A Giant Obstacle Course

Bobby Reagan@uklefty22Featured ColumnistMay 23, 2009

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 03:  Marion Barber #24 of the Dallas Cowboys scores a touchdown against the New York Giants at Giants Stadium on December 3, 2006 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Michael Heiman/Getty Images)

The NFC East is commonly known as the toughest division in the National Football League. However, this year it could be more wide open and unpredictable than ever

Questions loom for all four teams—the Giants, Cowboys, Redskins, and Eagles—and there is no clear favorite heading into 2009-10.

In order for the Giants to defend their NFC East crown, they will have to battle the 10th-hardest schedule. Outside of the home-and-home series with the other three teams in their division, the Giants have to travel to Tampa Bay, Kansas City, New Orleans, Denver, and Minnesota. They will also play host to Atlanta, San Diego, Oakland, Arizona, and Carolina.

Not an easy road by any means.

Inside the division, the Giants must win their three home games in order to have a shot at winning the NFC East. Looking more closely at the Giants' divisional rivals, each team has made moves this season that makes this division wide open.

Starting with the Cowboys, they will not have their popcorn ready, as T.O. is now playing for "North America's Team." They will also have a new-look defensive backfield as Roy Williams, Anthony Henry, and Adam Jones lost their stars.

The big question for the Cowboys though will always be the team chemistry. Now that T.O. is gone, will Tony Romo flourish with Jason Witten, or will the Cowboys face another heartbreaking season?

The Philadelphia Eagles, who lost in the NFC Championship, will be without Tra Thomas and Brian Dawkins—a face of the franchise. However, Philly has reloaded with a strong draft class that included Jeremy Maclin and LeSean "Shady" McCoy, as well as bringing in Jason Peters and Ellis Hobbs.

The Eagles have the speed to win the NFC East, but the question that I ask Philadelphia is can McNabb continue to play as strong as he has? He's starting to get older and was even benched last year for a half due to lack of performance. Will that happen again this year, or will he continue to flourish?

The Redskins are the one team that everyone seems to be writing off to win the NFC East. There were rumors they wanted to get a quarterback—mainly Mark Sanchez or Jay Cutler—to replace incumbent Jason Campbell, but they were unable to do so.

However, they did make a huge defensive splash in signing Albert Haynesworth in the offseason. The Redskins were terrible at getting to the quarterback last year, only having 24 sacks as a team. They hope Haynesworth is able to be that guy to increase that stat.

It won't be easy, but the Giants have proven they can battle a tough schedule to win the NFC East and make the playoffs. This season should be the same, as my projections include the Giants at 11-5, Eagles 10-6, Cowboys 10-6, Redskins 8-8.