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NFC East breakdown: Where each team stands after busy offseasons

A quick look at the offseason moves around the NFC East.

Dallas Cowboys v Washington Football Team Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

The entire NFC East division was no doubt one of the worst in the entire NFL last year. The Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, and Washington Football Team are all attempting to bounce back in 2021, but right now it doesn’t look as if there’s a clear favorite to claim the division.

Today, we’ll take a quick look around the NFC East division to determine how much, if any, teams have improved based on their offseason moves so far.


PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

Washington Football Team v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

2020 record: 4-11-1

Draft Class:

  • WR Devonta Smith (Rd 1, Pick 10)
  • OC Landon Dickerson (Rd 2, Pick 5)
  • DT Milton Williams (Rd 3, Pick 9)
  • CB Zech McPhearson (Rd 4, Pick 18)
  • RB Kenneth Gainwell (Rd 5, Pick 6)
  • DL Marlon Tuipulotu (Rd 6, Pick 5)
  • DE Tarron Jackson (Rd 6, Pick 7)
  • S JaCoby Stevens (Rd 6, Pick 40)
  • OLB Patrick Johnson, Tulane (Rd 7, Pick 6)

Free Agent Additions:

S Anthony Harris, QB Joe Flacco, LB Eric Wilson, DE Ryan Kerrigan

Subtractions:

S Jalen Mills, DT Malik Jackson, DE Vinny Curry, LB Duke Riley, LB Nate Gerry

Offseason Breakdown:

The Philadelphia Eagles are the ultimate enigma in the in the NFC East division on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball. They are a hard team to figure out right now because of all of the unknown, but they aren’t talent deprived. How they go about putting things together will end up determining their success or failure in 2021.

Offensively everything likely depends on how QB Jalen Hurts performs. He has some talent around him to succeed, but those players are all young and relatively unproven. Defensively they still have CB Darius Slay and added S Anthony Harris for their secondary, but their linebacker corps and defensive front is still a bit of an unknown.


NEW YORK GIANTS

Dallas Cowboys v New York Giants Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

2020 record: 6-10

Draft Class:

  • WR Kadarius Toney (Rd 1, Pick 20)
  • OLB Azeez Ojulari (Rd 2, Pick 18)
  • CB Aaron Robinson (Rd 3, Pick 7)
  • OLB Elerson Smith (Rd 4, Pick 11)
  • RB Gary Brightwell (Rd 6, Pick 12)
  • CB Rodarius Williams (Rd 6, Pick 17)

Free Agent Additions:

WR Kenny Golladay, WR John Ross, CB Adoree’ Jackson, TE Kyle Rudolph, RB Devontae Booker, OG Zach Fulton, OLB Ryan Anderson, WR Kelvin Benjamin

Subtractions:

OG Kevin Zeitler, DT Dalvin Tomlinson, OLB Kyler Fackrell

Offseason Breakdown:

With the healthy return of RB Saquon Barkley, and with the offseason addition of WR Kenny Golladay, QB Daniel Jones is surrounded by plenty of talent. This could be a make-or-break season for him and how he performs will ultimately decide how the New York Giants fare in the NFC East division.

Defensively there are a few question marks in the secondary and at linebacker for the Giants, but overall they’re a pretty solid unit. If the draft picks they spent on the defensive side of the ball make an early impact as rookies, New York’s defense has a chance to be the strength of their entire team. They have a lot riding on the 2021 draft class.


WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM

Dallas Cowboys v Washington Football Team Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

2020 record: 7-9

Draft Class:

  • LB Jamin Davis (Rd 1, Pick 19)
  • OT Samuel Cosmi (Rd 2, Pick 19)
  • CB Benjamin St-Juste (Rd 3, Pick 10)
  • WR Dyami Brown (Rd 3, Pick 19)
  • TE John Bates (Rd 4, Pick 19)
  • S Darrick Forrest (Rd 5, Pick 19)
  • LS Camaron Cheeseman (Rd 6, Pick 41)
  • OLB William Bradley-King (Rd 7, Pick 12)
  • DE Shaka Toney (Rd 7, Pick 19)
  • WR Dax Milne (Rd 7, Pick 31)

Free Agent Additions:

WR Curtis Samuel, CB William Jackson III, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, CB Darryl Roberts, WR Adam Humphries, OG Ereck Flowers (trade), OT Charles Leno Jr.

Subtractions:

CB Ronald Darby, OLB Kevin Pierre-Louis, CB Fabian Moreau

Offseason Breakdown:

The reigning NFC East champs have a good shot at retaining the crown in 2021. They’ve done a really good job this offseason not only filling holes in their roster, but upgrading several positions as well. The only thing they’re really missing from being a serious sure-fire contender is at QB and they brought in Ryan Fitzpatrick to help them there.

Defensively WFT have one of the better units in the entire NFL. Their front seven is as talented as any teams around the league and that alone should keep them in games. Offensively, they have the talent to be a dangerous unit as well. All their hopes hang on Ryan Fitzpatrick’s shoulders though. How he goes, so goes to Washington.


DALLAS COWBOYS

New York Giants v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

2020 Record: 6-10

Draft Class:

  • LB Micah Parsons (Rd 1, Pick 12)
  • CB Kelvin Joseph (Rd 2, Pick 12)
  • DT Osa Odighizuwa (Rd 3, Pick 11)
  • DE Chauncey Golston (Rd 3, Pick 21)
  • CB Nahshon Wright (Rd 3, Pick 36)
  • LB Jabril Cox (Rd 4, Pick 10)
  • OT Josh Ball (Rd 4, Pick 33)
  • WR Simi Fehoko (Rd 5, Pick 35)
  • DT Quinton Bohanna (Rd 6, Pick 8)
  • CB Israel Mukuamu (Rd 6, Pick 43)
  • OG Matt Farniok (Rd 7, Pick 10)

Free Agent Additions: LB Keanu Neal, S Damontae Kazee, S Jayron Kearse, DT Brent Urban, DT Carlos Watkins, OLB Tarell Basham, OT Ty Nsekhe, TE Jeremy Sprinkle, LS Jake McQuaide, P Bryan Anger

Subtractions: DT Antwaun Woods, CB Chidobe Awuzie, T Cameron Erving, S Xavier Woods, LB Joe Thomas, OLB Aldon Smith, QB Andy Dalton, OG/C Joe Looney, LB Sean Lee

Offseason Breakdown:

The Dallas Cowboys had their typical offseason. They signed free agents to fill a few holes in their roster and will rely heavily on their 2021 draft class to step in and make an impact early on as rookies. This has been Dallas’ offseason model for a few years now, but right now there’s no way of knowing whether or not it will pay off.

The Dallas Cowboys success or failure this season largely depends on the health of several players returning from season-ending injuries like QB Dak Prescott and OTs Tyron Smith and La’el Collins. If they are back to 100% the offense has the talent to compete with any team around the league. Other than that, how Dan Quinn’s defense performs this year will ultimately determine where the Cowboys stand in the NFC East division.