It has been a very interesting offseason across the NFL. Players and coaches have moved around changing the landscape of the league. There are important changes within the NFC East that fans should be aware of. Here is a power ranking of where the NFC East teams stand as the NFL Draft approaches.
1. Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys will enter the 2022 season with the highest expectations. They are coming off a 12-5 record. The Cowboys will look to translate their regular-season success into the postseason. Dallas was quickly bounced out of the 2021/22 playoffs by the 49ers.
Dallas had the number one ranked offense in the NFL this past season. QB Dak Prescott and RB Ezekiel Elliot will look to remain the best players in the division. Kellen Moore is staying on as offensive coordinator.
There are a few notable departures though. Wide receiver Amari Cooper was traded to the Browns, tight end Blake Jarwin was not re-signed, and tackle La’el Collins was released. The Cowboys will need to find a way to replace these players. Dallas recently added WR James Washington in free agency.
The Cowboys’ 19th ranked defense largely remains intact. Former Falcons head coach Dan Quinn will remain as defensive coordinator for the second straight season. Quinn is an experienced coach that has improved the Cowboys’ defense. All eyes will be on head coach Mike McCarthy. He had several in-game moments last year that cost the Cowboys. Dallas is the NFC East favorite, but 2022 will be harder for them compared to 2021.
2. Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles exceeded expectations in 2021. They had a brand-new head coach in Nick Sirianni and quarterback Jalen Hurts played his first full season as a starter. There were growing pains, but the Eagles made adjustments to get to the postseason. Philadelphia had no answers for teams with winning records in 2021. They lacked the talent to compete with the elite teams but were able to beat the teams they were supposed to.
The Eagles have a chance to pick future franchise players in this year’s draft. They will have three top-20 picks and 10 selections overall. Hopefully at least one of these players could make an impact this season.
The Eagles’ defense is expected to be better in 2022. Brandon Graham will come back from injury after missing the majority of 2021. Linebackers, Kyzir White and Haason Reddick were signed in free agency and the Eagles retained Derek Barnett and Fletcher Cox. The secondary remains a weakness though.
Jalen Hurts will return as a starter and will look to improve upon his up-and-down 2021 season. Guard Brandon Brooks retired, and running back Jordan Howard was not re-signed, but the rest of the offense should be the same.
Wide receiver Zach Pascal was added in free agency and should be an upgrade as the number two receiver. The Eagles may need more help at the wide receiver position though. Philadelphia should build upon their 9-8 record but needs to find a way to better compete with the top NFC teams.
3. Washington Commanders
Washington finally has a team name and a quarterback. The Commanders traded for former Colts and Eagles quarterback, Carson Wentz. He will be an immediate upgrade over Commanders’ 2021 QB, Taylor Heinicke. Wentz had a decent season last year for the Colts. He threw for 27 touchdowns compared to seven interceptions.
Does Wentz have leadership issues, though? Colts’ management complained that Wentz was not the right guy and he faltered in the season’s biggest moments. Carson Wentz should improve the Commanders’ offense, but he is injury prone and plays erratically at times.
Washington will retain head coach Ron Rivera and the coordinators from 2021. They are coming off a 7-10 record. The team struggled against division rivals late in the season, but mostly due to injuries and Covid issues. Washington should be better in 2022 but will likely be in the middle of the pack in the NFC.
4. New York Giants
The Giants are coming off another disappointing season. They have not had a winning season since 2016 and made the playoffs just once in the past 10 years. The Giants are getting a fresh start at general manager and head coach. This will be another rebuilding year for New York.
New head coach Brian Daboll has experience with the Patriots and Alabama football. He most recently was the offensive coordinator for the Bills. Daboll improved Josh Allen’s play and will now have a chance with Giants quarterback Daniel Jones. Jones has been inconsistent and injury-prone in his first three seasons in the NFL.
The Giants did not make any significant additions this offseason but will have several players returning from injury. Daniel Jones, running back Saquan Barkley, and receiver Sterling Shepherd will be back. The Giants signed Tyrod Taylor, an upgrade for the backup quarterback spot. Expect the Giants to be better in 2022, but they will likely be last in the NFC East again.