The State Of The NFC East - Analysing The Eagles Offseason


The Philadelphia Eagles had a quiet decent season last year. Known for their passionate fans and the lack of a ring (sorry Eagles fans) in a divison with superbowl winners Dallas Cowboys (5x), New York Giants (4x) and the Redskins (3x) the Eagles will always be the underdogs but they are looking to switch the tide and become the dominant force of the NFC East. 

In the past 6 years the Eagles only won the conference twice, in 2010 (finished 10-6, they lost in the wildcard round against the superbowl champions Green Bay Packers 21-16) and 2013 (also finished 10-6 and also lost in the wildcard round 26-24 against the Saints). Since then the Eagles have failed to make the playoffs with Dallas winning the conference twice and Washington once. So, what can the Eagles do to make it to the playoffs? Well, first I want to take a look at their opponents.

Dallas Cowboys


The Cowboys are the front runners to win the NFC East again. Hitting the jackpot in last year's draft with Zeke and Dak the Cowboys should only go up from here with the best offensive line in the league, a number one wide receiver in Dez Bryant, a great tight end and two rookie leaders the Cowboys are set on offense, however not everything is as easy as it may look, the Cowboys defense took a hit with the losses of Barry Church, J.J. Wilcox, Brandon Carr, Morris Clayborne and Terrell McClain. Mostly secondary players the Cowboys will have a tough time on D. Second year pro Anthony Brown, free agent signing Nolan Carroll and rookie Chidobe Awuzie will need to step up and make sure this Cowboys team doesn't have a set back and wins the East again. Also, the Cowboys first round pick was defensive end Taco Charlton who was definitely not my favourite guy, but should be able to help Dallas work on their pass-rush which was one of their main issues last season.

Washington Redskins 


The most difficult team to anaylse in this divison are the Washington Redskins. They had a troubled offseason when they fired their GM Scot McCloughan due to alcohol  issues. They were also left with Cousins future in the open, without being able to negotiate a long term contract, once again, the Reskins had to franchise tag Kirk Cousins on what should be his final season in Washington (unless they can get a deal done) because his franchise tag numbers will be ridiculously high next year. The Redskins also lost some key players in Deshean Jackson, Pierre Garçon, Chris Baker and Ricky Jean Francois. They definitely got weaker on offense and they didn't do anything during free agency to improve it, besides signing Terrelle Pryor. D.J. Swearinger, Terrell McClain and Stacy McGee were the only big name pick ups, but they'll only be used to cover the holes that were left when Baker and Jean left, they won't improve the team. Draft wise the Redskins did a good job by drafting Jonathan Allen, a youngster to improve their defensive line for years to come, Ryan Anderson was also a decent pick, not my favourite linebacker but given what was avaiable at the time I think it ends up being a good pick, and Fabian Moreau, who is a very good corner that only dropped to the 3rd round because of a pectoral injury.
Overall the Redskins probably had the best draft of the divison but they'll only be more competitive if the trend continues in years to come. I still think they're the worst team in the divison.

New York Giants

The Giants also have some issues that I don't think were addressed in the offseason, mainly Eli's successor and the lack of run game.. They aren't superbowl contenders just yet, but if other teams in the NFC sleep on them, they'll have a chance at upsetting almost every team. Their biggest issue however is the fact that Eli Manning is on a clear decline, far from the player he was when they beat the Patriots, Manning had accurary and deep throw issues during the whole season, but surprisingly, he was the best player during the Wildcard game against the Packers where OBJ dropped a couple of touchdowns, if the Giants were able to take advantage of their great defense they could have won the game. The strongest part of this team is clearly the defense, a young core that just might have just been the best defense in the second part of the season. With players like Landon Collins, Eli Apple, JPP and Rodgers-Cromartie the Giants have a chance to have one of the best defenses in the league. Luckily for them they didn't have many losses during the offseason but one guy that left was Johnathan Hankins and he'll surely be missed as he was a big part of the D-line. The Giants picked up a few players during free agency but none bigger than Rhett Ellison and Brandon Marshall, two big targets for Manning to work with, no excuses Eli. As for the Giants draft picks they picked up Evan Engram, a tight end, yet another target for Eli to use. Dalvin Tomlinson was their second pick, and with the loss of Johnathan Hankins this pick makes sense so I got nothing to say about it. Their 3rd round pick was Davis Webb, a highly overrated QB out of Cal who, in my opinion, is definititely not the answer to Eli's successor but should be an okay back up. The Giants should stay as the second best team in their division bar any injuries.

 Philadelphia Eagles

Finally! This meant to start as an Eagles only article but I felt like I needed to write up on their rivals so I could better analyse the Eagles current state inside their division. But with that out of the way, without any further ado, here we go Eagles fans.

