You've probably heard the rumblings out there. The NFC East isn't as tough a division as it used to be. It's wide open - anyone can win it.
The Cowboys and Eagles are the most skilled teams, followed by the Giants, with the Redskins bringing up the rear. The Cowboys are already out of it. The Eagles have a quarterback controversy brewing. On and on it goes, regardless of the fact very little can be accurately deduced before the midway point in the season.
Certainly the NFC East is wide open. That much is true. As for who the most skilled teams are—the real question is: Which coach is getting the most out of his highly skilled players?
And yes, the Eagles have the ingredients for a quarterback controversy. The rest is is pure speculation, largely by fans and beat writers who are reading the tea leaves way too early. If you're going to read the tea leaves after four games, look for issues like a team losing a quarterback for the year and not having a capable back-up, or a pair of prominent players openly expressing that their team is divided.
Those are major concerns which can't be ignored. Just about everything else can be fixed, which is what players and coaches are paid to do - fix 'it'.
As a Redskins' fan, I'd love to bury the Cowboys. That's a mistake. The last thing the other teams in the East need is a Cowboys' team which feels like it's them against the world.
You don't want to wake that monster up, because for all of the cockiness and their "We wear the star, so bow down to us" reputation, that monster can strike hard and often. Just flatter the 'Boys and let them keep thinking they're better than their on-field performance indicates.
The Giants don't need to be woken up. Tennessee woke them up, courtesy of a 29 - 10 whipping at the New Meadowlands stadium. Since then, they've won two games convincingly. Antrel Rolle isn't sounding off to the media about a negative locker room environment. What do ya know? Winning fixes everything.
The Eagles were first woken up when Mike Vick showed them how much of a game-changer he can be. Unfortunately, with Vick out for 5 or 6 weeks, they needed another wake-up call. That came courtesy of the Washington Redskins who beat them 17 to 12 at The Linc.
Of course, Philly needs to win back-to-back games and needs to win at home before you can say they've gotten the message, so we'll see.
The Redskins need their quarterback and their receivers to figure it out. Number 5 sounds as if he's awake. The receivers on the other hand seem to be asleep. McNabb has thrown too many errant passes, and the 'Skins' receivers have dropped the ball way too frequently. Scary.
So, who will win the NFC East? After this coming weekend, I figure: New York will lead the division with a 4 and 2 record, Philly and Washington will both be 3 and 3, and the Cowboys will be 2 and 3. If either the Eagles or the Redskins surprise me and win, I'll instantly make that team my favorite to be the runner-up at the end of the year behind the Giants.
As for the Cowboys, they'll have to beat the Giants at home to make me believe they'll be more than a spoiler. Regardless of who places first and who places second, the NFC East is about to prove itself to be a very tough division in spite of early assessments to the contrary.
These teams have every reason to take each other seriously and try to sweep each other. The rest of the season is going to be fun to watch.