Do the Eagles have a chance to take the Cowboys’ NFC East title?

Dallas Cowboys defenders Micah Parsons #11, Osa Odighizuwa #97, and Jaylon Smith #9 (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Dallas Cowboys defenders Micah Parsons #11, Osa Odighizuwa #97, and Jaylon Smith #9 (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Cowboys won the NFC East last season in dominating fashion. With a 12-5 record on the year, the next nearest competitor for the divisional crown was the Philadelphia Eagles, with a record of 9-8.

Of course, with the NFL offseason, there were changes made to each roster. With every new year, new hope springs forward and optimism is as eternal as it will be all year long. With all that has occurred since NFL football was last played, do the Philadelphia Eagles have a chance to take the Cowboys’ divisional title from them?

As the old saying goes, on any given Sunday, any team can win a game. However, the best team usually reigns supreme when talking about a sample size that extends 17 games.

With that, let’s take a closer look at what might happen here.

Do the Philadelphia Eagles have a chance to dethrone the Dallas Cowboys as NFC East champs in 2022?

When you look at the Cowboys’ ranks from last year (even though it didn’t always translate on the field), they were the No. 1 ranked offense from a yardage perspective. Coming in at 407 yards per game, they sat 13 spots ahead of the 14th ranked Philadelphia Eagles, who came in at 359.9 yards per contest.

Did the Eagles improve their offense in the offseason? Yes, without a doubt.

Bringing in A.J. Brown on a four-year pact, along with a few other offensive pieces, they should certainly be a more dynamic offensive unit in the coming season. With the Cowboys shipping Amari Cooper off to Cleveland, it might be fair to ask if the Eagles were able to pull even with Dallas with the addition of Brown.

Though the answer is still “no” there, as the Cowboys still probably have the better overall offensive group, you could argue that the Eagles have the best offensive skill player on either team right now in Brown. But when it comes to the other areas of the offensive unit, the Cowboys still reign supreme.

When you look at the defenses, Philly ranked tenth in yards allowed at 328.8, while the Cowboys came in nine spots later at No. 19. They allowed 351 yards per contest.

Yes, the Eagles did have a better defensive unit than the Cowboys last year, but there is solace to take there. The improvement relative to where the Dallas defense was in 2020 is a huge factor.

With Dan Quinn’s first year seeing such an improvement, and though it may not be as drastic this year, you have to imagine that the unit will continue to improve. That still may not put them over the top of the Eagles, but at worst, should help them draw pretty close.

There is also this. The best two or three defenders out of them all are, likely, on the Cowboys’ roster.

When you consider Micah Parsons, Trevon Diggs, and DeMarcus Lawrence, they are probably the best three defenders of the bunch if you were to line all of the defenders up from both teams. Though they lost Randy Gregory, a huge blow, they should still be able to improve based on more familiarity with Quinn’s scheme, added talent, and individual improvement.

So, right now, you can make this summarizing statement. The Eagles have a shot to catch up with the Cowboys’ offense, but still have a long way to go. On the other side, the Cowboys’ defense can realistically catch the Eagles’ defense. While all of this still has to play out on the field, it’s a safe and logical way of looking at it.

The deciding factor as to who will take the NFC East

Here is the deciding factor though, for both teams. As another old saying goes, if you don’t have a quarterback, you don’t have a shot.

The Cowboys know they have a quarterback capable of winning games, as he’s done it already. Though Dak Prescott may not be everyone’s cup of tea, from a fan’s perspective, the team seems to know what they have.

The Eagles, on the other hand, don’ know if they have that guy—or even a guy yet. The jury is still out on Jalen Hurts, to be fair. So, for all the improvements they have made on both sides of the ball, if you don’t have a guy that can help take full advantage of his talents, does it really mean that much?

With that, you have to lean towards the answer to this big question being “no.” The Philadelphia Eagles don’t seem like a team primed to take the Cowboys’ divisional title yet. They have some pieces to work with and the Cowboys (or anyone else) shouldn’t take them lightly. However, until Hurts proves that he is the guy for them as their main signal-caller, it’s hard to see them as a team capable of overtaking the division right now.

Those are just the breaks. And again with the adages, if you don’t have a quarterback, you are looking for a quarterback. Before we can answer anything about the Eagles’ path or potential success, that must be the first question answered.

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