Between the Dallas Cowboys, Washington Commanders, Philadelphia Eagles, and New York Giants there is a lot of talent floating around the NFC East division. Last year three of the four teams made the playoffs and we could see something similar happen once again in 2023.
Today, we are going to scour the NFC East and identify the best defensive players by position from the division. Opinions will vary as to who the best at a certain position may be, but that’s sports. Let’s proceed.
- DT - Jonathan Allen, Commanders
Washington’s 2017 first-round draft pick (17th overall) is coming off of back-to-back Pro Bowl seasons after accumulating a total of 16.5 QB sacks in 2021 and 2022. He is arguably the most consistent and dominant defensive tackle in the NFC East.
- DT - Dexter Lawrence, Giants
The Giants 2019 first-round pick (17th overall) was a second-team All-Pro and Pro Bowl selection in 2022. At just 25 years old he is among the best DTs in the league and is coming off a career year after accumulating 7.5 QB sacks.
- EDGE - DeMarcus Lawrence, Cowboys
D-Law is one of the most underrated EDGE players in the NFL. He is a three-time Pro Bowl player and arguably one of the most well-rounded defensive ends in the entire league. The impact he makes as both a run defender and pass rusher is invaluable.
- EDGE - Micah Parsons, Cowboys
The 12th overall pick in 2020 is already a two-time First-Team All-Pro and two-time Pro Bowl selection. In his two seasons with the Cowboys he has 26.5 QB sacks in a hybrid LB/EDGE role and is considered one of the best, if not the best, defensive players in the entire league.
- LB - Haasan Reddick, Eagles
Considered a first-round bust prior to joining the Eagles, the former 13th overall pick in the 2017 draft has become a difference-making type of defender. In a hybrid LB/EDGE role, he accumulated 16 QB sacks in 2022 and was a second-team All-Pro and Pro Bowl selection.
- LB - Leighton Vander Esch, Cowboys
Dallas’ former first-round draft pick (19th overall) in the 2018 NFL Draft and was a Pro Bowl selection and second-team All-Pro as a rookie. Despite struggling with injuries throughout his career, he is still arguably the best off-ball LB in the NFC East.
- CB - Stephon Gilmore, Cowboys
The 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, two-time First-team All-Pro, and five-time Pro Bowl CB is a newcomer to the NFC East after being acquired from the Colts. He is already a top player at his position in the NFC East, narrowly edging out Darius Slay.
- CB - Trevon Diggs, Cowboys
The two-time Pro Bowl player and one-time First-Team All-Pro is not only the best CB in the NFC East, but also one of the best in the entire league. He could very well end up becoming the highest-paid player at his position when his next contract is finalized.
- CB (slot) - DaRon Bland, Cowboys
The Cowboys fifth-round pick (167th overall) last year in the 2022 NFL Draft had one heck of a rookie season. After both Anthony Brown and Jourdan Lewis went down with season-ending injuries, he ended up starting eight games and accumulated a team-high five INT’s.
- S - Donovan Wilson, Cowboys
The Cowboys former 2019 sixth-round pick enjoyed a career-best season in 2022; he recorded a team-best 101 total tackles, five QB sacks, one interception, two pass breakups, forced two fumbles and recovered one fumble, and four tackles for loss.
- S - Kamern Curl, Commanders
The Commanders seventh-round pick (216th overall) in the 2020 NFL Draft has become one best young safeties in NFC East in just two short years. He narrowly edges out Jayron Kearse here, but the difference between the two is splitting hairs at best.