Ranking the NFC East Secondaries: Eagles the Best of a Bad Batch
Earlier this offseason, we ranked all four NFC East teams based on how strongly we felt about each squad's chances heading into 2012. Now we're breaking things down on more of a micro scale. Here's how we view the secondaries within the division.
1. Philadelphia Eagles: They struggled a fair bit last year, Asante Samuel—who's way better than he's given credit for—is gone and the safeties are both below average. Still, I'm giving the edge to Philly. Nnamdi Asomugha is still the best corner in the division, and a full offseason to get acclimated should do him and the super talented Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie good. I'm not sure about Nate Allen and Kurt Coleman, but they've at least shown glimpses of promise. In a worst-case scenario, Oshiomogho Atogwe is there to provide insurance.
2. Dallas Cowboys: The much-maligned Dallas secondary was statistically better than New York and not far from Washington's range last season. Now, they've added new No. 1 corner Brandon Carr, top pick Morris Claiborne as a No. 2 and veteran Brodney Pool, who could prove to be a free agent steal at safety. Given that Rob Ryan will have finally had a full offseason to teach these guys the system, I'm fully expecting the Dallas secondary to post better than average numbers in 2012.
Which NFC East team has the best secondary?
3. New York Giants: They ranked 29th in the league in terms of yards allowed last year, and then lost veteran corner Aaron Ross. Yet I'm keeping the Giants out of the bottom spot because I believe in Terrell Thomas. If Thomas can stay healthy, he'll be an upgrade over Ross. And if Prince Amukamara can live up to expectations, we'll be looking at a stellar group of defensive backs in New Jersey.
4. Washington Redskins: I like Josh Wilson, and I can tolerate DeAngelo Hall, who is very skilled and has a knack for big plays but also takes too many chances. I do not, however, like any of the options at safety very much, and there's not enough depth across the board. Give them credit for addressing an area of concern in the offseason, but with guys like Brandon Meriweather, Madieu Williams, Cedric Griffin and Tanard Jackson, they went quantity over quality.
All four of these units have issues, and there are some very good quarterbacks and receivers in this division. That's a scary combination—one that could mean we'll be seeing even more points in the NFC East this season.
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