The NFC East began this most recent NFL season as the only division where every team within it had won the Super Bowl. Of the 56 (at the time) that had been played, 13 total Lombardi trophies reside within the league’s most storied division.
Thanks to the Kansas City Chiefs that number did not grow in count. While the Philadelphia Eagles played in their fourth Super Bowl as a franchise, their overall record fell to 1-3 with their most recent loss. You really do hate to see it.
As losers of the Super Bowl, the Eagles have a lot to figure out, but they did ultimately reach football’s final game. The Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, and Washington Commanders all have work to do themselves if they want to make sure that the division does not have a repeat winner for the first time since 2004.
On this week’s episode of the NFC East Mixtape, Bleeding Green Nation’s Brandon Gowton and I discussed the most-pressing questions facing each team with everyone now in total and official offseason mode. You can listen to the episode right here, but make sure that you subscribe to the Blogging The Boys podcast network so that you don’t miss any of our other shows. Apple devices can subscribe here and Spotify users can subscribe here.
The types of questions that each team are facing are obviously very different, that is part of what makes the NFL so interesting.
As we do on The Mixtape we will go in order of divisional standing. Let’s begin.
Philadelphia Eagles: How big of an impact will all of the change make?
It goes without saying, but when you get to the Super Bowl, you sort of better win it. This is true for obvious reasons, but also because as a team just playing in the Super Bowl you have a lot of what other teams want. The Eagles are proving to be no exception as both their offensive and defensive coordinators received head coaching jobs in the immediate aftermath of their Super Bowl loss.
With Shane Steichen gone to the Indianapolis Colts and Jonathan Gannon to the Arizona Cardinals, their roles (and the roles of staffers they take with them) need replenishment. That is just the coaching side of things.
The Eagles have a number of important free agent decisions to make as far as their roster is concerned (see their whole list here). They will reportedly place the franchise tag on C.J. Gardner-Johnson if they can’t get a long-term deal done there, but what about the other players? Brandon Graham? Fletcher Cox? Javon Hargrave? James Bradberry? There will be losses.
What’s more is that even if Philly manages to hold it all together, it is very likely that they will not be as good in 2023 as they were in 2022. In fact Brandon noted in our episode, and did so last week as well, that this could have been the greatest (in terms of talent) Eagles team to ever exist. It is again stating the obvious, but there is sort of nowhere to go but down.
Dallas Cowboys: Will anybody receive the franchise tag?
Right now there are honestly not a ton of questions hovering around America’s Team. This will obviously change as the NFL Combine arrives, free agency begins, so on and so forth.
At the moment the most pressing matter seems to be whether or not the Cowboys are going to use the franchise tag on anybody. It makes little to no sense to tag tight end Dalton Schultz for the second year in a row, and while there is merit to placing it on Tony Pollard, that is a lot of money (almost $11M for 2023 alone) to give to a running back, especially given the Ezekiel Elliott conversations that we have had for over three years.
Speaking of Zeke, another question is whether or not the team is actually considering moving on from him. There is logic to that notion, but he is a favorite of the front office so it would be a bit of a surprise for the Cowboys in terms of how they prefer to operate.
New York Giants: What is the best way to handle the Daniel Jones situation?
The Giants have a problem on their hands, but it should be noted that it is a good one to have. Entering this past season the Giants dared Daniel Jones to make things complicated for them and lo and behold, complications have arrived.
It is difficult to figure out what the Giants should do about Jones. On one hand he is a quarterback who only has one year (out of four) where he has looked viable/serviceable/good/whatever, but on the other hand life in quarterback purgatory is not one that any team would choose. Daniel Jones has every right and reason to ask for market rate and not settle for anything less given the supply and demand surrounding the quarterback position in the NFL.
Adding another level to the mix is the fact that Jones switched representation this offseason. We know all too well how not fun quarterback contract discussions can be, it seems like the Giants are battening down the hatches in preparation of a bumpy ride.
Washington Commanders: Can Eric Bieniemy save the offense?
Late last week it was reported that Eric Bieniemy would be leaving his post as the Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator to become the offensive coordinator for the Washington Commanders. Bieniemy’s résumé speaks for itself as he has been a part of the NFL’s best offense over the last five years.
Obviously having Patrick Mahomes makes that task less difficult which is why the Commanders are likely going to do what they can to take things seriously and figure their own offense out which starts with the quarterback position. Are they really going to try and make this work with Sam Howell? Terry McLaurin and Jahan Dotson are an underrated pair of wide receivers, and as a whole the team has a defense that isn’t anything to scoff at. There are legitimate pieces if the quarterback situation can be figured out.
That is where Eric Bieniemy is going to have to figure things out, obviously. Perhaps they legitimately believe in Howell as an organization, but he is going to need help around him. Some of the biggest help just arrived with Bieniemy.