NFC East Season Preview

Story posted September 9, 2020 in Sports, CommRadio by Austin Boley

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys decided to move on from head coach Jason Garrett and bring in Mike McCarthy to fix their coaching miscues. The offense, led by Dak Prescott, looks to build on a successful offensive attack, as he tries to secure a major contract and playoff victories.

The addition of CeeDee Lamb in the 2020 NFL Draft will only add to the dangerous arsenal, as the core of Elliott, Cooper and Gallup all returns.

Free agency caused Dallas to lose out on the services of Byron Jones, Robert Quinn and Maliek Collins. Quinn was the team leader in sacks last year with 11½, but he found work elsewhere. As a result, Dallas went to work in order to improve its defensive line, adding Everson Griffin, Dontari Poe and Aldon Smith.

The secondary will look for more turnovers this season, as it was tied for last in interceptions in 2019. The addition of second-round selection Trevon Diggs should help.

Considering that most of the Cowboys’ important players returned this season, there shouldn’t be much of a decline in production, if any at all. Expect another playoff push from Dallas with key offseason acquisitions getting them over the hump.

Prediction: 10-6

Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles are looking to fix the inconsistencies at wideout, as they used their first-round selection on TCU standout Jalen Reagor to pair with DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery.

The biggest question mark is the offensive line, as Brandon Brooks and Andre Dillard both suffered season-ending injuries in training camp, forcing Jason Peters to slide over to left tackle..

The defense is in the middle of an overhaul, as the Eagles ranked in the bottom half of the league in passing yards allowed and interceptions. Fortunately for them, the defensive line is getting a healthy Malik Jackson back, and the signing of  Jason Hargrave will add extra pressure up front. A trade for Darius Slay and free-agent signing Nickell Robey-Coleman will add improvement to a lackluster secondary from 2019.

All in all, this Eagles roster possesses a lot of talent. The main issues will be keeping the offense healthy and returning to form on defense. With the NFC letting seven teams into the postseason this year, Philadelphia could still easily earn a spot even if they can’t win the division.

Prediction: 9-7

New York Giants

For the third time in five years, the Giants have a new head coach. Newcomer Joe Judge looks to form some building blocks for a quick rebuilding process on either side of the ball.

Daniel Jones struggled with turnovers in his first NFL season, but that is something to be expected from a rookie quarterback. There is plenty of reason for optimism for the young signal caller, as he will get support from Saquon Barkley, Darius Slayton and Evan Engram.

As for the offensive line, first-round selection Andrew Thomas is a nice addition. But there is also a glaring hole at tackle due to Nate Solder opting out.

The defensive line is going to rely heavily on young talent, as Leonard Williams and Dexter Williams will have to provide the pressure. Blake Martinez will occupy the middle linebacker position, while newcomers James Bradberry and Logan Ryan will help shore up a patchy secondary.

While the Giants do offer an intriguing high ceiling, there are just too many question marks, namely all the new faces in town. It’s going to take at least another year to sniff the postseason.

Prediction: 6-10

Washington Football Team

Washington was the worst team in the NFC at 3-13 in 2019 and did little to show much improvement. Dwayne Haskins will look to improve from his rookie season, but he doesn’t have much receiving talent outside of Terry McLaurin.

The departures of Adrian Peterson, Jordan Reed and Trent Williams are major, and the offense is looking to be one of the worst heading into the 2020 season.

Using the second overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft, Washington acquired Ohio State standout Chase Young, adding to the arsenal on a defensive line that already includes Ryan Kerrigan, Montez Sweat and Jonathan Allen. The secondary went through its fair share of change as well with the additions of Kendall Fuller and Ronald Darby.

But these changes won’t be enough to keep Washington out of the gutter. It’s going to be another rough year for the team from D.C.

Prediction: 3-13

 

Austin Boley is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email at aob5378@psu.edu.

About the Contributors

Austin Boley's photo

Austin Boley

Senior / Broadcast Journalism

Austin Boley is a senior from Lancaster, PA majoring in broadcast journalism at Penn State. He is a play-by-play announcer, producer and writer for the CommRadio sports department. His writings include NFL division previews, NFL weekly recap, NFL Game of the Week, Heisman Watch and Penn State position previews. He is the co-host of the CommRadio talk show Play Action. He has also been featured on Hail Mary, CommRadio’s Sunday NFL pregame show. If you’d like to contact him, email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).