/each-afc-south-teams-biggest-draft-need/

AFC West- https://sportselite1.wordpress.com/2017/01/16/each-afc-south-teams-biggest-draft-need-2/

Cowboys Keep Rolling….

Tay Holloway

Last week the Cowboys enjoyed a bye week to rest up and heal up. They got a chance to go over places of weakness on the team and address different coaching strategies. The players got a chance to relax and spend time with family away from their busy NFL schedule. That is a good thing but this week it is time to get back into the game and get locked into grind mode. It is time to focus on the back end of the schedule and battle it out until the end.

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This week the Cowboys played the division rival Eagles at home. This game had first place on the line and the Eagles was coming to town with a three game winning streak at the Jerry’s World. The Cowboys are hot right now and they are winning with their two rookies leading the way. Dez Bryant was making his way back and trying to get himself back into the mix of the offense. This game was pretty much everything that everyone was hoping for and more.

The game started off pretty much as a flag city. Jerome Boger is known for throwing as many flags as possible and Dallas had a lot of them. I won’t make excuses for them because the flags they were given was pretty much deserved. You can’t tackle the player after they waived for a fair catch, you can’t run into the punter, you can’t push a person in the back, you can’t hold right in front of the Refs eyes and you seriously can’t put your hands in the face of the receiver after five yards. Those are things that Happened on special teams and the defense that kept on giving the Eagles changes to score more points. They have to clean this up because they can’t keep giving up yards and not getting off the field with this.

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The offense was pretty much stale most of the night. The offensive line had their handfuls with a very good Eagles defensive line. This game was a battle in the trenches for football heads who like to see smash mouth football. The Eagles was bringing five defenders at Prescott Almost every time and it seemed like it was more. He was only sacked one time all game but they hurried him a lot and caused him not to go through his reads well. This caused over thrown balls, under thrown balls and of course an interception. Prescott looked like a rookie and he was struggling but one thing I liked that he did not do was hang his head or show his frustration. He came right back into the game with a cool demeanor and was ready for the next play. He did now dwell on his mistakes but he wanted to make sure he did not make the same ones twice. The interception he threw was on him because nobody was open except for an Eagles defender. The Eagles defense what it was sapped to do on that play so he has to eat that one.

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys

Dez Braynt was back and the Eagles did not play off him at all. They wanted Dez to show them that he was still that dominate receiver that he was in the past. He had a decent game with over 100 yards reviving and a touchdown. I think he could have had more but Prescott over threw or under threw him a few times. I also think they was forcing the ball to Dez too much instead of taking what the defense gives you and just taking the safe pass. I did like the we were not afraid to try to stretch the field and the play calling was very creative after the half. I do think Dez needs to be moved around more to the inside instead of always playing the outside. He should get more one on one changes and less safety help if he is lined up in the slot. Another highlight I want to point is out Jenkins keeping Beasley in check most of the game. That was a battle to see and Beasley was trying to get free and when he was Prescott just did not have enough time to see him.

The Eagles were up two scores in the second half and allowed the Cowboys to comeback and tie the game. Each team had a chance to win the game in regulation but they failed at it and went to overtime. The Cowboys won the toss and took it down the field for a game winning touchdown by the future hall of famer Jason Witten. The eagles left him of all people wide open for the easy catch to end the game and a great comeback win at home. This moved the Cowboys to 6-1 and a two game lead in the division. It was a tough game and the Eagles player harder than it was expected of them from the start of the season. I tip my hat to them and they are a good team and their defense is even better. I do think they need to stop dropping passes for Wentz who is going to be very good for years to come for them. They made the right choice with him as long as he keeps progressing and learning.

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Next week the Cowboys will play the Browns on the road. The Browns are not a push over as they have been playing well but they can’t finish games. They were up over the Jets this week and gave up a three score lead to lose the game at home. They don’t have a win this season and they are starving for a win. The Cowboys will have their hands full with a hungry team full of young guys. We are up for the challenge at hand. Until next time everyone

 

HOW BOUT THEM COWBOYS!!!!!

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How Philly Can Win the NFC East and Beyond

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Sports Elite

By Jesse Hartnett

For all intents and purposes this is supposed to be a down year for the Philadelphia Eagles.  New coach, new system, it’s a rebuilding year.  No one expects anything out of them.  They’re certainly not expected to win many games, right?  I mean, Philly is a mess.  Howie Roseman leveraged everything for a kid who isn’t even going to suit up this year.

