NFC East Looks to Continue Dominance in 2009
In both 2007 and 2008, the NFC East has taken three of the six NFC playoff spots in each year. The New York Giants have been in every year since 2005, and won Super Bowl 42.
The Philadelphia Eagles have been to the NFC Title game five times this decade. Oh and the Redskins and Cowboys have been to the playoffs twice since 2005. Pretty impressive huh?
Going into 2009, the Eagles are coming off a surprise NFC Championship game appearance—a game where they had a fourth quarter lead—and reloaded with some good talent to surround Donovan McNabb.
The Giants are the defending division champ, and boast perhaps the best defense in the division. However, Dallas and Washington seem to be looking more for an identity.
Dallas is now unquestionably Tony Romo's team (take that as you may), and hope that Roy Williams can become the go-to receiver Jerry Jones imagined when he paid a king's ransom to Detroit to get him.
After a disastrous 9-7 season that saw the Cowboys humiliated in Philly with a playoff berth on the line, I can't imagine this is the type of press Jerry wants around his team heading into their new multi-billion dollar stadium.
While Washington once again made their annual big splash in free agency with Albert Haynesworth, their draft day was odd to say the least. They added Brian Orakpo which gives them some needed pass rush, but their supposed interest in Mark Sanchez ticked off their starter Jason Campbell. Dan Snyder always makes things interesting.
Onto what seems to be the head of the division, the Giants and Eagles both seemed to make moves that improved their respective teams.
The Giants have a ton of young receivers now to hopefully replace the production of Plaxico Burress and Amani Toomer. Draft picks Hakeem Nicks, Ramses Barden and Travis Beckum will join Domenik Hixon and Steve Smith as Eli Manning's targets.
However in free agency they added Michael Boley, Rocky Bernard and Chris Canty to an already top notch defense.
The Eagles came into the offseason needing to add players to make Donovan McNabb happy. They did that in the draft by adding weapons in wide receiver Jeremy Maclin out of Missouri, and LeSean McCoy out of Pitt can become the second option they've needed as Brian Westbrook hits 30 years old.
The Eagles also signed Stacy Andrews and traded for Jason Peters to solidifytheir offensive line.
As the defending division champs, the Giants are the team to beat. The road to a repeat is not easy though, as the Eagles are improved and the Cowboys could be very good if Romo takes that next step.
The division is looking at at-least two potential locks in the playoff field (Giants and Eagles), and when you put Dallas and Washington up against the rest of the NFC, their right there.
The NFC East was the best division in the conference the last two years. With the way the off-season transpired, the division might not get three teams into the playoffs again, but with the Eagles and Giants, you might be looking at the two best teams in the entire conference.
Tom Coughlin will have his work cut out for him and his team this year if they want to repeat, but there's no other way they would want it.
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