When you consider the current state of the NFC East there aren’t exactly a great number of things to place in the elite category. There is a belief that the Dallas Cowboys offense has the potential to be among the best in the entire National Football League, and given that we live in offensive times that is certainly a very good thing.
Defense has been a rough go for the Cowboys, though, which is why the team made an effort to improve it over the offseason. One squad that has already made a number of adjustments to the point of having one of the best defenses in the league is the Washington Football Team.
In the interest of wondering just how good Washington is compared to their rivals, Bleeding Green Nation’s Brandon Lee Gowton and I set out to build an All-NFC East defense. Every week BLG and I get together to discuss the state of the NFC East on a podcast appropriately called The NFC East Mixtape which is accessible on both the BGN and BTB podcast feeds. Subscribe to the Blogging The Boys podcast network on Apple devices right here or on Spotify right here.
Last week we build an All-NFC East offense which was certainly an exercise filled with more talent than this one. Still, though, a defense had to be built so we set out to design it ourselves.
Ultimately the representation was largest among Washington and smallest on behalf of the Cowboys. Is any of that shocking?
Number of players on The NFC East Mixtape’s All-NFC East Defense
The biggest debate that BLG and I had came over the second defensive end spot (which is where the half score came into play). Obviously we agreed that Chase Young occupies the top one, but who would you say is the second-best end in the division?
Being a bit honest here, we both argued on behalf of our respective teams as he stood up for Brandon Graham while I championed the cause of DeMarcus Lawrence. Tanks is a bit disrespected on a national level, which is hard to happen for any Cowboy, and obviously Graham is a solid player (although four years older than Lawrence).
While it is just one outlet’s ranking, looking at PFF’s defensive grades for edge rushers last season added fuel to the DeMarcus Lawrence argument. He was among the very best.
2020 Top 5 Edge Rushers by PFF defensive grade
- Khalil Mack, Chicago Bears
- T.J. Watt, Pittsburgh Steelers
- Joey Bosa, Los Angeles Chargers
- DeMarcus Lawrence, Dallas Cowboys
- Chase Young, Washington Football Team
Aside from the obvious “Dallas should have drafted T.J. Watt over Taco Charlton” takeaway, Lawrence even out-ranks Young in this one particular listing. This isn’t to say that Lawrence should be preferred over Chase, but it certainly supports the idea that he is the second-best edge rusher in the division.
What do you say? How many Cowboys defenders would make an All-NFC East defense? For clarity with regards to our team the only outright representation was Micah Parsons which says an awful lot about the way things are at the moment.