NFC East Preview: Dallas Cowboys At Even Odds To Claim Division In 2010

August 6, 2010-  Written By Alex

Once regarded the “best” division in the NFL, the NFC East will now have to settle for the title of “most competitive.” The Dallas Cowboys appear to be the team to beat, however, offseason moves by the other three teams in the division make this a race worth watching. The Washington Redskins will try to return to respectability behind new quarterback, Donovan McNabb. At the same time, the Philadelphia Eagles hope that young quarterback, Kevin Kolb will be able to handle the expectations now levied onto him. The New York Giants will look to rebound from a disappointing ’09 season behind improvements to the defense and yet one more year of experience for Eli Manning in the 2010 NFL Season.

Out of all of the teams in the division, the Dallas Cowboys actually managed to remain the most unchanged. Aside from
releasing offensive tackle Flozell Adams and bumping up Doug Free to protect Tony Romo, the offense will return largely as it was last year. Romo should have an impressive target to throw to when rookie receiver, Dez Bryant returns from his injury. For now, a very talented and athletic group in Roy Williams, Miles Austin and tight end, Jason Witten should allow Romo to put up impressive yardage in 2010. Equally solid is the Cowboys’ running game behind Marion Barber, Felix Jones and Tashard Choice. Defensively, the Cowboys have a pair of studs in DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer, as well as cornerbacks Terence Newman and Mike Jenkins. The Cowboys are EVEN to win the NFC East on USA Online Sportsbooks.

With another year in the books, the New York Giants will look to Eli Manning to lead a team on his back that still lacks any true No. 1 receiver. While Steve Smith is a capable player who put 100 catches in ’09, neither he nor Mario Manningham are the same caliber players that Plaxico Burress was. Expect for a lot of the offensive workload to fall on the shoulders of running back, Brandon Jacobs. Defensively, the team will look to rebound from allowing the third most points per game with new additions: defense end Jason Pierre-Paul and safety Antre Rolle. Also, look for defensive tackle, Linval Joseph to improve the rush defense in the coming year. The Giants are +275 to win the NFC East.

The Philadelphia Eagles will try to use the 2010 season to prove that Kevin Kolb’s 300+ yard average in his two games
started in ’09 was no fluke. With a strong arm and a good sense for the game, expect for Kolb to make a lot out of a little in the Eagles’ somewhat depleted receiving and running back groups. Mike Bell appears to be the de facto chosen
running back for the team, and anything he can do to take at least a bit of the pressure off of Kolb’s shoulders will be very beneficial for this team. From a receiving standpoint, DeSean Jackson will continue to lead the pack, while Jeremy Maclin and Jason Avant try to battle it out for a chance to be the No. 2 option. Defensively, the Eagles have a lot of depth with Darryl Tapp, Brandon Graham and Trent Cole. Also, look for Ernie Sims to shore up the linebacking core for the unit. The Eagles are +350 to win the NFC East.

The Washington Redskins underwent the biggest changes of anyone in the division during the 2010 off-season. Gone is
quarterback Jason Campbell who was shipped to the Oakland Raiders for Antwaan Randle El, and in is Donovan McNabb and new coach, Mike Shanahan. In one of the most underrated moves of the summer, the Redskins shored up the offensive line to protect McNabb by bringing in Trent Williams, Jammal Brown and Artis Hicks. With a good line, and a solid running back group in Larry Johnson and Willie Parker, expect for the Redskins to be able to put up points next season. Defensively, the team opted to go from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4 and will hope that this results in more interceptions and sacks in the coming season. The Redskins are +500 to win the NFC East.

For more coverage on the NFC East, visit 2010 NFL Team Previews.

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