A preview for what is set to be yet another great year in the NFC East.
After a very tumultuous beginning of the season, the Cowboys surprisingly caught fire in December, thus leading to their first playoff victory since 1996. The Cowboys' late season rally has certainly given this team all the confidence they need to make another deep playoff run. If that's not enough, the Cowboys also have the incentive of possibly being the first team in NFL history to play a home Superbowl game. Since last season the Cowboys have bettered their offense by adding former Oklahoma State standout wide receiver, Dez Bryant. The Cowboys already have one of the best defenses in football, and now with Dez Bryant possibly ready to replace Roy Williams, the Boys' offense may be tops in the league. The only possible downfall the Cowboys may face is that Doug Free will now be protecting Tony Romo's blindside. Either way, I expect the Cowboys to win the East.
After a very disappointing 2009 season, (4-12), the Redskins are set to make a run at the playoffs for a few simple reasons. These reasons are Mike Shanahan and Donovan Mcnabb. Shanahan and Mcnabb give the Redskins a great coach-quarterback combination for the first time since Joe Gibbs retired. Though the Skins finished last season with only 4 wins, the Redskins lost 6 games by 10 points or less. If Albert Haynesworth chooses to play to his potential the Redskins are a lock to have a good defense, and by adding Donovan Mcnabb + offensive guru Mike Shanahan the Skins are ready to improve offensively as well. As long as 1st round pick, Trent Williams protects Donovan Mcnabb, the Skins are prepared to make a playoff push.
In short, the Giants have improved from last season, but I am not sure if they have improved nearly enough to fight for the division crown. By adding athletic freak, Antrel Rolle, the Giants have filled the huge void they had at safety last year. The Giants are also returning key defensive back, Aaron Ross, but with the loss of the heart of the Giant defense, Antonio Pierce, the Giants may not have the dominant defense that is key to their success. On the offensive side of the ball, Eli Manning may be one of the top quarterbacks in all of football, but the Giants running game may not nearly be enough to keep opposing defenses in check. In my opinion if the Giants fail to compete for a playoff spot, Tom Coughlin could be packing his bags at the end of the season. Ever since the departure of Steve Spagnuolo the Giants have not nearly been the same team.
As much as it pains me to say, the Philadelphia Eagles seem most likely to be the dogs of the NFC East. Don't get me wrong, the Eagles have a boat-load of talent, but unfortunately they seem too young to remain a consistent team in the tough NFC East. The Eagles have certainly improved on the defensive side of the ball, adding linebacker Ernie Sims, defensive end Brandon Graham, and defensive back Nate Allen. Though the Eagles are tremendously talented, I must continue to stress just how young they are. As for the offense, I still feel like the Eagles have gotten worse. Though Kevin Kolb may end up being a good NFL quarterback, it is always tough replacing a possible future hall of famer. As for the backfield, the Eagles have also released one of the greatest backs in franchise history, Brian Westbrook. This Eagles team may be one of the most talented in the league, but their youth may truly hurt their chances of competing.
Division MVP: Tony Romo
Offensive MVP: Desean Jackson / Miles Austin
Defensive MVP: Brian Orakpo
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Dez Bryant
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Brandon Graham
Coach on the Hot Seat: Wade Phillips