clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Is 2015 Poised To Be A Battle Of Blue Between Cowboys And Giants For The NFC East Crown?

New, comments

The Dallas Cowboys shocked many by winning the NFC East in 2014, could their biggest challenger in 2015 be another group of boys in blue?

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys were a beautiful surprise in 2014. Not only did they enter the season with a quarterback coming off of his second back surgery in as many offseasons, but this was also a defense that ranked last in the NFL in terms of yards allowed the year before. It was simply a complete 180 though, as the Cowboys came out and looked like a team who had the ability to control the clock, play smart and make plays on defense. Everything that Dallas was in 2014, is what we wanted them to be in 2013 and for many years before.

Their impressive all-around team effort this past season was enough for them to finish 12-4, win a playoff game against the Detroit Lions and nearly pull off a huge win in Lambeau against the Green Bay Packers. The Cowboys have retained their head coach, defensive coordinator and offensive coordinator. While it looks like DeMarco Murray is one player who could potentially leave town if he gets a big enough offer, they aren't going to be losing a ton aside from him. What I'm getting at here, is that the Cowboys will be a contender once again in 2015, and I don't believe it's too bold or crazy to say that.

The question then becomes, who will their biggest competition be? The immediate answer for most is likely to be the Philadelphia Eagles and that Chip Kelly-led offense. Their offense is fun to watch, but is Nick Foles good enough to lead this team past the Cowboys and into the postseason? Foles threw for 13 touchdowns with 10 interceptions and fumbled three times through eight games in 2014. He also posted a QB rating of just 81.4, and really came back down to earth after an incredible 2013.

So what about the rumors of the Eagles being interested in trading up to try and draft Marcus Mariota? Well, I'm not going to bet on that happening in the first place, but also, expecting a rookie to lead the Eagles into the postseason during his first season is going to be asking quite a bit. Personally, I'm not going to take them as the Cowboys' biggest competition either. It's not meant to be disrespectful to the Eagles, but instead it's meant as a compliment for another intriguing NFC East team. Those other boys in blue, the New York Giants.

Cowboys vs. Giants For 2015 NFC East Crown?

I'm bracing for it, because we're all a bit scared about what Odell Beckham Jr. can do in year two. We remember the catch that Beckham made against the Cowboys back in Week 12. If you don't, here you go:

Before I just go off on a rant about that catch, and about Beckham as a player, the Giants could very possibly be the team pushing for the NFC East crown along with Dallas for a few reasons. In case you were wondering, those reasons are more than just the talented second-year wide out.

So, why am I picking a team who went 6-10, and had a stretch where they lost seven in a row as one of the Cowboys' biggest roadblocks next year? Well, the Giants were bad at times this past year, but they actually only had one truly bad loss (25-24 at the Jacksonville Jaguars). Aside from that game, New York lost only to playoff teams, the 10-6 Eagles and the 8-8 San Francisco 49ers.

As much as I dislike the Giants, and yes, I really, truly dislike the Giants (as most Cowboys fans do), they have some major upside in 2015. Eli Manning actually threw for 30 touchdowns with 14 interceptions last year, showing that he's not done just yet. Manning still needs to work on the turnovers, as he made some brutal throws, but he really started clicking with Beckham at the end of the season. The Giants also dealt with multiple injuries last season, and will not only get back Victor Cruz, but they hope they will have a consistently healthy Rashad Jennings. Most importantly, their offense with Cruz, and Beckham being able to pull some attention away from him will be a tough matchup for any team in the NFL.

Don't get me wrong, the Giants aren't going to be just turn the page to next year and win the Super Bowl, but if they can get healthy and make the most of the offseason, they're going to be the Cowboys' biggest competition for the NFC East.

Let's not give too much credit just yet either, because the NFC East crown still belongs to the team in Texas, and they aren't giving it up without a major fight. All due respect to both the Eagles, Giants and the Washington Redskins, but Jason Garrett and his team aren't going to hand the reigns over just yet. What they will get though, is a ton of competition from some very talented teams. If you thought 2014 was a ride, you should buckle up for 2015.