Where do the 2021 Dallas Cowboys rank in the NFC East?

Dallas Cowboys (Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)
Dallas Cowboys (Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /

The wait is about to be over. We are within five days of the 2021 NFL season kicking off with your beloved Dallas Cowboys traveling to Florida to face the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers Thursday night.

While a win on Opening Night would be a definitive statement, the outcome will likely not have any effect on which NFC East team ends up winning the division. Winning your division is the only sure way to punch your ticket to the postseason and play for what the Bucs currently own.

While no one can predict what will transpire during the course of an NFL season, there is one way to at least produce a best guess as to which team has the best shot to earn the automatic bid into the playoffs. That way is to evaluate who has the best roster and coaching staff within the division. Doing so is exactly what we are about to do in this writing.

Since we just finished with the Olympics earlier this summer, we will score each position group, including the coaching staff in an Olympic-style format. For each group, the team with the best talent will earn “gold” or three points. Second place will earn “silver” giving them two points and third place will earn “bronze” or one point. Of course, with four teams in the division, one team will earn no points for each group.

Without any further ado, let’s take a closer look at how your Dallas Cowboys stack up against their rivals in Washington, Philadelphia, and New York to see who has the best chance at winning the NFC East in 2021.

Head coach

Mike McCarthy – Dallas Cowboys (three points)
Ron Rivera – Washington Football Team (two points)
Joe Judge – New York Giants (one point)
Nick Sirianni – Philadelphia Eagles

McCarthy has won a Super Bowl as the leader of an NFL team. Rivera has been to one. Judge is in his second year as a head coach, while Sirianni is getting his first crack as the main man. This may seem a simplistic way of evaluating the abilities of these four men, but it’s very simple to see that McCarthy and Rivera are on a different level than the other two.

While it’s possible that Judge’s Belichickian tactics might work in New York, he has a long, long way to go before even hoping to reach that stratosphere. It’s just as possible that another lackluster season will put him in the category of several others that have come from that Belichick coaching tree which has been surprisingly underwhelming. As for Sirianni, his complete lack of experience fairly places him at the bottom of the group.


Kellen Moore – OC, Dan Quinn – DC, John Fassel – ST – Dallas Cowboys (three points)
Scott Turner – OC, Jack Del Rio – DC, Nate Kaczor – ST – Washington Football Team (two points)
Jason Garrett – OC, Patrick Graham – DC, Thomas McGaughey – ST – New York Giants (one point)
Shane Steichen – OC, Jonathan Gannon – DC, Michael Clay – ST – Philadelphia Eagles

Quinn, Del Rio, and Garrett have all had moderate success as head coaches in the league but are all honestly best suited to be coordinators of their respective strengths. In that regard, that order is appropriate as to how you would rate them at their acumen to coach the side of the ball in which they are most comfortable.

No other coach listed above, aside from Fassel has held their position for more than three years. Moore has had some success but mostly, there is not enough information to extrapolate any real data with any of these options.