The Philadelpia Eagles knew they had to improve on offense. With a lot of dropped passes by their receivers (specially Agholor) they needed to give Wentz better weapons, and they did, by picking up Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith the Eagles got themselves two good pass catchers and a deep ball playmaker, those guys plus Beckham and Ertz should prove to be some steady targets for Carson to throw to. Wentz, of course, isn't guilty free of some of the Eagles failures this past season but with his normal quarterback progression he should be a better game manager and decision maker this year. It's also worth mentioning that the Eagles picked up backup QBs Matt McGloin and Nick Foles. For offseason losses the Eagles lost DT Bennie Logan, cornerback Nolan Carroll, linebacker Connor Barwin and backup QB Chase Daniel. Logan could prove to be a big loss for the Eagles but other then that Philly should be just fine. I'll be specifying my draft thoughts next.


Jeffery was the biggest offseason signing of the Philadelphia Eagles. The 27 years old wide receiver is a deep threat specialist. Usually a one thousand yards receiver, injury free player (missed out 17 of 80 possible games) Alshon Jeffery should prove to be a huge upgrade in the Eagles receiving core. I believe he should be the number receiver for them this year, as Jeffery needs to be the star of the team. He had two very good seasons in 2013 and 2014 but his numbers have dipped massively the past two years, only getting 2 touchdowns last year (but still getting over 800 yards) it was obvious that he needed a change of scenery, with a good young quarterback like Wentz I'm sure Alshon can thrive again.
He's on a one year prove deal so he knows he needs to do his best if he wants to get paid big money next offseason. 


My favourite addition by the Eagles this year is LeGarrette Blount. Blount is a downhill, physical back. The type of player that they have been missing for years. He's going to carry the load of the offense and take pressure off Wentz' shoulders. He can be a thousand yards back with the right scheme and playcalling. With 18 touchdowns last year Blount should help the Eagles finish continue more drives and be a huge help on red zone possessions because with him the Eagles can both pass and run, making it more difficult for teams to know what they'll do, with more ample playcalling. A backfield with Blount and Sproles sounds pretty good. Two running backs that couldn't be more different, one is a physical, run through tackles type fo back, and the other is a receiving back that knows how to make players miss. There's a lot to work with here and it seems certain to me that this Eagles FO is tryting to aliviate some pressure off Wentz.



First round pick Derek Barnett is clearly seen as Bennie Logan's successor. The defensive end out of Tennessee was one of the biggest prospects in this year's draft seen as a player that can beat blocks, disrupt the run game, be a good pass-rusher and most importantly, be a leader. That means that Barnett is definitely a good foundation player for a new defensive line. His production in college is definitely impressive, in 3 years Barnett racked up 198 tackles (131 solo, 67 assist) with 52 of them being tackles for loss and 32 sacks! If that doesn't tell you that Derek has everything to succeed in the NFL I don't know what will! 


Sidney Jones is, in my opinion, the best cornerback in this year's draft. Why? Just look at some of his stats, over 3 years he racked up 145 tackles (105 solo, 40 assist) with 8.5 of those tackles being for a loss and one sack, besides that he's had 21 passes deflected, 8 interceptions and 6 forced fumbles, not to mention the fact that him and Kevin King didn't allow a single touchdown last season, Sidney Jones is playmaker and he's going to ball out in Philly. Jones fell to the Eagles in the second round of the draf and what could prove to be the best pick in the Eagles draft this year doesn't come without worries, Jones fell to the second round because of an achilles injury, a serious injury that made some teams completely remove Sidney off their boads, but if he can recover to 100% he has the abilty to be a pro bowl corner in just a few seasons. I don't expect him to make an impact in his first year but he's definitely a long term answer to the Eagles secondary.



Rasul Douglas is this year's insurance for Sidney Jones, they know that Jones will likely miss the most of the season so the Eagles select Douglas in the third round. Rasul is a different type of corner, he's a taller, lengthier and more physical player, a Seahawks type corner if you will. Douglas will be a good weapon to use against players like Dez Bryant or Odell, I said he's not like Jones but his potential of being a great number two corner is there, he just has to take advantage of this opportunity. The one question mark on him is the fact that he only started for a year, but he was damn good. Recording a total of 77 tackles (55 solo, 22 assist) with 3.5 tackles for loss and one sack Douglas is another great run stopper corner, his tackling abilty is off the charts and that's certainly something that will come in handy. Rasul also got 8 interceptions last season (returning one for a touchdown) and had 8 pass deflections and a forced fumble proving that he has a good ball hawking abilty. He's got the physical traits, the stats and the teammates to be a star corner alongside Jones, another great choice by the Eagles FO.



Overall the Philadelpia Eagles need to continue what they're doing, there's still a long road ahead for them but they're making strides, getting better on both sides of the ball and drafting well will be key to dethrone Dallas. I think the Eagles can challenge the Giants due to Manning's decline and with the way the Redskins are going I don't see them challenging for first any time soon. The Eagles have a franchise QB in Wentz, a new receiving core of Beckham, Jeffery and Torrey, a good backfield of Blount and Sproles, a new defense with Barnett, Jones and Rasul alongside some older guys like Jenkins, Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham. It's obvious that the arrow is pointing up in Philadelphia but it's also easy to realise they might have some growth issues, they're bound to drop "easy" games and win "tougher" games. The real challege for the Eagles begins in continuing upon this good offseason and staying consistent on the field in 2017.

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