Has the NFC East really become the new AFC East from years past?
If we take a look back in history, the AFC East was dominated by the New England Patriots. From 2000-2020, there was only four seasons in which the Patriots did not win the division. 2000, which was won by the Dolphins, 2002 won by the Jets, 2008 won by the Dolphins, and 2020 won by the Bills. This is the definition of pure dominance.
The NFC East however, has been quite the opposite. There hasn’t been a repeat division champion since the Eagles did it from 2001-2004 before the Giants won in 2005. Ever since that Eagles run, no NFC East team has won the division in back to back years. Last season saw Washington come away with the division, but this year it most likely will be Dallas.
So with the being said, will Dallas become the new New England Patriots? I’m not saying that Dak will be Tom Brady and they will go to the Super Bowl every year, but will they have the talent to win the Division for years to come? Lets dive into it.
Regardless of what you think, Dak is becoming a top quarterback in the NFL. Dak was playing at a historic level, putting up nearly 2000 yards in five games before his season ended with a gruesome ankle injury. This year he hasn’t put up the same numbers, but he has the Cowboys sitting at a better record. Last year they were 2-3 through 5 games, this year they sit at 4-1, and very well could have been 5-0 if it wasn’t for Tom Brady.
Dak’s ability to throw and run with the ball makes him a dual threat quarterback, even though he isn’t at the level of Josh Allen, Kyler Murray, or Lamar Jackson. He doesn’t have to rely on his legs to make plays, its more to extend the play.
I would say that Ezekiel Elliot and Tony Pollard are the second-best running back duo in the league behind only Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. With Zeke getting older, Pollard is a fantastic change of pace back to compliment Zeke. He has even come out to say that he isn’t the same running back he was when he was 22 or 23.
“It’s nice to have some come in and give me a break and not have to worry about the offense slowing down”
Pollard, in my opinion, is a fantastic utility back, being able to run between the tackles, catching the ball out of the backfield, and even returning kicks. The run game as well as the backs catching out of the back field only helps Dak and this team become a greater offense.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
It’s no surprise that the Cowboys have one of the best skill position groups offensively. Two first round picks in Amari Cooper and Cee Dee Lamb, and a 3rd round pick in Michael Gallup. Now, Gallup is hurt this season, but should be coming back within the next week or two. Lamb and Cooper have both been enjoying a productive season, Lamb with 24 catches for 348 yards and 2 touchdowns, and Cooper with 25 for 318 and 4 touchdowns.
Then we have the tight ends, which ever since Jason Witten retired, hasn’t been a strong point for the cowboys. This season, however, has seen great production from the tight ends. Dalton Schultz has caught 26 passes for 280 yards and 3 touchdowns with Blake Jarwin throwing in 9 for 89 and a score.
Dallas is second in the NFL in terms of turnovers, they sit behind only Buffalo in the category. They have ten interceptions, six of which are by Trevon Diggs, and two fumble recoveries. Buffalo has nine picks and six fumble recoveries.
Despite their success with takeaways, they are in the bottom half of the NFL in terms of sacks. Cowboys have nine, and the Chiefs sit at the bottom of the NFL with seven. They do have some defensive touchdowns, one pick six against the Eagles, and another against the Giants. Their defense has look better that it has in years past. Their secondary has given up the second most passing yards, but the team with the most is the Bucs, two of the best teams in the NFL.
The Rest of the NFC East
The Eagles are an interesting team.
They have gotten a lot younger at skill positions, and they have bolstered the secondary. A team that used to be a top run stuffing defense has now become a top pass prevention team. They are 3rd in the NFL in terms of Passing yards given up. They sit behind the Bills and the Panthers. All 3 teams are the only teams in the NFL to give up less than 1000 passing yards.
This is also the same team that has played against Patrick Mahomes and Dak Prescott, 2 top 5 offenses in terms of total yards, and both being top in terms of passing, with the Chiefs at 5 and Cowboys being at 11.
In terms of rushing defense, the Eagles ranked 3rd as well… 3rd worst. They have given up just over 700 rushing yards this season, an average of 142 per game. The Eagles total offense sits at 14th in the NFL with 372 yards per game. They are 12th in passing and 13th in rushing. If the NFL was a game of “what ifs” they would be top 10. They have had 5 touchdowns called back, multiple being of 30 yards or more. Penalties have also played a huge part this season. This team went toe to toe with the Chiefs offense, and would have won if not for 3 touchdowns being called back due to penalties.
The Eagles are a decent but sloppy football team with spotty play calling from a first time head coach. A potential 3 top 10 first round draft picks would help the Eagles tremendously, but that relies on the Dolphins continuing to stink, and Carson Wentz staying healthy and keeping the Colts in games.
New York Giants:
The Giants look bad. They are 1-4 but haven’t looked great at all. There have been some flashes, but as soon as something lights up, it shuts off quickly.
They are a top 10 passing team, but they have had injuries to almost all of their starting receivers. Toney, who was a first round draft pick this past draft, looked great against the Cowboys. Saquon had some bad luck with an ankle injury, but it doesn’t appear to be serious. They have the 12th most offensive yards in the NFL. Their defense has given up the 11th most passing yards and 6th most rushing yards.
They need a lot of work on defense, but their offense looks solid. If they weren’t dealing with injuries, they may even be 3-2.
Washington Football Team:
Washington was supposed to be this feared defensive front 7 that would carry their secondary far. A lot of people had them being a repeat division champ.
That’s has not been the case.
They are 18th in rushing yards allowed and 27th against the pass. This defense is terrible, stats don’t lie. Well since their defense is bad maybe they have a good offense? WRONG. 20th ranked offense overall, 22nd in the passing game, and 16th in the rushing game.
This is with Terry McLaurin and Antonio Gibson as their start players. Curtis Samuel has been hurt this season, Ryan Fitzpatrick is hurt, This team is a QB and WR away from having a good offense, but their defense needs to step up.
So will the NFC East be the new AFC East?
Its hard to say, but there is a good possibility.
The Giants and Washington are both a few years and a lot of talent away from contending. The Eagles may have the best shot at competing sooner since they have the second best quarterback in the division, a better offense then both of those teams, and a better defense.
However, they have some older players that they will need to replace, but they have 2-3 first round draft picks to use. They still need to see if Jalen Hurts is the guy, and if Nick Siranni is their coach moving forward.
I think that the Cowboys can dominate this division for the next few years, I don’t know about 20. The Cowboys are in the best position to win now, and very well could only be a piece or two away from a Super Bowl.
Article by: @ThePassionPitPC