NFC East: Who Will Come Out on Top?

Rory KingContributor IJuly 23, 2009

IRVING, TX - DECEMBER 14:  Quarterback Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants fumbles the ball while sacked by DeMarcus Ware #94 of the Dallas Cowboys in the first quarter at Texas Stadium on December 14, 2008 in Irving, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

The NFC East is regarded as the NFL's toughest division and it will be for some time.

The NFC East has the league's toughest teams in the Giants, the Cowboys, the Eagles, and the Redskins.  Last year, not one team in this division finished below .500.  It wouldn't be surprising if the next NFL champion will come from this division.  Here's my take on the teams for this season:



Finishing at 8-8, the Redskins had nothing short of a mediocre year, although they are still considered a team to be reckoned with.  In my opinion, if the Redskins played in the NFC West, they would have won 10 games last season.  That says a lot about this division.  Its not easy to be in the same division as the 2007 champs, a resurgent Philly team, and the spectacle that is the Dallas Cowboys. 

I really don't see them as the class of the NFC East this year, but I do predict a better year all in all for the 'Skins.  If Jason Campbell works to have a breakthrough season, he has a decent offense to work with and can give teams plenty of trouble.  Playing against a weak AFC West this season should play out favorably for the 'Skins this season. The only team that can cause issues for the Redskins are the Chargers, and by the time they play the Chargers next season, San Diego will have probably wrapped up a playoff spot and won't need to play hard.  This, my friends, would be a cinch for the 'Skins.

My Prediction: 9-7 (4th, NFC East)



The Giants are still the best team in the NFC East (this is hard for me to say because I'm a Cowboys fan, but I do like to remain objective).  They will once again be a favorite to make a return trip to the Super Bowl, where they last played two seasons ago.  The Giants will have a healthy defense when the season begins and that, quite frankly, is scary.  Eli Manning has continued to mature and become a natural leader on the field, and that translates into better players all around him. 

It will be interesting to see who's going to step up and and take Plaxico Burress's place as the go-to receiver, but all in all the Giants will be fine.  The team with the improbable win over then-undefeated New England Patriots are still pretty much intact, but it remains to be seen if that was just a fluke.  The Giants have one of the deepest defensive squads in the league, so look for them to be No. 1 or No.2 in defensive rankings.

My Prediction: 13-3 (1st, NFC East)



Last year was just an embarrassment for the Cowboys and their fans.  Cowboys fans should be glad to be rid of the annoyance that is Terrell Owens.  He has destroyed every team he's been on, hence the name Team Obliterator.  His replacement, Roy Williams, was already on the roster with him last season.  Roy should have a better year, and he has had more time to get comfortable with Jason Garrett's offense.  He should see a lot of touches.  If Miles Austin and Patrick Crayton can keep pace, the receiving corps should baffle defensive coordinators the league over.  Look for Marion Barber, Felix Jones and Tashard Choice to be the new Earth, Wind, and Fire this season.

The Cowboys' gameplan has changed a bit over the offseason.  The pass-happy offense will now become a pound-it-out running offense.  Brian Stewart will no longer be calling the defense, mainly because he was canned for calling stupid plays. Wade Phillips will be calling the defense this year, and if the defense in San Diego was any indication of how Wade calls, well, now that is just a scary defense.  I think by now Jerry Jones has realized that just because someone is a superstar doesn't guarantee that they will win you a championship.  This team is solid, the chemistry is solid, and there are no distractions anymore.  They are still one of the most talented football teams out there, look for a great season.

My Prediction: 12-4 (2nd, NFC East; NFC Champions)



I have always hated Philly, but I have to recognize a great team when I see one.  Donovan McNabb is going to be coming back rejuvenated, with a better offensive line to protect, and decent wideouts.  Not to mention the defense that ranked No. 3 last season and a do-it-all Brian Westbrook.  With Andy Reid and Jim Johnson coaching this team, the Eagles are still very capable of winning many games.  Jim Johnson's blitz-happy D is revered the league over.  Quarterbacks will be mentally bruised all season long.  With McNabb and Westbrook, Eagles fans trust there will be plenty of excitement.  As I stated earlier in the article, this division will be facing a weak AFC West and the NFC South.  The NFC East is much better than those two divisions, although the NFC South is regaining their stature as one of the best.  The Eagles should have absolutely no trouble against the AFC West this coming season and will be a playoff team for sure.

My Prediction: 10-6, 3rd NFC EAST