Dallas Cowboys Dominate NFC East Defensive Team

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Jan 25, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Locker room exhibit with the jerseys of Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray (not pictured), New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (not pictured), Washington Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan (not pictured) and Philadelphia Eagles long snapper Jon Dorenbos (not pictured) at the NFL Experience at Phoenix Convention Center in advance of Super Bowl XLIX between the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Last week I brought you my NFC East Ultimate Offense. By pooling the players in the division (excluding rookies) I mixed and matched the men I felt are the best at their position. The Dallas Cowboys reigned supreme with seven of the eleven wearing the Star. There’s no doubt however that the Cowboys offensive talent exceeds the defense. But do the other teams offer much more? Let’s take a look at my NFC East Ultimate Defense.

Greg Hardy, Dallas Cowboys
Jason Pierre-Paul, New York Giants

Before the season even finished the Cowboys clearly needed to add a talented pass rusher. 28 sacks in a season just isn’t good enough; and more of a rushing presence on a one legged Aaron Rodgers would’ve surely swung the Green Bay Packers result in the Cowboys favor.

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While opinions differ over whether the addition of Greg Hardy was the right thing to do, his talent cannot be criticized. The Cowboys need a double digit sack machine and Hardy is just that. Though the number of times he’ll suit up for the Cowboys in the forthcoming season remains to be seen, with 34 sacks in 63 career games the team finally has a legitimate threat.

Although Jason Pierre-Paul hasn’t returned to the heights he hit in his second year with the New York Giants, he’s still a hugely talented defensive end. Drafted in 2010 he’s made 205 tackles and had 42 sacks in the 75 games he’s played in. The battles he has between Tyron Smith twice a year signify two of the very best players in the league, least of all division.

Terrance Knighton, Washington Redskins
Tyrone Crawford, Dallas Cowboys

The Washington Redskins were awful on both sides of the ball last season. Only one of their four victories was by a margin bigger than three points. So it’s somewhat unsurprising that the player appearing for them in my ultimate team wasn’t on their roster until recently.

Terrance Knighton joins the Redskins having spent six seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Denver Broncos. Pot Roast is a formidable run stuffer. The Redskins allowed 1722 rushing yards in 2014 which ranked them 12th in the league. At 6’3” and weighing over 300lbs the defensive tackle will be tested by last years rushing leader DeMarco Murray; the Redskins will be hoping his addition gives them the edge.

Next: Linebackers & Safeties