At this time last year we were all wondering whether or not the Dallas Cowboys defense could simply hold on while the offense carried them throughout the season. To be quite honest, we had gotten rather used to that sort of modus operandi.
The tide turned a bit as the 2021 season wore on and as Micah Parsons announced himself to the world (Trevon Diggs certainly stepped up in year two as well). For the second half of the season the defense took over the driver’s seat for the club and helped propel the group to 12 wins and an NFC East title.
When we look at the state of the division that the Cowboys play in it is arguable today that they have the most talent if we are factoring in every level. This is something that Brandon Lee Gowton and I discussed on the latest episode of the NFC East Mixtape, a unique podcast here at SB Nation that can be accessed on all four of our divisional sites’ podcast networks. Make sure to subscribe to the Blogging The Boys podcast network so you get access to all of our shows. Apple devices can subscribe here and Spotify users can subscribe here.
Last week we put together a list of offensive NFC East All Stars and in extremely shocking fashion not everybody agreed with it! In an effort to try to unite everyone around one single opinion this week we did the same exercise on the defensive side of the ball.
The Dallas Cowboys may have the most defensive talent of all four NFC East teams
It has been said many times that nickel is the new base, but it has been new for so long that it is no longer new. Nevertheless that was the way we formatted this team.
In the spirit of that, we added a cornerback to focus on the slot in a different way than we looked for a slot receiver last week. It just felt more natural here.
Without further adieu, the 2022 NFC East All Stars on defense:
DE: DeMarcus Lawrence (Dallas Cowboys)
DT: Jonathan Allen (Washington Commanders)
DT: Javon Hargrave (Philadelphia Eagles)
DE: Chase Young (Washington Commanders)
LB: Micah Parsons (Dallas Cowboys)
LB: Blake Martinez (New York Giants)
CB: Trevon Diggs (Dallas Cowboys)
CB: Darius Slay (Philadelphia Eagles)
CB: Kendall Fuller (Washington Commanders)
S: Xavier McKinney (New York Giants)
S: Jayron Kearse (Dallas Cowboys)
There was very little disagreement here. Fuller is the slot corner given the fact that he has a little bit more flexibility than either Diggs or Slay.
Leaving off New York’s Leonard Williams was definitely something that gave us a bit of pause, but it was difficult to take anybody off. Gowton made a spirited argument for Philadelphia’s Hasson Reddick as one of the edge rushers, but the reality is that he doesn’t have the recent overall prowess that Lawrence does and Young will very likely bounce back this season.
In doing this exercise it is rather clear that the NFC East is a bit void of talent at linebacker behind Parsons and at safety almost overall. Obviously they are not necessarily positions that teams consider supremely high priorities when spending premium resources.
Through both offensive and defensive exercises the Dallas Cowboys lead the division with most players represented:
- Dallas Cowboys, 9 (5 on offense, 4 on defense)
- Philadelphia Eagles, 7 (5 on offense, 2 on defense)
- Washington Commanders, 4 (1 on offense, 3 on defense)
- New York Giants, 2 (0 on offense, 2 on defense)
Do these feel like fair representations of the division to you?