NFC East Will Be Tough, but the Washington Redskins Should Fare Well

Jeff KoslofskyContributor IMay 8, 2009

LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 21:  Quarterback Jason Campbell #17 of the Washington Redskins runs the ball during the game of the Philadelphia Eagles on December 21, 2008 at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The NFC East will once again play host to some classic battles this season.  All four teams will be playoff contenders, as usual.  The Washington Redskins will certainly have to be on their A-game in all six of the NFC East match-ups.

The New York Giants had a great offseason.  Sure, they lost Derrick Ward on offense, but still have amazing talent in Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw.  I also think they have found a nice replacement for Plaxico Burress in first-round pick Hakeem Nicks out of University of North Carolina.

Sure, he's not as tall as Burress, but I believe he is much stronger.

The Giants really beefed up their defense as well, as if it needed any more help. Bringing in defensive end Chris Canty from the Dallas Cowboys will add to an already scary pass rush.

Osi Umenyiora will be healthy, but that obviously didn't hurt the pass rush last season.  For the Redskins, it will not be fun.

Moving on to the Philadelphia Eagles, who I believe will be the one team in the division to give the Giants a good run for their money at the first-place spot.  This team is scary.

Donovan McNabb already had a deep threat in DeSean Jackson. Now he's got another in first round pick Jeremy Maclin.  McNabb should be licking his chops at this combination of playmakers.  

The Eagles also got a steal in the second round with running back LeSean McCoy.  This was a great pick-up with Brian Westbrook getting a little older, not that that's going to slow him down too much.  

This guy can run, he can catch, and he can find the end zone. That sounds a lot like Westbrook.

The only concern for the Eagles should be the departure of safety Brian Dawkins. He was a great leader for that time, not to mention a hard hitter and a great player in general.

This will make a lot of Redskins fans happy when I say the Cowboys will finish last in the division this year.  It's a bold prediction, but I'm making it anyway.  

I just think this team is a mess. They did help themselves by getting rid of Terrell Owens, but at the same time lost a great receiver.

I know Roy Williams is supposed to step into that starting role, but then who else do they have? Miles Austin? Patrick Crayton? These are solid receivers, but I don't see where they will be legitimate threats.  

Austin had 13 catches for 278 yards last season with three touchdowns.  Patrick Crayton had 39 catches for 550 yards and four touchdowns.

Also, quarterback Tony Romo has yet to prove himself as being able to finish out a season and keep it going strong into the playoffs.  The guy is great, don't get me wrong, but he has yet to win a postseason game and take his 'Boys past the first round of the playoffs.

The Cowboys couldn't really help themselves in the draft either, having zero first- or second-round picks.

I'm thinking the Washington Redskins will have to win at least three of their NFC East battles in order to make the playoffs.  

That will be no easy task.  I don't see any team in the division finishing below the .500 mark. However, I do think the Redskins will get into the playoffs this year.

I think the Redskins can without a doubt get off to a great start like they did a year ago. They get St. Louis, Detroit, Tampa Bay, Carolina, and Kansas City before their bye in Week Eight.  

They also get to play the Giants and Eagles before their bye.  But all of those are very winnable games, and if the 'Skins can muster up some sort of offense, they can start the season off on the right track, just as they did in 2008.  

They just better hope they can keep it up, as the second half of their schedule is pretty rough.