The poor in the East. Nobody takes it seriously anymore. The name of the beast is no longer used. It is the worst division in the NFL.
The Dallas Cowboys dominated the division last season, going 6-0 and finishing with a 12-5 record. The Eagles made the playoffs under first-year coach Nick Sirianni. The New York Giants finished with a 4-13 record and the Washington Commanders finished with a 7-10 record.
The Giants decided to part ways with their coaching staff and front office in order to have a better chance of success in the Meadowlands. Washington hopes the defense will return to form with the return of pass-rusher Chase Young. The Eagles hope to get more out of the defense with the help of QB Jalen Hurts. Mike McCarthy is entering his third season with the Cowboys, and he wants to do more than just get to the playoffs.
With the first wave of free agency over and the draft approaching fast, the Giants and Eagles each have two first-round picks.
Is it cheating to say that keeping DeMarcus Lawrence is the biggest move of the off-season? I don't think so. The defensive lineman was going to be cut in June if he didn't agree to a new contract. He got a $30 million guaranteed deal. The Cowboys want to see him increase his sack total because he is a vital part of the defense. It has been three years since he reached double digits.
Are the Cowboys better, worse or the same entering the draft? They are definitely not better or the same, but it is not clear how much worse they are after losing some players. The Cowboys didn't think Cooper was a $20 million receiver. The offense is not better without Cooper. Maybe they are closer to the same if they add a receiver in the first two rounds of the draft. Are they replacing Gregory with Dante Fowler Jr.? They need help with the offensive line. There are many questions.
The best guess is Texas A&M guard Kenyon Green. The decision was between him and Zion Johnson. The Cowboys did not sign a free agent who could be considered a starter after losing Williams. The offensive line is a must-add position. Green and Johnson would be an immediate starter at left guard.
If the Cowboys win the division, the defense will make a second-year jump and the offense will return to its former form. The Cowboys will enter as the favorite to win the division, but no team has repeated as division champion since 2004. The Cowboys won the division with an average margin of victory of 22.2 points. It isn't enough for another team to take over the top spot at the moment.
Tim and Bart disagree on how much of the blame should be placed on Daniel Jones.
There wasn't a great influx of talent in this division. Mark Glowinski was signed by the Giants. Normally, that would be the third or fourth best addition, but they had to shop on the cheap because of the salary cap restrictions. The biggest addition to date is Glowinski, who almost lost his starting job with the Colts. The bar is low, but he is a proven starter. They needed that.
Are the Giants better, worse or the same entering the draft? The defensive backs, tight end, and linebacker are no longer with the team. James Bradberry could be next. How is the Giants not worse at this point? The plan was for the biggest additions to come from the draft. We know that will be the case. They will be better with two top 10 picks. This roster is worse than the 4-13 version that started last season, and perhaps the worst in this century.
Alabama OT Evan Neal and Cincinnati CB Ahmad are the most likely first-round picks. If NC State's Ikem Ekwonu is still available, the offensive tackle will be at No. 5. Working on the premise that Ekwonu goes first and Neal is available makes it an easy decision for Schoen. The cleanest corner in the draft. He plays a premium position, fits the man-coverage schemes of Don and Wink, and it's probably not a coincidence that he made it to Cincinnati's pro day.
If the other teams quit on the season, the Giants will win the division. Something crazy would have to happen for the Giants to win the division. They are going to rely on rookies because of their weak roster. Not good. In addition, running back Saquon Barkley would need to play like he did before his injury, quarterback Daniel Jones needs a Josh Allen jump and most of the other players must remain healthy. That seems to be a lot of work.
They made a big move with the signing of edge rusher Haason Reddick to a three-year, $45 million deal. He has had 23.5 sacks over the past two years and will level-up a pass-rushing group that finished second-to-last in sacks last season. He will make the scheme more dynamic. Expect more odd fronts, with Reddick rushing from all over, including as a stand-up defender from the strongside linebacker post.
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Are the Eagles better, worse or the same entering the draft? Better. They added Reddick, Kyzir White, and receiver, as well as re-signed defensive end, Anthony Harris, receiver, Greg Ward, and defensive back. Only one of their free agents, defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway, has signed elsewhere. The Eagles locked up several key players from the draft before they hit free agency.
The best guess at first-round picks is Georgia and LSU. The Eagles build from the inside-out and should have some gifted defensive linemen fall to them at No. 15. They have holes at corner and safety, and general manager Howie Roseman has been slow to plug them in free agency. He could see Stingley and Trent McDuffie in the first round.
If the old guard can stay strong for one more year, the Eagles will win the division. The team that won the Super Bowl had mixed results last season. The center and right tackle played well and stayed healthy. Early in the season, defensive end Brandon Graham tore his achilles and defensive tackle Fletcher Cox never found his form. In order for Hurts to remain upright, and for the Eagles to build on their playoff appearance from a year ago, they need meaningful contributions from their veterans.
Dan Orlovsky was not happy with the trade of Carson Wentz from the Colts to the Commanders.
They added a quarterback. The value of Wentz will be debated. Was he worth the cost? He has been traded twice in a year. Is he able to play like a possible NFL Most Valuable Player? All fair. He is an upgrade in Washington, which has the lowest combined total QBR over the past four seasons. Washington can use more of the field in the passing game because of the strong arm of Wentz. They have wanted to upgrade the position for a long time, but Taylor Heinicke deserves praise for how he played. In the short term, he should help because he has to prove he is the long-term solution.
Commanders entering the draft are either better or worse. It's slightly better because of him. He has a lot to prove, but Washington might have the second best quarterback in the division. That matters. If Young, Samuel and Thomas are healthy, that makes them better. Young will be important for the defense. Losing guard Brandon Scherff hurts the offensive line and they have lost depth along the defensive line. They need to replace hybrid safety/linebacker Landon Collins, who played their important Buffalo nickel role more than half the time last season.
The best guess is if two quarterbacks are picked in the top 10. A couple players will fall to 11 if that happens. If that happened, Kyle Hamilton would be a great choice. He would help fill the role of Buffalo nickel. They could use a receiver and two could go in the top 10.
If commanders win the division. Young, coming off a tornACL, is back to his old form, while Wentz plays at a high level. They have to hope that Dallas takes a step back and that the Eagles don't ascend after a surprising playoff season. If the Commanders have good health, they will be able to play without a number of key players down the stretch.