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Two Horse Race: 2020 NFC East Preview
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Two Horse Race: 2020 NFC East Preview

The NFC East has been very predictable the past few seasons. A major reason for this is the New York Giants are in rebuild mode and the Washington Football Team can’t seem to figure anything out. That leaves the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles to duke it out. Seems like they take turns winning the division.

The Cowboys are the enigma. ..so much talent yet very little to show for it. The Eagles can’t stay healthy but managed to win a Super Bowl recently. The Giants could play spoiler if things go just right. The Washington Football Team needs to find a team name.

 

Dallas Cowboys

Record In 2019: 8-8

Key Player: Tight End – Blake Jarwin

Player To Watch: Defensive Tackle – Antwaun Woods

Once again, the Cowboys have the most talented team in the division and should win it easily. It’s never translated into that, so it doesn’t seem likely to happen. Something is always missing. Maybe new Head Coach Mike McCarthy can make a difference.

They have a good, competent quarterback in Dak Prescott and a top tier running back in Ezekiel Elliott. Potentially, they have a top five receiving corp because they can hurt you at every level with Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and rookie CeeDee Lamb.

If this team is to reach its lofty goals, the defense will need to be consistent and stop giving up big plays. That means defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence, linebacker Jaylon Smith, strong safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and rookie cornerback Trevon Diggs must perform at a high level. Prediction: 9-7

 

 

New York Giants

Record In 2019: 4-12

Key Player: Defensive End – Dexter Lawrence

Player To Watch: Tight End – Evan Engram

The Giants have some pieces in place on both sides of the ball. Can they put it all together to put a scare in Dallas or Philadelphia? They are not far away from competing for a division title. A player here and there with some tweaks could be all it takes to make it happen.

They found their franchise quarterback in Daniel Jones and that’s a good start. Running back Saquon Barkley is a big time player with home run ability. The receiving corp is very capable with Sterling Shepard and Golden Tate but need to remain healthy.

Tight End Evan Engram will be the x-factor if he can occupy the linebackers and safeties in the middle of the field. That would give the receivers more one on one opportunities.

If this team wants to make some noise, the defense will need to show up and most importantly, get third down stops. The defensive line, namely Dexter Lawrence, Dalvin Tomlinson and Leonard Williams, must stand up better against the run and occupy the offensive line to allow the linebackers to make plays. Linebacker Leonard Carter has the talent to be special. Prediction: 6-10

 

 

Philadelphia Eagles

Record In 2019: 9-7

Key Player: Left Tackle – Andre Dillard

Player To Watch: Running Back – Miles Sanders

Can a team be more unlucky regarding injuries than the Eagles? The offensive line and secondary were decimated, yet they still managed a winning season. That’s testament to their grit and resolve along with a coaching staff that got the most out of that team. If they can stay relatively healthy, this can be a dangerous squad.

Quarterback Carson Wentz wants to show he’s durable and dependable. Playing at least 12 games and putting up big numbers will go a long way towards proving that. Running back Miles Sanders is another player looking to shed the injury bug. The receiving corp is small but fast. Outside of DeSean Jackson, the receivers are unproven in Greg Ward and rookie Jalen Reagor.

Even with the injuries on defense, they showed themselves very well and expect better results with everyone back. Everything starts and ends with the defensive line of Brandon Graham, Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave and Derek Barnett. Not only can they stop the run but also rush the quarterback. Prediction: 11-5

 

 

Washington Football Team

Record In 2019: 3-13

Key Player: Running Back – Antonio Gibson

Player To Watch: Defensive End – Chase Young

Where do we even begin? The organization is a mess with multiple women claiming sexual harassment in the workplace. Then there is the minor issue of renaming the team after finally getting rid of the derogatory Redskin name. Any day now. There’s even been rumblings from minority ownership for Daniel Snyder to sell the team.

As for the football team itself, the offense was a horror show. Quarterback Dwayne Haskins has ability but was wildly inconsistent. With promising running back Derrius Guice and veteran Adrian Peterson now gone, rookie Antonio Gibson needs to step up and that could be a problem. The receiving corps leaves a lot to be desired because Terry McLaurin, Steven Sims Jr. and Dontrell Inman don’t strike fear in secondaries.

The lone bright spot of the team was the defense. That front four of Ryan Kerrigan, Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne and rookie Chase Young will cause havoc on offenses. The cornerback tandem of Kendall Fuller and Fabian Moreau can hold their own. Prediction: 2-14

 

 

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