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ESPN’s predicted starting quarterbacks for 2021 feature little change to the NFC East

For all the supposed changes, the NFC East may remain relatively stable.

Dallas Cowboys v New York Giants Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Less than a month away from free agency we are all expecting there to be massive turnover in the NFL, specifically at the quarterback position. Not even a month ago ESPN’s Adam Schefter set an over/under on each team’s starting quarterbacks from Week 1 last season that he expected to be different in 2021 at 18, and took the over.

Just a couple of years ago it seemed like most teams in the NFL had either a cemented franchise quarterback or a plan in place towards grooming or acquiring one. Not everything took, obviously, which is why we are now at a point where the deck is going to be massively re-shuffled.

ESPN’s predicted starting quarterbacks for 2021 feature little change to the NFC East

If we are going to potentially see over half of the league feature a turnover at the game’s most important position, it would stand to reason that the NFC East - the worst division in football last year - would be a part of that change. Would it not?

At season’s end things were rough for the Dallas Cowboys, and while the Washington Football Team won the division. it does make sense for them to move on from Alex Smith (they have already moved on from Dwayne Haskins) as their starter.

NFC East starting quarterbacks in Week 17:

  • Dallas Cowboys................... Andy Dalton
  • New York Giants.................. Daniel Jones
  • Philadelphia Eagles............. Jalen Hurts
  • Washington Football Team... Alex Smith

It should be noted that Jalen Hurts was pulled in Philly’s last game of the season in favor of Nate Sudfeld when the Eagles did whatever they tried to excuse tanking as. Also, for the record, while Alex Smith started the final regular season game for Washington it was Taylor Heinicke who started in their Wildcard Round matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Washington has since re-signed Heinicke by the way).

Carson Wentz is officially out of the NFC East as the Eagles traded him to the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday, and he was someone who started for an NFC East team in Week 1 of last season (along with Jones, Haskins, and Dak Prescott). When we arrive at Week 1 of this year who will be the quarterbacks under center?

ESPN’s Field Yates took a stab at predicting all 32 starting quarterbacks in 2021 in response to Adam Schefter’s prediction of massive change. He has the NFC East with 50% of a turnover relative to Week 1 of last season, although Jalen Hurts starting for Philadelphia would hardly be a massive changing of the guard given that he played last season.

ESPN’s prediction at NFC East starting quarterbacks in 2021

  • Dallas Cowboys................... Dak Prescott
  • New York Giants.................. Daniel Jones
  • Philadelphia Eagles............. Jalen Hurts
  • Washington Football Team... Ryan Fitzpatrick

This result would really be an extremely not exciting offseason for the division at the quarterback position. While Washington is expected to have someone else at the most important spot, Ryan Fitzpatrick is a journeyman of sorts. It’s hard to see the Football Team putting all of their eggs in his basket when the rest of their roster is ready to compete as evidenced by their division title.

Honestly, though, what other moves make logical sense here? It is certainly possible that Dak Prescott is elsewhere as anything is possible on that front these days, but other than that this all seems fairly probable.

If this were indeed the case in the NFC East then there is no question that the Cowboys would be favorites to win it. While Washington does have an impressive roster a Cowboys offense led by Dak Prescott would theoretically be able to carry the group to enough wins to win another lowly NFC East.