The Dallas Cowboys will be looking to defend their NFC East title as the 2017 season gets underway. To maintain the division crown, the Cowboys will need health, skill, and as always, a little luck. Last season, the team finished 3-3 in the division, as opposed to a flawless 13-0 regular season record outside the division. The New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, and Washington Redskins will be looking to overtake the Cowboys in the NFC East in 2017. Let’s look at which of these teams poses the greatest threat to the Cowboys’ division title hopes.
The Washington Redskins are poised to fall down the NFC East rankings in 2017. After missing out on the playoffs by a narrow margin, the team suffered from offseason drama at every corner. Scot McCloughan was pushed out as General Manager of the organization, and the team has seemed non-committal on Kirk Cousins as the future at quarterback. On the field, the team will be without DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon at wide receiver, after both signed lucrative free-agent deals. The turnover on defense, loss of playmakers on offense, and contract negotiation drama will cause the Redskins to sink to the bottom of the NFC East.
The Philadelphia Eagles are positioned to be a boom or bust team in 2017. Following a disappointing 6-10 regular season, the team sought upgrades in the passing game. The Eagles signed ex-Chicago Bear Alshon Jeffery and brought in Torrey Smith from the 49ers. They also brought in a potential successor to Darren Sproles as they selected Donnel Pumphrey in the draft. Furthermore, the team signed LeGarrette Blount late in the offseason, after he led the league in rushing touchdowns in 2016. With an improved supporting cast, Carson Wentz will face pressure to improve on a spotty rookie season. While things could change, the Eagles look to be towards the bottom of the totem pole in the division.
New York Giants:
The New York Giants are the heavy favorite to upset the Cowboys in 2017. After all, they did beat the team twice in 2016. After splurging on free-agent upgrades on defense last offseason, the team went out and added playmakers on offense this offseason. The team added veteran Brandon Marshall and rookie Evan Engram to Eli Manning’s supporting cast. The team will look for consistency from Paul Perkins on offense this season. While the team’s lack of depth on the offensive line could derail their hopes, the Giants are poised as the biggest challengers to the Dallas Cowboys.
In one of the toughest divisions in football, one that hasn’t seen a repeat champion since the 2003-04 Eagles, the Cowboys will face a tough road in 2017. However, the dynamic duo of Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott is built to improve on their explosive rookie campaigns. The team faces question marks on defense, but has a proven formula of relying on their dominant run game and offensive line to take the pressure off the defense. In 2017, the team looks like a good bet to be the first repeat division champion in 13 years, even if they don’t replicate their 13-3 record from a season ago.
Prediction (Albeit, early):
Dallas Cowboys: 11-5
New York Giants: 10-6
Washington Redskins: 7-9
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