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by Joseph Liptak

Dallas Cowboys – predicted 1st NFC East

The Dallas Cowboys have long been at the top of their division thanks to an elite offense but also thanks to a weak division. This season no other teams in the NFC East pose a true threat to winning the division. The Cowboys offense is led by veteran quarterback Dak Prescott. Prescott performs very well on the Cowboys thanks to his many weapons, but this offseason that changed when Amari Cooper, WR1 for the Cowboys, joined the Cleveland Browns. Aside from Cooper the Cowboys are still in great position. They have 1,000 yard receiver Ceedee Lamb and 4-time 1,000 yard rusher Ezekiel Elliott.

Last year Elliot was rushing behind the best offensive line in the NFL, according to PFF. However, this offseason the Cowboys lost two of their starting linemen in La’el Collins and Connor Williams. At the end of last year Football Outsiders had the Cowboys ranked as the best defense in football. This is thanks to guys like Travon Diggs (2021 interception leader), Demarcus Lawrence (9-year veteran), and Defensive Rookie of the Year Micah Parsons.

Parsons has shown to be an elite level talent and after winning DROY he was also runner-up for the Defensive Player of the Year award. The entire Cowboys roster is riddled with elite players, but this has been true for a while. So, this might be the year that they take that final leap and become true contenders, but it all starts with great quarterback play in Dak Prescott. I picture this team convincingly winning the division and make a deep playoff run.

Check out the AFC North prediction for this fall

Philadelphia Eagles – predicted 2nd NFC East

The Eagles have a very good roster but often fly under the radar. Jalen Hurts is a promising, young quarterback and the Eagles front office has slowly been building towards a championship. Last year Hurts did not have the best season ever, but it was drastic improvement from last year. Not only is Hurts improving, but so are his weapons. The Eagles drafted Alabama receiver, Devonta Smith in the 2021 NFL Draft. This worked out amazing for the Eagles, he reached nearly 1,000 yards in his rookie season. The Eagles also acquired 2-time 1,000 yard receiver A.J. Brown from the Titans. The Eagles also have 4-year veteran Miles Sanders in the backfield, he has been a good player for the Eagles and fits the Philadelphia rushing scheme well. This was proven last year when him and Jalen Hurts led the Eagles to be the best rushing offense in the league. They are also running behind a top-5 offensive line and over the offseason they did not lose any starting offensive linemen.

Defensively the Eagles are solid, they were a top-half defensive team last year. However, their defense has aged quite a bit. Their top-3 defenders have all played 10 or more seasons. These 3 guys being Darius Slay, Fletcher Cox, and Brandon Graham. So, this might mean that the Eagles defense will take a step back this year. The Eagles did land a solid player in Haason Reddick this offseason to add to the pass rush. A good season for this Eagles team would be making the playoffs and seeing Jalen Hurts take the next step as a starting quarterback. To take a team deep into the playoffs or to the Super Bowl there must be elite quarterback play. I picture this team going second in the division and losing early in the playoffs.

Washington Commanders

Washington is still in rebuild mode as they have struggled to find their franchise quarterback. Starting at QB this year will be former Eagles quarterback, Carson Wentz. Wentz is long past his prime but he is an improvement from last year. The Commanders do have a couple skill guys that have shown to be great. Terry McLaurin is the first name that comes to mind. McLaurin has put up 1,000 yards twice in his three-year career with lackluster quarterbacks throwing to him. His potential is sky high.

In the backfield the Commanders have Antonio Gibson, who reached 1,000 yards last year, his second season. The run game is a bright spot for the Commanders, they had a top-10 offensive line. Last year they were among the best rushing offenses in the league, reaching over 2,000 total rushing yards.

On the defensive end the Commanders begin to fall off. They finished last years as the 22nd ranked defense in the league, which is not great. The Commanders do not have any standout players aside from pass rusher, Montez Sweat. The defense is no doubt in rebuild mode along with the rest of the team. The Commanders have some solid pieces but have yet to find a great quarterback. I picture this team at the bottom of the NFC East and missing the playoffs.

New York Giants

The New York Giants are a bottom-feeder team. They have struggled with injuries and finding a great quarterback. The trend of being bad for the Giants seems to be very much alive going into the season. The Giants do have some young, potential-filled skill guys like Saquon Barkley and Kadarius Toney, but they are not good enough to carry an offense without a good quarterback. Daniel Jones is their QB1, and he has been stuck in mediocrity for his whole career; his best season was his rookie year and he has gotten worse ever since, throwing less yards and less touchdowns every year.

The Giants also have a terrible offensive line, they finished last year as the third worst offensive line in the league. The Giants did not make any moves this offseason and lost some of their linemen and their starting tight end, Evan Engram.

Defensively the Giants are not any better. The finished last year as the second worst defense in the NFL and they somehow got worse. They lost their best cornerback in James Bradberry to the Eagles and their starting safety Jabrill Peppers to the Patriots. This Giants team is in shambles and they did not try to make any changes during the offseason. I picture this team coming in last in the division and missing the playoffs by a wide margin.

Dr. Alan Winning Westgate NFL
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