The Birds are an afterthought.  The New York Giants are improving under Ben McAdoo while the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys are going to duke it out for the divisional title.  Philly isn’t even in the conversation unless we’re talking about dumpster fires.  Why are they even going to bother to play this season?  They simply cannot compete with all the elite teams in the NFC East. Right? 

image3There’s one problem with that theory.  I don’t think guys like Fletcher Cox and Malcolm Jenkins got the memo that they aren’t any good.  No one told Zach Ertz and Lane Johnson that this season is a lost cause.  Jim Schwartz doesn’t know his defense isn’t capable of stopping anybody.

Here’s the biggest problem of all.  Sam Bradford absolutely knows that no one expects him to play decent football.  He’s heard loud and clear that everyone thinks he’s a washed up bum.  He knows this is his last shot at redemption.  It’s his last chance to make good on twenty plus years of experience and preparation as a quarterback.

Philadelphia Eagles v New York Giants
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – JANUARY 03: Sam Bradford #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles walks on the field with his teammates against the New York Giants during their game at MetLife Stadium on January 3, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Guess what?  Despite popular belief, Sammy Sleeves can play ball.  Now he’s playing with a chip on his shoulder where his only option is to shine and win or it’s all over.  That’s a dangerous combination.  Take a guy with some talent, put his back against the wall and tell him straight up, “We don’t think you can do this.”  I’m not a gambling man, but my money is on Bradford.

Doug Pederson is ushering in a brand new era of same old, same old and that’s a good thing.  His obvious Andy Reid connection leaves players, staff, and many people around the team feeling optimistic that the apple won’t fall far from the tree.  For the handful of players left from Big Red’s regime like Brent Celek and John Dorenbos, it’s a warm calming effect as if the team is finally back to business as usual.  During the Reid era, Philadelphia’s business was winning football games and that’s what these men intend to do.  No one on this roster, no one on this staff, wants to hear it’s a rebuilding year.  This team is here to fight and win football games.

Overlook the Eagles now.  Talk about how great Kirk Cousins is.  Tell everyone you know that Dez Bryant is a first ballot hall of famer.  Get very excited about all the improvements to the Giants secondary.  But on Sundays, hide the women and children because the Eagles are coming with everything they’ve got.

What do they actually have?  The Eagles have arguably the best defensive line in football.  Fletcher Cox and Bennie Logan clog up the middle and get after quarterbacks with the best of them.  Brandon Graham and Connor Barwin are redefining defensive concepts and creating a new position as hybrid flex end linebacking edge rushers who wreak havoc in the backfield, shut down the screen game, and cause confusion in pass coverage.  Jordan Hicks is perhaps the most complete middle linebacker the NFL has seen since Brian Urlacher.  Malcolm Jenkins is consistently praised as one of the top safeties in the game while his teammates in the secondary only continue to improve and show tremendous depth.

That’s just on the defensive side of the ball.  What can the Eagles do with the rock?  Again, it all comes down to Bradford.  Will he show and prove or not?  He’s got the tools around him.

Philly is solid up front boasting a strong offensive line.  With Jason Kelce manning the middle and Jason Peters and Lane Johnson on the bookends, all that was left was to get better at guard.  This offseason addressed that in a big way with the addition of Brandon Brooks, Stephen Wisniewski, and rookie Isaac Seumalo.  Tight ends Brent Celek and Zach Ertz are definitely a strength of the team and a security blanket for Sam Bradford.  Jordan Matthews is primed to have a breakout season, Nelson Agholor has nowhere to go but up, and now that Reuben Randle is around to shoulder some of the load the passing game should be a constant threat.

At running back, we have Ryan Matthews in a similar situation to Bradford.  Here’s a guy the NFL has written off.  But again, he has all the ability in the world if he can just stay healthy.  We know what Darren Sproles can do on sprint runs and catching the ball out of the backfield.  The Sproles Train can score from anywhere on the field.  Then there are wild cards, Kenjon Barner and Wendell Smallwood.  Barner has shown flashes of brilliance in each of the past two pre seasons with long touchdown runs and electrifying kick returns.  Smallwood is a rookie from a small school but under the tutelage of Darren Sproles, who he closely emulates in style and stature, he could prove to be an asset sooner than later.

That brings us to the forgotten game within a game, special teams.  Dave Fipp has orchestrated the best kick return and kick coverage units in the NFL the past few seasons.  The Eagles have had the most returns for touchdowns in the league since Fipp has come on board.  There is no sign of letting up.  Philly should once again field a top producing special teams unit and that alone can win you a few games in this league.

