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NFC East: A Giant Comeback

Patrick Mitchell@pmitch54Correspondent IJune 25, 2010

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 13:  Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants runs the ball during the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Giants Stadium on December 13, 2009 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

The NFC East is one of the most competitive divisions in football, if not the most.  It has the potential for 3 teams to make the NFL playoffs, and a lot of people have one of them as the frontrunners to win the Super Bowl.  

First off, lets start with the defending NFC East champions, the Dallas Cowboys.  The Cowboys are the favorites in many peoples eyes to win the division and make the Super Bowl.  They have all of the pieces in place already, and they have added even more weapons through the draft.

Jerry Jones believes he was able to right one of his biggest mistakes this season.  Jones has regretted passing on Randy Moss, and he made sure not to make the same mistake this season.  

Jones drafted a player with questionable character issues but extraordinary talent in Dez Bryant. As long as Bryant stays out of trouble, he can be a great player in Dallas.

Dallas fans and coaches apparently feel the same way because they are also letting him wear the number 88 jersey.  This a special jersey for the Cowboys and says something about the talent Bryant has.  

The Cowboys look like one of the better teams in the league, on paper, but I am not confident that they will be able to handle some of the teams they will face again.

The team that I think will have the biggest bounce back year is the New York Giants.  I think last year was just a bad year, which every team is entitled to.  Eli Manning looked shaky, Brandon Jacobs was just not running as hard, and we all know about Osi and his issues with the Defensive Coordinator.

2010 is coming, and the Giants are looking for revenge. And they very well might find it.

They added depth to the defensive line by selecting Jason Pierre-Paul in the first round (even though they wanted Rolando McClain). Pierre-Paul is an athletic freak, and despite only having seven starts at USF, he was worthy of the first round pick in my opinion.

He is a player that the Giants can groom into who they want him to be.  Throw in a healthy Canty, and the Giants' Defense will be back to where it was a few years ago.

The Giants' motto is strong defense and a solid run game.  If they get back to that this season, expect them to make a run in the NFC and win the NFC East (Don't forget they did sweep the Cowboys last season).

Third Place in the NFC East can be a surprise playoff team.  No, it's not the Eagles. It's  the Washington Redskins.  Just look at all of the moves they made this offseason.

They hired a Super Bowl Winning coach in Mike Shannahan and traded for a Pro Bowl QB in Donovan McNabb. Throw in rookie Trent Williams on the offensive line along with Jamal Brown from the Saints and the running back by committee that the Redskins will have, and they should have a solid team.

McNabb will improve the numbers of every WR on the team and help get Chris Cooley back to the Pro Bowl.  Also, the addition of Larry Johnson and Willie Parker to Clinton Portis should  give the Redskins a 3-headed-monster that will be hard to contain.  

Even without Haynesworth, who I expect to be traded before the season starts, the Redskins defense should be solid and keep the games close.  I don't believe it will happen, but I would not be surprised if the Redskins were able to make the Playoffs.

Finally, in last place, the Philadelphia Eagles.  Eagles fans will not agree with this because they think they have not lost anything by trading away McNabb.  I don't care who the team is, trading away a Pro Bowl QB (who has taken you to the NFC Championship 5 times and a Super Bowl) to a division rival is not a smart move.  

I am not sold on Kevin Kolb yet because he didn't play real competition. In the Saints game he was just playing catch-up, so no surprise that he had over 300 yards.  Then he played against the Chiefs, who were one of the worst teams in the league last season.Having 300 yards against them is something almost any QB could do (except of course Jamarcus Russell).

I don't think the Eagles will have a bad season, and I would be surprised if they didn't get between 7-9 wins. But at the same time, I believe they lost a lot in McNabb, and it will show.  

One of the benefits the Eagles do have is their backup, the most hated man in sports, Michael Vick.  If Vick is in the shape he says, and Kolb struggles, it will only be a matter of time before Vick comes in and takes the reins away.

The Eagles have a young team  and could easily have one of the best teams in a few years. I just don't think it will be this year.

So let's recap:

1st place: NY Giants

2nd Place: Dallas Cowboys

3rd Place: Washington Redskins

4th Place: Philadelphia Eagles

The NFC East should be the closest race for the playoffs in the NFL.  Each team will have their chance to prove why they will win the East, and it will make for some interesting football.  

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