How offseason moves changed the way the NFC East led the leaders, Cowboys, Eagles, Giants

Poor, poor NFC East. Nobody takes it seriously these days. The NFC Beast title is gone. Aside from the AFC South, it’s probably the worst division in the NFL.

The Dallas Cowboys dominated the division last season, advancing 6-0 en route to the 12-5 record. The Philadelphia Eagles were a 9-8 wild card under first-year coach Nick Siriani. The Washington leaders faded to the record 7-10 and the New York Giants won 4-13.

The Giants have fired their coaching staff and front office, and are hoping new coach Brian Dabol and general manager Joe Schoen can do in the Meadowlands what they helped build at Buffalo. Washington has replaced QB Carson Wentz and hopes the defense will return to formation with Chase Young back to health. The Eagles build around QB Jalen Hurts on offense and hope to impress more on defense. It looks like coach Mike McCarthy is entering a third season with either one win or another with the Cowboys, and by winning we mean doing more than just making it to the playoffs.

With the first wave of free agency winding down and the draft quickly approaching — the Giants and Eagles both have two first-round picks — NFL Nation reporters Tim McManus (Eagles), Jordan Raanan (Giants), John Keim (leaders) and Todd Archer (Cowboys) introduce ) Discussion about the placement of things in the section.

Biggest off-season move: Is it cheating to say save DeMarcus Lawrence? I do not think so. If the defensive line man does not agree to the rework contract, he will likely be cut in June. Instead, he secured a $30 million deal. He’s a vital part of defense because of his overall play, but the Cowboys want to see him increase his total ball count. It’s been three years since he hit double digits.

Cowboys better, worse, or the same as a draft entry? Certainly not better or the same, but it’s not clear how much worse they are even after receivers Amari Cooper and Cedric Wilson, Randy Gregory and goalkeeper Conor Williams lost. The Cowboys did not believe Cooper was a recipient of the $20 million and chose to move forward. The group is no better without Cooper, so the offense is no better. Now, if they added a receiver in the first two rounds of the 2022 NFL Draft (April 28-30, ESPN), they might be closer to the same. Did they replace Gregory with signed free agent Dante Fowler Jr? They need the help of the offensive line. There are still many questions.

Best guess in first round pick: Texas A&M guard Kenyon Green. The decision was between him and Boston College guard Tson Johnson. Cowboys Williams lost at free agency to Dolphins and didn’t add a free agent could count as a start. The offensive line is a position that must be added. Green and Johnson have some flexibility, and they will each be an instant starter in the left guard.

Cowboys win division if… The defense is making a leap in sophomore under coordinator Dan Quinn and the offense is back in shape before quarterback Dak Prescott injured his calf last season. The Cowboys will enter as the NFC East favorite, which might not say much, but it’s worth noting that no team has repeated as the division’s champion since 2004. The Cowboys dominated the division a year ago with an average winning margin of 22.2 points. While the gap may be closed to some extent, it is not enough for another team to take first place at the moment.



Tim Hasselbeck and Bart Scott have different views on how much to blame for the giants’ problems with Daniel Jones.

Biggest off-season move: Looking around this department, there wasn’t a huge influx of talent. The Giants’ first move was to sign proper starting guard Mark Glowinsky. Normally, this would be the third best addition or fourth best addition in an off season, but they were dealing with salary cap constraints and had to shop on the cheap. So Glowinsky, who nearly lost his primary job last season with the Colts, is the biggest addition to the new system yet. Sure, the bar is low, but at least it’s a starting caliber guard installed. They needed it.

Giants better, worse, or the same entry into the draft? Gone are full-backs Logan Ryan and Gabriel Peppers, Evan Ingram and full-back Lorenzo Carter. Top linebacker James Bradbury could be next. How is it possible that the Giants are no worse at this point? The plan from the start was for their biggest addition to come from the draft. We now know that this will be the case. Two of my top 10 picks will make it even better. In the meantime, this list is worse than the 4-13 version that started last season, and perhaps the worst it has been in this century.

Best guess in the first round picks: Alabama Ott Evan Neal and Cincinnati CB Ahmed “Sauce” Gardner. You’ll be an offensive tackle (someone playing on the right) in fifth assuming NC State’s Neil O’Ekim Ikuwono is still available. Operating on the basis that Ekwonu goes first and that Neil is available makes it an easy decision for Schoen. Gardner is the cleanest corner of the draft. He plays a privileged position, fitting the man cover charts for coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale, and it was probably no coincidence that Schwinn made it to Cincinnati’s pro day.