With the defense and special teams units being the strength and backbone of this team, it’s all up to the offense to perform.  That’s where Doug Pederson and his experience as an NFL quarterback comes in.  That’s why the Eagles brought in Frank Reich, another guy who has been down on the gridiron calling plays in the huddle.

It’s an exciting time to root for Philly.  While the rest of the teams in the division are doing more of the same, the Eagles are flipping the script.  There’s no doubt that the Eagles have the roster talent to take the division and make a lot of noise in the NFC.

Look at that.  An entire article about the Philadelphia Eagles and not one time did anyone say Carson Wentz.  Oops…image4

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Dallas Cowboys: Fresh Start

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Sports Elite

By Tay Holloway

A fresh start or is it? It is the beginning of the 2016-2017 National Football League season and the Dallas Cowboys get to smell fresh air and forget all about the miserable and disappointing season they had last year. The team had numerous injuries, personal issues and just bad play all over the field.

Let’s take a look back before we start new. Last season the Cowboys were coming off their NFC East leading, twenty second divisional championship and their first playoff game win since 2009.  In 2009 they beat the NFC East rival Philadelphia Eagles 34-14 in the wild card round.

DeMarco Murray won offensive player of the year in 2014-15 season but he left in free agency to sign a lucrative deal with the division rival Philadelphia Eagles.

The Cowboys then turned around and signed controversial defensive end Greg Hardy to an incentive based contract.  This was an attempt to give the Cowboys a steady pass rush. Things looked well until training camp when Orlando Scandrick suffered a season ending injury.  This started the snowball effect as the season went on.  The injuries and personal issues kept piling on.

This season is new like a brand new baby that is fresh out the womb. Key personnel on the team are healthy and ready to start training camp.  There are a lot of questions and what if’s starting this training camp because personal issues have not ceased. Demarcus Lawrence, Randy Gregory and Rolando McClain are all suspended to start the season.  McClain was issued the longest suspension adding up to 10 games.  This is putting the defense in a crumbled state. There were already question marks as to whether they would be bottom dwellers on that side of the ball this season. This made the Cowboys bring back an old friend in Justin Durant, who played for the Atlanta Falcons last season and was released in February.

This is not a great way to start the new season but hey this is the Dallas Cowboys; they always seem to have some type of drama surrounding them at any moment. During the draft the Cowboys had the 4th overall pick and they made a choice a lot of people didn’t think they would make. People had them taking a defensive player and I myself thought the same. When the pick was in, Ezekiel Elliott was the name that was called. People were surprised but the Cowboys didn’t bite on offers from other teams to move up in the draft. They also didn’t trade up or down.  The Cowboys just went on and took the best player available on their draft board. I have no issues with that because that let me know that Stephen Jones and Will McClay are in control.

On July 22, Elliott was named a suspect in a domestic violence case in Ohio but he denies all the claims. There were four witnesses to the incident and they all claim that there was no assault that occurred and Elliott was not arrested. The NFL is still forming an investigation into the matter and this is once again not a good way to start this fresh new season. It is  also a bad look for his rookie season. Despite all of the negatives that surrounded the Cowboys, they still have high hopes to bounce back from the horrible season in which they were chosen to be contenders by a lot of sports writers and channels.

This season, the same buzz is in the air and I’m not buying all that talk. I do think we will be better on the field with our play and execution but I also am realistic and won’t fall into the hype. I learned a long time ago that just because it looks good on paper does not mean that it will look good on the field.

Until next time, let me get a HOW BOUT THEM COWBOYS!

 

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NFC East Geography Lesson for the Phine Philly Phaithful

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By Jesse Hartnett

The NFL season is officially upon us with the start of training camp all across the league.  What has made it official in the NFC East?  The Redskins have already lost a projected starting linebacker for the season with a torn ACL, the Giants are nowhere to be found, an Eagles rookie has dyed his hair green, and the Dallas Cowboys have crashed the team bus.

 

And now time for a geography lesson.

 

Did you know that out of the four teams, there are only two teams in the NFC East that even play in the same state as the city they represent?  So how many teams actually play in the city they represent?  Of course the answer is one.

 

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The Philadelphia Eagles play their brand of football in beautiful sunny southwest Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  The City of Brotherly Love.  The Cradle of Liberty.  The Birthplace of America.  South Philly is the home of the cheesesteak and a sizzling hotbed of mobster activity, but on Sundays, eighty thousand plus can be found nuzzled into The Linc winning spelling bees to the chant of E! A! G! L! E! S! EAGLES!!!

