As almost everyone knows, the Super Bowl will be in Dallas this year. Whether or not the Cowboys will be there is up for debate. What is not up for debate is the Cowboys pure talent on the field. There chemistry is still being put together to make the right mix. They have very high expectations by everyone it seems, but they should be able to handle it. They are a veteran club with All-Pros on both sides of the ball.
Even though he isn't talked about as much as he should be, DeMarcus Ware is still the man for the Cowboys. After almost breaking his neck in a game last year, he continued to play in that game as well as ever. A mean cat who can control a game is a reasonable assessment of Ware. They still have Pro Bowlers in the secondary starring Terrance Newman and Mike Jenkins as guys who are air hawks.
The rookie Dez Bryant is getting all the talk at this point. For all that talk, there still is Miles Austin, Jason Witten and Tony Romo on the offense. This team is loaded and should be right there with a chance to win the conference and a title. The division is Dallas' to lose.
This is the one pick out of the whole NFL I am willing to go out on a limb for. I think the Redskins will make the Playoffs. That is with the expectation of Clinton Portis getting hurt, Albert Haynesworth having limited or no effect on the team and Donovan McNabb being scrutinized all season.
Jason Campbell wasn't the problem in Washington, but McNabb can be the answer. He has a chance to finally show he is the great Quarterback many of us know him to be and others should finally wake up to that this year. Of course, McNabb could become injured and all I am saying would be hogwash. I'm taking it that Donovan shows up this year. Larry Johnson should be a better runner than the oft injured Portis which will stabilize the offense.
The defense with or without Haynesworth should be more congruent with each other. Brian Orakpo and the overlooked veteran London Fletcher give the team great chemistry. There also is a certain coach named Mike Shanahan with a fire burning in his stomach. I don't think the flame gets burned out until he has gotten all he can out his players into January. Here's to wishful thinking for you Redskins fans.
New York Giants
Once, this team beat the Patriots for a Super Bowl win, they became the class of the NFL. The next season they were on pace to win the title again. The Plaxico Burress incident, I feel, has not left this team still. Eli Manning has shown at times he can beat anyone, then at the same time that he can beat himself. Hakeem Nicks and Steve Smith are nice receivers to have, but don't give what Burress did.
Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck can still get to the ball and add some tackles with their pressure. Aaron Ross and Antrel Rolle can be strong providers in the secondary. They are a team on the brink of playoff excellence or sitting on the bench out of the playoffs come January. It pretty much comes down to Eli Manning vs. Donovan McNabb. I took the one who has seen the playoffs over and over during the last decade.
Thus begins the Kevin Kolb era in Philadelphia. Can he fill the shoes of McNabb? Maybe.
If Kolb can, it probably won't be this year. He still needs the transition of his first year of actually playing and the NFC East is not an easy place to start your career. LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson give Kolb two players who can work as multiple threats. The line is anchored by Jason Peters and also has an emerging Tight End who can block and catch in Brent Celek.
There will be an uphill climb for the Eagles to return to the Playoffs this year. The other three teams in the division are hungry and have talent. The Eagles still seem to be shuffling their cards. Over the past two years, they have lost the chemistry of having McNabb, Brian Dawkins and Brian Westbrook in the locker room. That probably will just be too much for the Eagles to overcome.