Part two of our NFC East compares and ranks the running backs. As seen below, the NFC East was relatively meager in the rushing department until Dallas drafted Zeke last season and the Eagles signed LeGarrette Blount last week.
Dallas Cowboys: Ezekiel Elliott and Darren McFadden
The rushing king of the NFC East is clearly Ezekiel Elliott. He led the league in rushing last year and this year will be no different. He is a playmaker with great vision and speed and he will probably elevate his play this year in the receiving game. He is already putting himself in the picture of great running backs in Cowboys history and he will continue to get better as he enters his sophomore year. He has a strong supporting cast and an elite offensive line helping him out. Darren McFadden adds depth as a quality backup.
Philadelphia Eagles: LeGarrette Blount, Ryan Matthews and Darren Sproles
The Philadelphia Eagles made a major roster upgrade last week when they signed Blount, a player who crushed it during his Patriots days. He led the league in touchdowns last year and brings a championship mentality to a team (and city) that is not used to winning. Complement his bulldozing style with speedster Darren Sproles and a reliable Ryan Matthews and the Eagles boast the second best running attack in the NFC East. Look for this combination to immediately help Carson Wentz.
Washington Redskins: Rob Kelley and Samaje Perine
Rising sophomore Rob Kelley started 15 games last season and enters the 2017 season as the featured back for the Washington Redskins. Last year, he averaged 4.2 yards per attempt and logged six touchdowns but was nowhere near the focus of the offense as he averaged less than 50 yards per game. His play will be more important this year and he ranks as the third best rushing attack in the NFC East. Washignton added Samaje Perine in the draft, and he has a chance to elevate the team’s rushing attack.
New York Giants: Paul Perkins and Shane Vareen
Paul Perkins and veteran Shane Vareen lead the rushing attack for the Giants. Whether it's a lack of priority, weak draft picks or simply bad luck, the Giants have not had a formidable running back since Brandon Jacobs. This duo comes in as the worst running back group in the division. Fortunately for them, the Giants offense will rely almost exclusively on Eli Manning and his receivers.
The Cowboys clearly have the best rushing attack but look for the three-headed group in Philly to immediately make a significant impact. The Redskins and Giants are trying to revive dormant rushing attacks.
Dallas Cowboys: 4 points
Philadelphia Eagles: 3 points
Washington Redskins: 2 points
New York Giants: 1 point