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Preseason NFC East Power Rankings

The NFL offseason continues to move along. Teams of the NFC East are vastly different from a year ago. Where do all the teams stand as the preseason games quickly approach?

#1: Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles had a very eventful offseason putting them at the top spot of the current NFC East power rankings. GM Howie Roseman deserves a ton of credit for his work in upgrading the roster at nearly every position.

The 2021 Eagles had a respectable 9-8 record despite challenges throughout the season. It was Nick Sirianni’s first season as a head coach, but he made adjustments as the season went on which allowed the Eagles to win games. Jalen Hurts had his first full year as a starting quarterback which was up and down. He struggled a bit with accuracy but used his dynamic running abilities to beat opposing defenses.

The 2022 season is expected to be exciting in Philadelphia. Former Titans star receiver A.J. Brown was added via trade. Brown already has a couple of 1,000-yard receiving seasons and should form an elite duo with second-year receiver DeVonta Smith. The Eagles also added WR Zach Pascal in free agency to provide depth and he should be an upgrade over Jalen Reagor.

Philadelphia made huge upgrades on the defensive side as well. Kyzir White was a productive linebacker for the Chargers, Haason Reddick is a dominant pass rusher, and James Bradberry is an upgrade at cornerback. The Eagles also added Jaquiski Tartt as a safety. He will be a part of the Eagles’ much-improved secondary which has Darius Slay returning for his third season in Philadelphia.

In addition to free agency, the Eagles had a productive draft. They added a pair of Georgia national champion players in Nakobe Dean and Jordan Davis. Philadelphia also selected Cam Jurgens who was one of college football’s best centers.

The Eagles answered a ton of questions this offseason, but now it is up to the players to perform. Philadelphia should be a much better team with the new additions. Jalen Hurts will remain the largest question mark, but he has an upgraded receiver room and an elite offensive line to work with. For now, the Eagles look like the best team in the NFC East.

#2: Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys ran away with the NFC East a year ago with a 12-5 record. They swept the entire NFC East and most of those wins were blowouts. This year is not expected to be as easy for Dallas, though they are still a very good team.

Dallas still has the best quarterback and running back in the division in Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliot. Their supporting cast has changed though. Last year’s receivers Amari Cooper and Cedrick Wilson are no longer with the Cowboys. The Cowboys also lost tight end Blake Jarwin to free agency. The once elite offensive line will also have several new faces.

The Cowboys will keep last year’s coaching staff despite speculation of change. Some experts called for the firing of head coach Mike McCarthy as his team had yet another first-round exit in the postseason in 2021. His talented assistants Kellen Moore and Dan Quinn will remain offensive and defensive coordinators despite being linked to head coaching jobs after the past season.

Dallas added some veteran pieces in free agency including WR James Washington and DE Dante Fowler. They also made a couple of gambles in the draft by getting unproven college talent with upside (Tulsa OL Tyler Smith for example). This has worked in the past, so it’ll be interesting to see how it turns out this year. Overall, the Cowboys are still a major threat in the NFC East, but the rest of the division has gained ground on them.

#3: Washington Commanders

The Commanders were not too far off from postseason contention last year until their December struggles. Washington ended the 2021 season with a 7-10 record which was two games back from a wildcard spot. The coaching staff will remain largely intact, but there have been several roster upgrades to note.

Washington made a trade to acquire former Eagles QB Carson Wentz. Wentz has not looked the same since his 2017 knee injury but should be an upgrade over Taylor Heinicke. Carson Wentz will have WR Terry McLaurin and rookie receiver Jahan Dotson to throw the ball to. Antonio Gibson, J.D McKissic, and rookie Brian Robinson form a very good running back trio.

The Commanders should have a better offense in 2022 and their defense will mostly be the same as last year. Washington will have Ron Rivera returning as head coach. He will try to get the Commanders back to the postseason for the first time since 2020.

#4: New York Giants

The Giants were by far the worst team in the division last season with a 4-13 record. This resulted in major changes in the coaching staff as well as the need for a new general manager. Brian Daboll, who has experience with Bill Belichick and Nick Saban, will be the new head coach in New York.

The Giants are retaining Daniel Jones as the starting quarterback. He has been inconsistent his first three seasons in the NFL. Jones has failed to remain healthy and has made plenty of mistakes along the way.

The Giants entered the offseason needing to cut payroll. They did add several veteran pieces, but the back-end roster spots are expected to go to rookies. New York made eleven total selections in this past draft, so expect the team to be inexperienced to start the season. First-round selections Kayvon Thibodeaux and Evan Neal do have plenty of talent and could be franchise cornerstones for years to come.

If the Giants are going to be successful, it will depend on the play of Daniel Jones. He will have his best offensive starters coming back from injury. RB Saquan Barkley and WR Sterling Shepherd will be back and are expected to have productive seasons. The Giants have not had a winning season since 2016.

In Conclusion

The Eagles and Cowboys will most likely be fighting for the NFC East title this year. Both teams made the playoffs last season but were eliminated in the first round. The Eagles are much improved while the Cowboys lost some key pieces.

No team has repeated as NFC East Champions since the Eagles back in 2003 and 2004. The bitter rivalry between Philadelphia and Dallas should be renewed this season.

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