A couple of weeks ago, the NFL network concluded its countdown of the "Top 100 Players of 2012". As expected, the highest ranked Dallas Cowboy was outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware, who ranked No. 6 overall, making him the second best defensive player in the league, one spot behind cornerback Darelle Revis.
That No. 6 rank also made Ware the highest ranked NFC East player. For the other NFC East teams, the highest ranked players were LeSean McCoy for the Eagles (18th), Jason Pierre-Paul for the Giants (26th) and London Fletcher (87th) as the sole representative for the Redskins.
There's obviously a lot that can be criticized about the NFL Networks' method for ranking the players, and as I reviewed the rankings for the other NFC East teams, I began to wonder whether these guys really are the best players on the roster of our division rivals?
Which leads me directly to the question of the day: If you could have one player from each NFC East team for the Cowboys' 2012 roster, which three players would you pick?
Here are my picks:
From the, my choice would be switched from a 4-3 to a 3-4, and still managed to get 28.5 sacks, the 13th highest total in the NFL over that period. Just thinking of the 6-4, 260 pound Orakpo lined up opposite Ryan Kerrigan... now imagine if he was paired with
The "Plexiglass Principle", first coined by Baseball stat guru Bill James, states that performances that significantly improve (or decline) from one season to the next have a strong tendency to relapse (or bounce back) in the following season. That principle is keeping me from picking guys like Jason Pierre-Paul or Victor Cruz for the Giants. Instead I pick a guy in Hakeem Nicks who's consistently shown that he's a top player in the league, and who ranks 12th in the league over the last three years with 3,034 receiving yards.
For the Eagles, as BTB member White Wolf once said, I'd like to take the cork in the bottom of the team’s party boat. But since the question is about players, my choice would would be LeSean McCoy. As our own KD Drummond wrote the other day, McCoy "was ranked #1 in rush rating by PFF. He’s ranked #1 by Football Outsiders in DYAR, by over 100 yards. He led the league in TDs and was third in missed tackles caused." Too bad about the color of his uniform.
Which players would you pick and why?