In the final segment of version 1.0 of our series, we’ll take a look at the NFC East. The division is set up to be one of the most competitive in the league again so the teams will give us a show worth watching.
Last year was a comeback year for Dallas after they picked up two standout rookies who turned the club from a 4-12 nightmare to a 13-3 juggernaut. The club only list to two teams last year, the New York Giants and they dropped their last game to Philadelphia in a lazy season-ender, normal custom for teams that have already locked home field advantage. The cowboys promise more of the same in 2017, with rushing leader Zeke Elliot trying to replicate that mark and Dak Prescott fighting against the common opinion that he’ll drop into the dreaded sophomore slump.
New York had a good year in 2016, boasting one of the best secondaries in the league and warming bragging rights as the only team to sweep the Dallas Cowboys. Their offseason was decent, shedding some dead weight in Victor Cruz and Marshall Newhouse, among others, as well as picking up vet wide receiver Brandon Marshall. With one of the league’s best receivers already on the field, a veteran voice promises at least the hope that cooler heads will prevail for OBJ on game day. The team is set up for success.
The Redskins has high hopes for their defense last year, picking up star corner Josh Norman. Unfortunately he failed to produce as hoped. His penalty yardage was almost as much as his yardage defensed, not a good look for a corner. Although the Skins finished with a winning record, technically, they took a huge step backwards from their 2015 year. With losing receivers Pierre Garcon and Deshaun Jackson this offseason, their receiving corps is notably weakened. They did pick up Terrell Pryor, who had a good year on Cleveland but may not be the workers that Kirk Cousins needs him to be. Speaking of Cousins, he’s going into the season already angry at his treatment by Washington’s management, so I wouldn’t expect a huge push from him to strive for the top.
Philadelphia got lucky in the draft last year, picking up Carson Wentz, who did a very serviceable job as a guest year starter. They had considerably one of the better offseasons in the league, stealing LeGarrette Blount from the free agency pool, a move that strengthened their rushing game considerably. As him to tight end Zach Ertz and Wentz has a pretty good stable to make a push.
There’s nothing to say that the Cowboys don’t repeat their dominance in the new season, although they may have a tough time again versus the Giants. They’ve still got the talent to top the division, regardless of the uncertainty on the defense.
More of the same for the New York Giants this year, although they are poised to make a more substantially push for the top of the division. I still expect them to fall a little short.
The Eagles are ready to start making a mark again and they’re getting pieces in place to do so. This year will be a good year for Carson Wentz, with some vet guidance and a reigning Superbowl champ on the roster to help him along.
The Redskins will take a step back, falling under the weight of the increasingly talented division that they’re in. I’d predict a drop this year unless they can remedy the turmoil that’s plagued them so far this offseason, on and off the field.
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