Jan 1, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (rear) gets wrapped up by New York Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora (72) as Cowboys offensive tackle Doug Free (68) tries to block at MetLife Stadium. New York Giants defeat the Dallas Cowboys 31-14. Mandatory Credit: Jim O

The Real Beast Of The NFC East


Last week I was online reading Dallas Morning News columnist Tim Cowlishaw’s article where he was asked to predict the order of finish in NFC East for the upcoming season, to which he replied: I have to go Philadelphia, New York, Dallas, Washington  The Eagles were a mess the first half of last season and very good at the end. The Giants might just keep rolling but they have lost some key contributors. Dallas is better on paper than last season. I think the Redskins are bound for last with Griffin but they will be on the rise with him in the near future.

From those remarks, I decided to take a closer look at the talent level in the arguably the best division in football, the NFC East and created the below chart listing players, positions, and years of experience.  I then highlighted each player who is the best at his position and came to an interesting conclusion for Mr. Cowlishaw,  it is his home-town Dallas Cowboys who have the best talent in the NFC Eastern Division, not the Philadelphia Eagles or New York Giants.  According to my below chart, Dallas has 8 of the premier starters at key positions,  while their rival, The New York Giants finish second with 6, followed then by the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins with 3 each.

I agree that some of  my rankings can be viewed as controversial.   We can begin with QB which I have listed as a tie between Eli Manning and Tony Romo.  Although in my opinion Romo is the better QB by far.  Romo has a higher QB rating, completion percentage, and more TD’s per game then Manning.  In fact without the luck of a David Tyree miracle helmet catch, a Wes Walker 2nd down Super Bowl bobble with 4 minutes left in the game, or a Miles Austin dropped wide open 50 yard game clinching TD pass, it isn’t even a debate.

Next, we need to look at left tackle when Tyron Smith is starting for his 1st year and will replace the better player who is aging and injured Jason Peters and running back where if healthy Demarco Murray will not only prove he is better than LeSean McCoy but all of the running backs in the NFL.   I also rulenctly gave the nod to London Fletcher over future Pro-Bowler Sean Lee, but I feel Lee is better in coverage and his young legs will over-take Fletcher this year.

So when Cowboys owner Jerry Jones answered the big question last year, when asked why the NY Giants were playing in the Super Bowl in 2012 instead of his Cowboys, to which he replied “ I would say Eli Manning along with the NY Giants unbelievable execution at the end of games.”

As we can now see, by breaking down the talent level between all 4 of the NFC East teams below, Jones was 100% right, it isn’t the talent level that separates these NFC East teams, but it was indeed superior (some would say lucky) late game execution.  The perfect example of Jones statement comes from their late season meeting in Dallas, when a dropped wide open TD pass by Miles Austin in the 4th quarter and a blocked Dan Bailey FG in the final seconds, lead the Giants to a very questionable victory in that important division clinching game.   This year Cowboy fans without that let’s say pseudo NY Giant superior late game execution factored in, you will need to adjust those 2012 NFC East rankings to read:

 Dallas, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington.

             Cowboys

Eagles

Giants

Redskins

Player

P

Exp

Player

P

Exp

Player

P

Exp

Player

P

Exp

Tony Romo

QB

10

Mike Vick

RB

11

Eli Manning

QB

9

Robert Griffin III

QB

R

Dez Bryant

WR

3

DeSean Jackson

WR

5

Hakeem Nicks

WR

4

Santana Moss

WR

12

Miles Austin

WR

7

Jeremy Maclin

WR

4

Victor Cruz

WR

3

Pierre Garcon

WR

5

DeMarco Murray

RB

2

LeSean McCoy

RB

4

Ahmad Bradshaw

RB

6

Roy Helu

RB

2

Jason Witten

TE

10

Brent Celek

TE

6

Martellus Bennett

TE

5

Fred Davis

TE

5

Tyron Smith

LT

2

Jason Peters 

LT

9

David Diehl

LT

10

Trent Williams

LT

3

Nate Livings

OG

5

Todd Herremans

OG

8

Chris Snee

OG

9

Kory Lichtensteiger

OG

4

DeMarcus Ware

OLB

8

Brian Rolle

OLB

2

Mathias Kiwanuka

OLB

7

Ryan Kerrigan

OLB

2

Anthony Spencer

OLB

6

Mychal Kendricks

OLB

R

Michael Boley

OLB

8

Brian Orakpo

OLB

4

Sean Lee

ILB

3

DeMeco Ryans

ILB

7

Chase Blackburn

ILB

8

London Fletcher

ILB

15

Jason Hatcher

DE

7

Jason Babin

DE

9

Jason Pierre-Paul

DE

3

Stephen Bowen

DE

7

Jay Ratliff

DT

8

Fletcher Cox

DT

R

Justin Tuck

DT

8

Barry Cofield

DT

7

Brandon Carr

CB

5

Nnamdi Asomugha

CB

10

Prince Amukamara

CB

2

DeAngelo Hall

CB

9

Morris Claiborne

CB

R

D Rodgers-Cromartie

CB

5

Terrell Thomas

CB

4

Cedric Griffin

CB

7

Gerald Sensabaugh

S

8

Nate Allen

S

3

Antrel Rolle

S

7

Brandon Meriweather

S

6

Dan Bailey

K

2

Alex Henery

K

2

Lawrence Tynes

K

9

Neil Rackers

K

13

Tags: Dallas Morning News DeMarcus Ware NFC East Tony Romo Is Better Than Eli Manning

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