 

Let’s take a short trip up 95 North on our way to the Big Apple to see our brothers in blue.  We don’t have to go far to find the home of the New York Giants.  We just have to cross over the Delaware River into the Smokestack State of North Jersey to find the concrete, asphalt, swamp and urban sprawl wonderland that is MetLife Stadium.  Notice I didn’t say New Jersey.  There is no such thing.

 

There is North Jersey, where everything and everyone pretends to be a New Yawkah and there is South Jersey, where everything is beautiful and great basking in Philadelphia’s warm glow.  Or is that radiation poisoning floating down the turnpike from North Jersey?  What is this lump on my skin?  Was it there yesterday?

 

image4The East Rutherford North Jersey Giants haven’t had a sniff of the City that Never Sleeps since 1973 when they played at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.  There’s no shame in sharing a home with your city’s baseball team.  But when they win more games in a week than you do all season, something has to give.  The G-men were evicted by the Yankees just winning two dismal games into the 1973 season.

 

1973 New York Giants season
Head coach Alex Webster
Home field Yankee Stadium (2 games),

Yale Bowl (5 games)

Results
Record 2–11–1
Division place 5th NFC East
Playoff finish did not qualify

 

After that, they went on to sharing a studio apartment with the Ivy League Powerhouse Bulldogs (lol) at the Yale Bowl Stadium in New Haven, Connecticut while the Giants struggled to get their life back together like a newly divorced single dad trying to juggle work, splitting time with the kids, and getting back in the swing of things in the dating scene.

 

Two things?  One, is it a bowl or a stadium?  You can’t have both!  And two, Connecticut?  Are you freaking kidding me?  No wonder they settled for North Jersey.

 

Then it was on to Queens for a spell where the Mets welcomed the Giants to Shea Stadium with open arms in 1975 while the Mansion in the Swamp was being built-in the *cough* Meadowlands.  Sorry, something in my throat…  And that was all she wrote.  Bye bright lights and big city living.

 

Now, let’s take a journey into one of the biggest train-wreck mess of all time.  There has never been a bigger we need to talk about Kevin team in all of the history of sports than “the team in Washington”.  Are we still doing that?  How can we even do that?  They don’t play in freaking Washington!  Ok.  The team in Landover, Maryland.  Aye yay aye, oi vey, I’m getting a headache.  image5

 

Whatever, the Rrrr.  The Rrrre…  The Redskins.  “Oh no, he said it!”

Carrying on, the Redskins, ahem, obviously don’t have a home state.  They have a district.  Fair enough.  Not their fault our nation’s leaders were superstitious about changing the number of stars on the flag.  Can’t blame anyone for that.

 

The last time the team from Washington actually played in The District was the same year you were doing the Macarena. Yes 1996, for those of you counting at home.  That was the last time the burgundy and gold warriors of Washington suited up for our nation’s capital.  That year, the Skins became the first team in professional football history to start a season with seven wins after eight games and not make the playoffs.  You like that!  Shortly after, Dan Snyder bought the team, moved headquarters to Ashburn, Virginia and the rest shall we say, is history.

 

Speaking of history and I mean ancient history, how bout them Cowboys?  There is no better segue, I’m sorry.  Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, Michael Irvin, Jimmy Johnson.  Oh, Roger Staubach, Tom Landry, Greg Hardy.  Wait, never mind.

 

Yes, let’s talk history.  When is the last time Dem Boyz of Arlington played in Big D?  Get out your poofy hair and bell bottoms because that would be 1971 in the Cotton Bowl.  Groovy baby!

 

America’s team hails from Arlington by way of Irving, Texas, where headquarters is located.  Do you know the motto for Irving, Texas?  “Delivering Exceptional Service”.  Now Jerrah’s press conference is starting to make sense.

 

In contrast, we have the phreaking Philadelphia Eagles!  Never been a front.  Never been a fraud.  When have the Eagles ever not played their home games in Philly?  The answer:  NEVER!

 

  • 1933-1935

The Baker Bowl

15th and Huntingdon Streets

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

 

  • 1936-1939 and again in 1941

The Philadelphia Municipal Stadium is later known as JFK

South Broad Street

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

 

  • 1940 and 1942-1957

Shibe Park aka Connie Mack Stadium

N 21st St & W Lehigh Avenue

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

 

  • 1958-1970

Franklin Field

South 33rd and Spruce Streets

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

 

  • 1971-2002

Veterans Stadium

3501 South Broad Street

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

 

  • 2003-present

Lincoln Financial Field

1020 Pattison Avenue

Philaphreakindelphia, Pennsylphreakinvania!

