As we know, the Dallas Cowboys won the NFC East last season and were able to advance to the divisional round. Now, they have their sights set on what they can do to finally take that next step. The division has been active so far this offseason and with plenty of moves still to be made in free agency and the draft next month, let’s look inside and around the NFC East to see which teams have gotten better and which teams are headed in the wrong direction.
There wasn’t much action for the Cowboys in week one of free agency. The dream of Earl Thomas becoming a Cowboy never materialized. The other top safeties like Landon Collins and Tyrann Mathieu flew off the board. While the Cowboys were never expected to be “In” on the top of the market, it was still disappointing to see players that could fill holes on the team no longer available.
Cowboys quickly came back into the news to start week two of free agency after setting up visits with wide receiver Randall Cobb, safeties Clayton Gathers and Eric Berry. They were able to come away with Cobb, who is expected to come in and fill the Cole Beasley role with Cole now in Buffalo. The Cowboys are also in the mix to acquire defensive end Robert Quinn from the Miami Dolphins. Quinn could serve as Demarcus Lawrence insurance if the sides are unable to come to terms on a long-term deal, or could in a perfect world the two could team up to create one of the league’s top pass-rushing duo. Quinn visited The Star in Frisco on Tuesday and it went really well, according to multiple people familiar with the visit.
It has become clear that the Cowboys offseason strategy is no longer to make the splash signing but to make sure they aren’t forced to go a certain direction during the draft. Safety is a position the Cowboys would like to address based on the visits taking place at The Star. George IIoka is the latest safety to visit.
The Philadelphia Eagles were able to sneak in the playoffs in 2018 and win a playoff game with quarterback Nick Foles. With Foles now gone, they will be counting on Wentz to stay healthy and to regain his 2017 pre-injury form.
The Eagles have been active so far this offseason. They reacquired wide receiver Desean Jackson from Tampa Bay, signed Malik Jackson and were able to keep cornerback Ronald Darby. They also traded Michael Bennett to New England.
The Washington Redskins made the biggest free agency addition of the division adding safety Landon Collins. These types of signings have not resulted in many wins for the Redskins as of late. The Redskins acquired Case Keenum from the Denver Broncos via trade. Keenum is expected to start with Alex Smith unlikely to return to playing football. The Redskins could also still draft their next quarterback. Even with running back Derrius Guice returning from his ACL injury, the Redskins re-signed running back Adrian Peterson.
NEW YORK GIANTS
We will start by saying this on the New York Giants, they are a mess. They traded stud wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to the Cleveland Browns just seven months after signing him to a monster contract extension. After an offseason full of trade rumors surrounding Beckham, Giants GM Dave Gettleman said they did not sign him to trade him.
With that move, the Giants were expected to start their rebuild which includes drafting another quarterback to replace Eli Manning. However, the Giants apparently have other ideas. They are now expected to go into the 2019 season with Eli at quarterback and after they signed receiver Golden Tate, they are not ready to call it a rebuild.
What does it all mean?
Like I stated earlier, there is still plenty of offseason to go so a lot can change but as it stands now, the NFC East still figures to come down to the Cowboys and Eagles. The regular season schedule should come out next month so it will be interesting to see when those two Cowboys/Eagles matchups take place.
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