The Dallas Cowboys won the NFC East division last season. Should they be the favorites to take the division again in 2019?
At first glance, the Dallas Cowboys division, the NFC East, is a tricky one to predict. While it might be initially hard to see whether the division got better or worst, mostly due to losing one of the premier wide receivers in the game, when you think about who was added it becomes clear that it got better … if only by a slight bit.
The Washington Redskins drafted quarterback Dwayne Haskins out of Ohio State to compete for a starting spot. This was only after they acquired quarterback Case Keenum from the Denver Broncos back in March for a 6th round pick. They also resigned the 33-year-old ageless wonder Adrian Peterson to a two-year deal to keep him around after he had his 8th 1000 yard rushing season last year, which was his first since 2015.
They unfortunately lost linebacker Reuben Foster for the season after an injury in OTA’s, but they did bring in veteran defensive backfield help. They brought in veteran cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, while also signing former New York Giants safety Landon Collins to a six-year pact. They were also able to get what most draft gurus considered a stud pass rusher in Montez Sweat late in the first round at pick number 26.
The Philadelphia Eagles brought back a familiar face in DeSean Jackson as they reacquired the still-speedy receiver from Tampa Bay for a 6th round selection. Although they traded Michael Bennett to the New England Patriots, they brought back defensive lineman Vinny Curry, while also upgrading their secondary by signing veteran safety Andrew Sendejo. They also continued to load up their defensive front as they signed former Denver Bronco and Jacksonville Jaguar Malik Jackson to a three-year deal.
They also upgraded their running backs position by bringing in former Chicago Bear runner Jordan Howard, who should have a chip on his shoulder after seemingly becoming an afterthought in Chicago. While Chris Long announced his retirement, they did get their star quarterback locked up by signing Carson Wentz to a four-year contract extension. Although he is a stud when he is actually playing, Wentz has missed time in each of the past two seasons due to injury.
The New York Giants are the only team in the division that seemed to go backward this offseason. Although he hadn’t thoroughly impressed during his time in New York, they packaged defensive lineman Olivier Vernon into the deal that also sent Odell Beckham Jr. to Cleveland.
Other than the trade and the draft selection that was heard around the world, the one that brought in Duke quarterback Daniel Jones, their arguably biggest offseason acquisition was bringing in former Cowboys running back Rod Smith.
When considering the fact that Dallas didn’t really lose anyone of merit, actually getting one of the best players re-signed and bringing back another one that is surely a Hall of Famer in Jason Witten, it should really be their division to lose. Although they would not be the favorites by a country mile, until we can be certain of what the Philadelphia Eagles are, they should be the favorites.
The Eagles will have to do all they can to make sure their new money quarterback stays upright for the entirety of the season, as they let their Super Bowl-winning insurance policy walk to Jacksonville in Nick Foles. The Redskins and the Giants have to actually figure out who their starting quarterbacks will be, although Case Keenum and Eli Manning should be the presumptive favorites to win those jobs.
With not many other significant additions to the division, the Dallas Cowboys are undoubtedly the favorites. Let’s hope that they actually live up to the projections because if they can’t get it done in this division this year, it will be an extremely long and disappointing season.