 

Notice a theme here?

 

The Philadelphia Eagles are the only team in the NFC East that is true.  The only team that doesn’t feed its fan base boldface falsehoods every time it steps on the field.  Got a Dallas Cowboys coffee cup?  You’re drinking your morning brew out of lies!

 

Now that the facts are out on the table, now that you know the truth about the NFC East, you can wake up in the morning and put your favorite team’s attire.  Will you be wearing it with peace of mind knowing that your team truly represents the city they claim or will you be second guessing your affiliation?  There’s only one team that rings true and they wear midnight green.

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NFC LEAST NO MORE?

By Lawrence Edwards

For the last few years the NFC East has been somewhat of the laughing stock of the NFL. Since 2009 the NFC East has only had one team in the division make the playoffs while the 2nd place team either barely missed or wasn’t even close, the latter more than the former. Being dubbed the NFC Least doesn’t sit right with fans, trust me, especially since there was a time when the NFC East was feared. However, based off the last few performances of the division how could you blame them for giving it that label? But! What if that is all about to change right under your nose?

 

Let’s take a look at the possibilities here. Washington is coming fresh off a division winning season after taking advantage of well under performing division. Yes we like to label their win with an asterisk because the division was so bad but that brings into question, why couldn’t the others do it? The fate of Washington’s hopes of a winning record lies in the arm of “Cousin Kirk.” We all know they have a young defensive front that should be improved this season and the addition of Josh Norman, whether you consider him elite or not, can only bring progression right? Young stud TE Jordan Reed is a matchup nightmare that finally was able to stay healthy. Reed being healthy is also very huge, because let’s face it, we are very aware of his past with the injury bug, but if it’s then Washington will be a legitimate contender.

 

Dallas Cowboys took a huge, (un-suspecting to Cowboy diehards) nose dive from that impressive 12-4 season in 2014. Safe to say they owe all their 2015 woes to the untimely injuries of Tony and Dez. Some would also like to put this on Jerry for having terrible backup QB’s but come on, not everyone has a Matt Flynn (GB backup days only). With Romo and Dez healthy, Dallas should be team that can win at least 10 games. Only thing that will hurt them is the lack of a pass rush and not doing enough to address it. However, I think with the duo healthy and the O-line still in-tact and fresh legs in backfield can get them above .500.

 

The New York Giants are coming off back to back disappointing seasons. Giants’ offense was ranked #8 in 2015 so we know that wasn’t the issue. Hell, for a lot of teams a top 10 offense and a mediocre defense is enough to get them to at least the 2 round of the playoffs. But, that’s just the issue. The Giants didn’t have a mediocre defense in 2015, nope; the Giants defense couldn’t stop a paper cut from bleeding. Time and time again all the defense needed was to get one or two good stops and the Giants season may have gone a completely different way. Last year the defense was filled up with free agents past their prime (if they had one), waiver wire pickups, my grandmother… anyway you get my point. The Giants addressed that issue very aggressively this off-season. Now we know FA is not the best way to build your team but the Giants got young players entering the prime of their careers who could very well turn out to be huge impacts for them. Vernon was vastly overpaid in my honest opinion but he brings youth to table with his talent and ability. The young defender has 29 sacks in his four year career and now he shakes the shadows of Cameron Wake to show what he can do. Damian Harrison was the best run stuffer in the league last year and being paired up with Jonathan Hankins could turn out to be a pretty good duo. That will be a lot of body to try and move in the trenches. Janoris Jenkins is a good player to pair with DRC in the secondary. Rookie Darian Thompson is known for being a ball hawk and has been given quite the review so far in camp. He did break Eric Weddle’s Mountain West Conference record for career INT with 19. The Giants defense should be greatly improved this season and help them win the close games that sent them spiraling to a 6-10 finish.

 

Philly will find their road rather tougher I believe. They have that stout defensive front 7 over there and just locked up Cox to a major contract. The Eagles are a tough call right now because no one honestly knows who will be their starting QB. Bottom line I don’t see Bradford winning more than 8 games or staying healthy for a full season for that matter. Unless Carson Wentz is the next Andrew Luck, Philly might be the odd ball of the division this season. NFC East could very well have 3 teams with a winning record when it’s all said and done and 2 teams in the post season for the first time since 2008. NFC East is looking to strike fear in the hearts of the NFL again. Do you think it can be done?