Giants win division if… All other teams quit the season. Really, something crazy must happen to these giants to win the NFC East. Their list is weak and they will rely heavily on beginners. Not perfect. Additionally, bringing Sacon Barkley back in action will need to play as he did before injury as a rookie player, quarterback Daniel Jones needs a Josh Allen-like jump, and most of Barkley, Jones and receivers Kenny Goladay, Cadarius Toni and Sterling Sheppard should remain healthy. . This seems to be asking too much.

Biggest off-season move: They made one move with hasty signing Hasson Reddick over the edge of a three-year, $45 million deal. He’s had 23.5 sacks over the past two years and is going to raise the profile of the fast-passing group that finished second in the NFL in sacks last season (29). It will make defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon’s scheme even more dynamic. Expect more odd fronts, with Reddick rushing in from all over, including his role in dashing from a strong centre-back.

Eagles better or worse or the same entry into the project? better. They added Riddick, linebacker Keizer White and receiver Zach Pascal, and re-signed defensive end Derek Barnett, safety Anthony Harris, running back Boston Scott, Greg Ward and defensive linebacker Andre Chacheri. Only one of their Free Agents, defensive tackle Hassan Ridgway, had been caught elsewhere up to this point (49sec). The Eagles did a good job locking up the key players from the 2018 draft (TE Dallas Goedert, CB Avonte Maddox, DE Josh Sweat and OT Jordan Mailata) before they hit free agency.

Best guess in the first round picks: Georgia DT Devonte Wyatt (15th overall) and LSU CB Derek Stingley Jr. (18th place overall). The Eagles build from the inside out, and some talented defensive linemen should fall in front of them in the 15th, whether it’s a daredevil like Jermaine Johnson II or one of the Georgia defenders he tackles (White and Jordan Davis). They still have security and corner holes, and general manager Howie Roseman has been slow to fill them in free agency. He could see some attractive options in the first round, including Stingley and Washington CB Trent McDuffie.

The Eagles win the class if… The old guard could stand strong for another year. The remaining key pieces from the 2017 Super Bowl-winning team had mixed results last season. Jason Kelsey’s center and right save Len Johnson remained relatively healthy and played at a high level. However, defensive end Brandon Graham tore his Achilles early in the season and Fletcher Cox never found his dominant form. In order for the Hurts to stay upright, and for the Eagles to build on their looks a year in advance, they need meaningful contributions from veterans.



Dan Orlovsky responds to Carson Wentz’s trading from ponies to leaders.

Biggest off-season move: They needed the quarterback, and they added the quarterback. The value of Wentz will continue to be discussed. Was it worth the cost? Why was it traded twice a year? Can he play again as an NFL MVP? All fair. But there’s no arguing that he’s a promotion in Washington, which has the lowest combined QBR score in the NFL over the past four seasons. Wentz provides a powerful lever, allowing Washington to use more of the playing field in a passing game. Taylor Heinicke deserves praise for his gameplay – he adds value as a backup – but they’ve long wanted to upgrade the position. Wentz should prove to be the long-term solution, but in the short term it should help.

Are leaders better, worse, or the same as getting into recruiting? A little better because of Wentz. Again, he has a lot to prove, but Washington may now have the second best player in this division. That matters. If others – notably Young, receiver Curtis Samuel and Logan Thomas – are in good health after missing most of last season, that makes them even better. Young’s production will be the key to defense. However, the loss of goalkeeper Brandon Sheriff, even if not surprising, hurts the offensive line and they have lost depth along the defensive line. They also need to replace the hybrid safety/back line Landon Collins, who played the all-important nickel Buffalo – a pack they used more than half the time last season.

Best guess in first round pick: Much depends on whether two midfielders will be selected in the top ten. If that happens, two players will fall into the 11th place that Washington will love. Safety Kyle Hamilton would be a great choice if that happened. He would help fill their role at Buffalo Nickel. They could also use a receiver and two could enter the top 10, leaving Chris Olaf there at 11.

The leaders win the squad if… Wentz plays at a solid level, and Young, who came off a torn ACL, is back to the level he showed at the end of the junior season. They also have to hope that Dallas takes a step back and that the Eagles don’t climb after a surprising supplement season, armed with good capital. Leaders played without a number of players expected to be key parts last season, so if they’re relatively healthy, that increases their chances exponentially.