A Question Of Quarterbacks – 2021 NFC East Preview

It never fails that each year the NFC East division is up for grabs. These four franchises always play it close and if every team stays healthy, we are likely to see the same scenario. Additionally, all eyes will be on the quarterback position in this division: Will Dak Prescott have a successful return? Is Jalen Hurts an undisputed starter? Will Ryan Fitzpatrick produce ‘magic’ or ‘dust’? Can Daniel Jones take the next step? It all remains to be seen. 


Dallas Cowboys

Record in 2020: 6-10

Key Player: Quarterback – Dak Prescott

Player To Watch: Linebacker – Micah Parsons

Dak Prescott’s return to the lineup instantly makes the Cowboys an offensive threat. Especially with the wide receiver trio of Amari Cooper, Ceedee Lamb and Michel Gallup. But the extent of Prescott’s recovery will loom for a couple of games until it’s clear how far he has come.

Another positive for Dallas is that they beefed up their defense in the NFL Draft with the selection of Micah Parsons (plus five other defensive picks) and hired defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.

Both moves should improve their biggest area of weakness in 2020. Nonetheless, the Cowboys are a team that has so much fire power on offense that they only need a decent defense to move up in the division. Prediction: 10-7


 New York Giants

Record in 2020: 6-10

Key Player: Left Tackle – Andrew Thomas

Player To Watch: Wide Receiver – Kenny Golladay

Despite a final 6-10 record last year, the Giants quietly got better and became a difficult team to beat late in the season. The credit for that goes to Head Coach Joe Judge, as well as Defensive Coordinator Patrick Graham’s ninth overall ranked defense.

The defense returns standouts Blake Martinez, Leonard Williams, James Bradberry and Jabrill Peppers. An already strong secondary added Adoree’ Jackson from the Titans. With Martinez quarterbacking the defense, the Giants will be stingy, especially against the pass.

On the other hand, the offense ranked 31st, posting an anemic 17.5 points per game. This is the year that third year quarterback Daniel Jones has to prove he’s the guy for the job. He has shown some flashes, especially running the ball, but this offense needs to open up.

Getting a healthy Saquon Barkley back, as well as adding a true number one wide receiver in Kenny Golladay, means Jones has enough weapons to not have any excuses. That’s assuming second year tackle Andrew Thomas can improve on a rough rookie campaign. If Jones has time to throw, New York has the weapons to make some noise. Prediction: 9-8 


Philadelphia Eagles

Record in 2020: 4-11-1

Key Player: Quarterback – Jalen Hurts

Player To Watch: Wide Receiver – DeVonta Smith

The Philadelphia Eagles may be the team with the most questions surrounding their upcoming season. With the messy exit of former head coach Doug Pederson and the entrance of new head coach Nick Siranni, all eyes will be on his ability to bring some order back to the franchise.

That said, the quarterback position will also be under the microscope. Now that Carson Wentz is out the of the picture, Hurts has the opportunity to prove whether or not he can adequately lead the team to victories.

He will have the weapons to make it happen with rookie wide receiver DeVonte Smith, second-year wide receiver Jalen Reagor, running back Miles Sanders and the return of tight end Zach Ertz. But can the Eagles put the pieces together? Prediction: 8-9


 Washington Football Team

Record in 2020: 7-9

Key Player: Quarterback – Ryan Fitzpatrick

Player To Watch: Wide Receiver – Dyami Brown

The NFC East champions are eager to run it back this year and it’s quite possible they can do so. Led by Chase Young and Montez Sweat, Washington’s defense is still the reason this team can win the division for the second year in a row.

On the other hand, after the quarterback carousel that took place last season, Washington is looking for stability on offense. That is where newly acquired quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick comes in. Coach Ron Rivera is hoping he can provide enough consistency for them to be more competitive with divisional quarterbacks such as Jalen Hurts and Dak Prescott, as well as playoff caliber teams.

They’ve also added offensive weapons to help wide receiver Terry McLaurin, such as wide receivers Curtis Samuel and Adam Humphries. But it has surprisingly been rookie wide receiver Dyami Brown that has shined throughout training camp. If the offense can take a step forward, Washington will be in the thick of the NFC East. Prediction: 10-7




Carita Parks

Washington D.C.

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