Day two of breaking down the NFL has led me to the NFC East. To me the NFC East is the most physical and interesting division in football. I am hoping to write this without bias since I am a noted lifelong Dallas Cowboys fan. It is my duty however to provide information without bias as I stated in my About Me requisition.
One of the great characteristics of the NFC East is there is a balance of power. At any time during the year any team in the division can be in first place. There is also almost always a chance that any team in the division would be a favorite to win the Super Bowl on an annual basis.
We begin our talks of the NFC East with the Dallas Cowboys. On paper, the Cowboys appear to have it all. A strong and effective quarterback, Tony Romo, who I personally think is the key to it all for the Cowboy success. They have a trio of running backs, in Felix Jones, DeMarco Murray, and my favorite TaShard Choice who would all probably start for other teams in the NFL. They have the biggest offensive line in football, although they are getting a little older, they are still proven. The only person on that line that is unproven will probably be the key to it all, as Doug Free gets his chance to prove his worth at left tackle. At wide receiver, the Cowboys have the biggest surprise in the league as Miles Austin has taken the lead receiving role. The supporting cast will be second year phenom Dez Bryant who should be exciting. Plus the Cowboys have two of the most dynamic tight ends in the league.
Defensively the Cowboys have a steady front line anchored by Jay Ratliff, a steady line backing core, and an unproven secondary which in all honesty may be their weakest link on the defense.
Key Players: Tony Romo (QB), Miles Austin (WR), Jason Witten (TE), Jay Ratliff (NT), DeMarcus Ware (OLB), Felix Jones (RB), Dez Bryant (WR),
Projected Division Finish: Third
New York Giants
The New York Giants are the team that could be the linchpin to the division. They have the possibility to be the sleeper. They have a wealth of talent on the defensive side of the ball and in this years draft they just added to that depth. They also have a proven Super Bowl winning quarterback in Eli Manning. The Giants also have a deep running back core headed by Brandon Jacobs who will look to recapture his running dominance of 2008. The wide receiving core appears to have gotten a little better this season as Hakeem Nicks has come into his own. The offensive line is the most dynamic in the division as they can all seem to play every position on the offensive line.
Defensively the Giants are about as solid as they come. The front four could all possibly make the pro bowl as Justin Tuck and company anchor that front seven. The secondary is arguably one of the best in the league as Aaron Ross and Corey Webster hold it down on the outside.
Key Players: Eli Manning (QB), Brandon Jacobs (RB), Hakeem Nicks (WR) , Steve Smith (WR), Justin Tuck (DT), Osi Umenyiora (DE), Aaron Ross (CB), Corey Webster (CB)
Projected Division Finish: Second
The Philadelphia Eagles have made the boldest moves in the division. They have appeared to have made a youth movement. Although they have opted to go young, don’t mistake the Eagles talent level. The Eagles have a talented and electrifying Michael Vick as a bona-fide starting quarterback. The backfield will be even more dynamic as Leshon McCoy did a great job last season and adding Ronnie Brown to the mix just made the Eagles that much stronger. The strength of this Eagles team is its wide receiver core. The receivers are headed by the dynamic DeSean Jackson, Johnny Lee Higgins, and Jeremy Macklin. The offensive line will be a question as the Eagles gave up a ton of sacks last season.
Defensively the Eagles will be steady as sack machine Trent Cole returns for another season. The linebackers will be more experienced this season and shall make a difference. The secondary should be better than last season as Asante Samuel is joined by pro bowlers Nnamdi Asomugha, and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
Key Players: DeSean Jackson (WR), Trent Cole (DE), Asante Samuel (CB), Mike Vick (QB), Leonard Weaver (FB) Nnamdi Asomugha (CB), Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (CB)
Projected Division Finish: First
The Washington Redskins have made a ton of moves but a lot of their success will depend on their ability to score touchdowns this year. The Redskins have upgraded a lot throughout their roster. They traded away Donovan McNabb and settled on an unproven Rex Grossman. They added bruising running back Tim Hightower to the mix with last years stand out Ryan Torain. The area that needed the most addressing has yet to be addressed. The wide receiver core was totally revamped but it still needs a little work. The Redskins decided that it was time to get away from the tiny wide receivers and build themselves up with some size on the outside. Unfortuantely they were force to sign a few more small receivers. The offensive line to shall be a question for the Redskins as they look for a replacement to take care of Grossman’s back side.
Defensively the Skins will have shed themselves of Albert Haynesworth. The Skins are steady at linebacker and London Fletcher, probably the most underrated linebacker in the league, returns for another season. The Redskins secondary is as deep as they come with Philip Buchanon, Byron Westbrook , and DeAngelo Hall holding things down.
Key Players: Rex Grossman (QB), Tim Hightower (RB), Chris Cooley (TE), Fred Davis (TE), Ryan Torain(RB), London Fletcher (LB), DeAngelo Hall (CB)
Projected Division Finish: Last