I know that there are some eager beavers out there who looked at the title of the post and are now itching to proclaim to the world: "Who made the Cowboys the favorites to win the East in the first place?"
Vegas did. The early win projections from the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook were nine wins for the Cowboys and for them to win the NFC East. The Giants were projected for eight wins, the Redskins and Eagles for seven each.
Football Outsiders did. The analytics people at FO predicted the Cowboys would win the NFC East with a 10-6 record, while the three other teams would finish at 6-10 each.
ESPN and CBS power rankings did: In their most recent power rankings, ESPN had the Cowboys ranked 11th overall (Redskins 16, Giants 18, Eagles 22), while CBS had the Cowboys ranked 12th (Giants 15, Washington 17, Eagles 25).
And as befits a blog dedicated to the Dallas Cowboys, we covered all three sources extensively. Doesn't mean they were right. And doesn't mean they are the only projections for how the NFC East could play out this year.
In fact, our fellow bloggers at our SB Nation sister sites for the Giants, Redskins, and Eagles were just as busy pointing out why their teams are the real favorites for the NFC east, or why the projections for their teams are utterly worthless, something that Aaron Schatz of Football Outsiders noticed with some amusement:
I will admit it's kind of fun to be accused of being a total Cowboys homer after years of being accused of irrational Cowboys hatred.— Aaron Schatz (@FO_ASchatz) May 13, 2016
In my absolutely biased opinion, I also think the Cowboys will win the NFC East this year, I just don't think it's going to be a walk in the park. But who will be the biggest threat for the division title for the Cowboys?
- The Redskins are the defending division champions, and they've done a very good job of adding talent to their team. But is it enough?
- The Giants spent a ton of money, but will that be enough to avoid their fourth consecutive losing season?
- And why are the Eagles continuing to run things as if Chip Kelly was still in charge?
To find out some answers to these questions, and perhaps get a feel for who the Cowboys' biggest threat is, I took a look at a selection of headlines on the three other SB Nation sites.
May 11: NFL Power Rankings: Philadelphia Eagles listed as the third worst team in the league - Bleeding Green Nation
Brandon Lee Gowton isn't sugarcoating anything here, but he's a bit grumpy about the Eagles getting no respect.
May 4: 2017 Super Bowl Odds: Eagles have the worst chances in the NFC East - Bleeding Green Nation
Eagles fans take another one on the chin but remain standing, even if they are a bit wobbly.
April 14: Philadelphia Eagles Schedule 2016: Game-by-game record predictions - Bleeding Green Nation
Gowton, not without a little optimism, predicts an 8-8 finish for Philly, and Eagles fans agree: In a poll accompanying the article, the majority of readers expect the Eagles to come in with nine wins or less.
May 10: Offseason Power Rankings Are Rarely Fun for Redskins Fans - Hogs Haven
Ken Meringolo reports on the facts of life as a Redskins fan.
April 22: Are the Redskins Just One or Two Players Away? - Hogs Haven
You're probably aware of the phrase "No team is ever a player or two away." Mark Tyler wrote this before they signed CB Josh Norman, and he liked Washington's chances then.
Feb 20: Hating With H8: NFC East Off Season - Hogs Haven
Blogger iH8dallas pours out the haterade by the gallon over "the rest of the clowns in the division the Redskins are destined to own for the next decade." An excerpt from a fun read:
Giants: Seriously though, the Giants are the most garbage team that nobody talks about. Think about it. Over the past four years the Redskins have two division titles and the Giants have zero. Say it out loud. You don't even believe it do you? Check your facts. Over the past four years they've gone 9-7, 7-9, 6-10 and 6-10. They're the Rams without the defense.
Eagles: The Eagles are hoping that Doug Pederson---A FREAKING ANDY REID COORDINATOR---can make something out of Nelson Agholor and maybe Sam Bradford? Maybe Chase Daniel, I'm not sure.
Cowboys: Oh and stop with the "But the Cowboys would have won the division if Tony Romo and Dez Bryant were healthy!" Just stop, Cowboys fans. Romo is destined to be carted off the field in week five, after laying on the field looking like he's about to get painted by Leonardo DiCaprio somewhere in the bowels of the Titanic.
ESPN New York writer Dan Graziano with some cold water for Giants fans:
I just don’t think fans really understand what the last three years were really about. They’re not "almost there." https://t.co/MzJ9QLhuWS— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) May 14, 2016
May 12: New York Giants really among most improved teams? - Big Blue View
ESPN's John Clayton ranks the Giants as the second-most improved team, but will their offseason work translate to victories? Ed Valentine says only time will tell.
May 5: 2017 Super Bowl odds: Draft shortens Giants' odds - Big Blue View
Ed Valentine offers some hope for Giants fans: the Giants moved up from 33-1 to 25-1 to be the next Super Bowl champs. Still leaves 11 teams with better odds, including the Cowboys, but who's counting.
April 15: Giants' Jerry Reese ranked among NFL's worst general managers - Big Blue View
Stephen Milewski with the lowdown on why Reese's star is dropping like lead in New York, even after spending $200 million on free agents:
One of the main reasons why Reese was ranked so low this year is because of the lack of players that were drafted who are still on the roster from 2007-12, which includes just Jason Pierre-Paul and long snapper Zak DeOssie.
Armed with this insight into each NFC East team, let us know in the poll and the comments below who you think the biggest threat to the Cowboys is this season.