The Dallas Cowboys saw their fair share of injuries that made it nearly impossible for the team to have any sort of chance to be a major factor last season. The same could be said for some of the rest of the NFC East, they had to deal with injuries last season and now they’ve all had to deal with turnover at very important positions this offseason. The question for each team now is will these new players pan out, and will the players returning from injury be coming back at full strength.
Those answers will soon be answered once the pads come on and players start taking hits in training camp. In the meantime, let’s take a look at one player on each team whose presence on the field could have a major impact on this team. Today we are going to be focusing on the offensive side of the football.
Dallas Cowboys - Tyron Smith
So much time has been spent on the return of the Cowboys franchise quarterback Dak Prescott that we’ve forgotten about the player that has to protect his blindside. We’ve seen what this offense can do with and without number 77 on the field to protect him. Not having Smith on the field has been a major issue for the Cowboys, so hearing the news that his neck surgery will help him get back to his former self and finally be injury-free is a very good thing. If the Cowboys do get the seven-time Pro Bowler back at full strength, then this offense is going to give Prescott something he, and the rest of the quarterbacks the Cowboys put on the field last season, didn’t have, and that’s time. That extra time will get Prescott the ability to locate targets and push the ball down the field.
New York Giants - Saquon Barkley
Last season the Giants offense was abysmal in part because of the poor play from their offensive line; the other reason was due to the loss of Barkley who tore his ACL. With Barkley out of the lineup teams were able to focus all of their efforts on stopping Giants quarterback Daniel Jones from beating them through the air. Now after having surgery and rehabbing his injury, Barkley, who has still yet to practice with the team, is saying that he will be ready to go this season. That’s not a good thing for the NFC East teams who’ve all had issues stopping the talented running back. Barkley also adds another element to the Giants offense outside of just running the back, he’s a very talented pass catcher whose elusiveness gives him the chance to take a short pass to the house on any given play.
Philadelphia Eagles - Jalen Hurts
Talk about having the weight of a city on your shoulders. For Hurts, last season was filled with ups and downs as he learned what it’s like to start in the NFL. This season the reigns have been passed to him with the Eagles trading Carson Wentz to the Indianapolis Colts. Hurts must now prove to himself. and his teammates. that the Eagles taking him in the second round in 2020 was a smart investment. They’ve given him another weapon to use in first-round pick Devonta Smith out of Alabama, but it will be on Hurts to make sure he gets the ball and while limiting his own turnovers. If he’s able to do that then his dual-threat ability will make him a very dangerous opponent in the future for the Cowboys and the rest of the NFC East.
Washington Football Team - Ryan Fitzpatrick
The beard is now in Washington and with him comes one of the last true gunslingers in the NFL. Fitzpatrick’s style is one that will lift this team to the highest of highs where they are able to score at will on teams, but he can also lead them to the lowest of lows. That’s the reason that Fitzpatrick is going to be the biggest x-factor really in the entire NFC East. The WFT added more weapons on offense to go along with Antonio Gibson and Terry McLaurin who both have dominated teams in the division at times. If Fitzpatrick can come in and not make too many bad plays, then the WFT could be poised to repeat as the NFC East champions. If he can’t get that Fitzmagic back though, then this could be the Achilles heel for this WFT offense in 2021.