NFC East Season Predictions and Outlooks

Zach BarlageContributor ISeptember 6, 2008

With the season ready to take full swing, predictions are something that all of us have made. 

Since the clock hit all zeros in the Giants miracle victory over the Patriots in Superbowl XLII, fans have been jawing about which teams will succeed and which ones will fail in '08.

Whether or not we have our picks in writing is irrelevant to the fact that we all have had our own thoughts on who will finish where and how things will turn out this season.

For the NFC East division, which in many NFL experts eyes is the toughest in all of football, I have submitted my picks and explanations and put them on paper for all to see! So here it is with the teams ranked 1 through 4, Enjoy!

1. Dallas Cowboys 12-4; #1 Seed

With so much talent on both sides of the ball, it seems all the Cowboys need to do is play their game and they will cruise into the playoffs, much like they did last year.

This season, the Cowboys improved defensively with additions of LB Zach Thomas and CB Adam "Pacman" Jones, who will also boost their return game.

Offensively they are led by Tony Romo, who had 36 TD passes in '07—23 of which went to the combination of Terrell Owens and Jason Witten. Marion Barber will be the lead dog at RB, spelled by 1st round pick Felix Jones in the backfield.

Dallas has all the tools for success and if Wade Phillips, Tony Romo, and company can finally get that elusive first playoff victory, look for Dallas to be in Tampa representing the NFC in the Superbowl.

2. Philadelphia Eagles 10-6; Wild Card #5 Seed

With a healthy Donovan McNabb and Brian Westbrook on the same side of the ball, you can never count out the always competitive Eagles.

Philly will challenge for the NFC East crown once again, but they lack pass catching playmakers on offense that can take attention away from the electrifying Brian Westbrook.

On defense, the Eagles are young at LB with he likes of 2nd year man Stewart Bradley and 3rd year man Chris Gocong. In the secondary, Philadelphia will have one of the strongest units in the league with Brian Dawkins at safety and a 3 headed monster at the CB position of Sheldon Brown, Lito Sheppard, and newly acquired Asante Samuel.

Philly will make the playoffs as a wildcard team and could possibly steal the division crown from Dallas in a huge matchup in Week 17 when the Cowboys come to town.

3. New York Giants 9-7; Wild Card #6 Seed

We all know the story of the 2007 Giants and what they did to become the World Champions, but they must prove that they didn't just catch lightning in a bottle in last year's post season.

New York, led by Eli Manning, is a solid team which will contend for the playoffs once again.

On offense, the passing game revolves around Plaxico Burress now more than ever after the departure of TE Jeremy Shockey. Eli must prove he is the Eli from the Superbowl and not the Eli from the regular season in which he threw 20 INTs.

On defense, the loss of Osi Umenyiora adds insult to injury after Michael Strahan retired, so the Giants must generate that fierce pass rush without their top 2 threats from '07.

If the Giants can play the way they did all season long the way they did in the playoffs they will be a contender to win it all again.

4. Washington Redskins 6-10

If Washington was in a different division maybe they would have a shot to be more competitive, but in the NFC East where every other team is established, the Redskins will find themselves in the basement while trying to figure out new Head Coach Jim Zorn's west coast offense.

Jason Campbell is in his 3rd offensive system in 3 years—a recipe for disaster for a young QB. The Redskins offense will rely on RB Clinton Portis to generate yardage.

The Redskins followed their regular pattern of adding big names in the off season with DE Jason Taylor coming over from the Dolphins, but even with the addition of Taylor, the Redskins will struggle to stay out of the cellar of the NFC East and may be a year or two away from serious contention.