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NFC EAST FUTURES


Allstarjim
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The last couple of seasons the NFC East from top to bottom has been pretty good. Even the last place team has been no push over for opponents. But it is inevitable that someday in the future, the NFC East will be home to one of the worst teams in the NFL for that season. I mean a really bad team. Maybe not Lions bad, but definitely Cincinatti bad. So who is it going to be? Which team has the best chance of being the lucky owner of a top 5 pick in the 2010 draft? Or 2011?

 

The case for Philly: Westbrook is the heart and soul of that team. And he's still one of the top RB's in the NFL. But he's got to break down at some point, and with the Eagles less than stellar other weapons on offense, how will they recover? Plus, John Runyan and Tra Thomas are both UFA's this offseason. If they are not retained, those are two gaping holes on the O-line. If that happens, Philly will not be a threat to win the East and it won't be close. Lastly, if McNabb does leave, Kolb will get a couple of mediocre seasons before they are looking for a new QB.

 

The case against Philly: For as much as their fans don't appreciate him, McNabb has been one of the winningest QB's in the NFL during his tenure. As long as he and Westbrook are around, the Eagles will likely be a formidable foe. Additionally, Jim Johnson is one of the best DC's in football, and there is little doubt that he will maintain a very good defense year in and year out.

 

The case for Washington: They have one of the worst owners in the NFL. The words "salary cap hell" conjure images of the Redskins in one's mind. They have a lot of unproven personnel, from their head coach to their QB. And Portis can't carry the load forever. Aside from a couple of young players in their defensive secondary, they have a somewhat old defense with Shawn Springs, London Fletcher, Cornelius Griffin, and Jason Taylor. They could be in rebuilding mode on defense just as their offense starts to put it together (if that group is even capable of doing that).

 

The case against Washington: Jim Zorn actually looked like he knew what he was doing last season, and it appeared he earned the favor of his team. Campbell while untested, has shown flashes of brilliance. Wild card wideouts like Malcolm Kelly and Devin Thomas could make their offense explosive should they both turn out to be real players. And Jason Taylor is still one of the better players on defense in the NFL, and is a good leader.

 

The case for Dallas: Their lockerroom is a mess. They wasted picks for Roy Williams (the WR version) and may owe a pick in this draft to the Titans for Pacman Jones, no longer on the team. There is no leadership there. Romo has shrunk when the pressure has been on, and Jerry Jones continues to want to keep the aging diva on the team. Wade Phillips looks like he doesn't have a clue, and they are losing good players on their defensive front in Chris Canty and Tank Johnson.

 

The case against Dallas: The defense is still pretty tough, and the Boys' have drafted pretty well recently on that side of the ball, with Marcus Spears, Jay Ratliff, Bradie James, and Demarcus Ware, they will continue to have a tough front 7 and a solid defensive core. They also maintain an big and strong offensive line, with stalwarts such as Flozell Adams, Marc Columbo, Andre Gurode, Leonard Davis, and Montrae Holland, and they are all under contract for 2009. You can't have a good team without a good offensive line, and Dallas has a good offensive line. They are also just a year removed from a 13-3 season with Romo leading the way. He has put up big numbers if not won in the playoffs. In limited time before injury, 2008 rookie Felix Jones showed flashes that he could be a very dangerous player, and Marion Barber remains one of the toughest runners in the NFL.

 

The case for the Giants: How long can this O-line really keep it together and be effective? Will Brandon Jacobs hold up? And should Plaxico not return, which seems likely, who is going to be the go to receiver they clearly lacked? Even though Eli is a SuperBowl MVP, some doubters remain that he is still a great QB, and there have been questions about his accuracy. Antonio Pierce, while the leader of the defense, seemed to be exposed a bit in 2008. Kevin Gilbride may be one of the most predictable offensive coordinators in the NFL, making the Giants easy to gameplan for.

 

The case against the Giants: Eli is fresh off his first Pro Bowl, and seems to be one of the smartest QB's in the NFL. Brandon Jacobs is the toughest running back to tackle in the NFL, and the Giants had two thousand yard rushers in '08, behind one of the best offensive lines in football. Their defense, as good as it was, will only get better if Osi returns 100% from last year's knee injury, and last year's rookie safety Kenny Phillips can take this defense from good to downright nasty, and he looks like he belongs. They have potential to have the best defense in the NFL. They won a SuperBowl in the '07-'08 season and last season produced a 13-3 record, with no tangible reason for any significant drop-off in '09.

 

My pick for NFL bottom feeder... Surprisingly, its not Washington. You lose your offensive line, and things start going downhill fast. Runyan and Tra Thomas are not easily replaced, and if they lose another offensive lineman to injury, especially considering the front sevens in their division, things could get ugly for Philly very quickly.

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My pick would be Dallas. No, not because I hate them more thhan the others, but I truly believe they will implode first. True, the D looks good, but really, Ware is the only real force that drives that D. The secondary is horrible. And with an aging, headcase T.O. and a waste of a signing that used big bucks in R Williams and not to mention Barber may leave, I dont see that offense as very scary. The Oline is old, Jones has yet to prove and Choice as well, and Romo is a bit overrated.

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I think it's Washington. Their starters are getting old, and they have no backups. They have an Oline that loses multiple players for the season annually. Their linebackers are slowly falling apart, London Fletcher aside. Even their secondary isn't what it once was.

 

I'm still not convinced Jim Zorn is a good coach, although I have to admit he did better than I though he would last year.

 

Philly's tackles might be getting old, but that line is still pretty solid in the center, and McNabb can still scramble if he has to. Their defense is still good, and don't count out their wide receivers.

 

Dallas is a good coach away from SB contention. Or maybe a medicated owner away. Or both.

 

But honestly, the cellar of the NFC East isn't seeing a top 5 pick for a while--not with the NFC/AFC West crowding things.

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You always have such thoughtful posts, jim... I really enjoy reading your stuff. :TU:

 

If I was to pick a team, I'd have to go with Washington also. The front office is clueless, they're getting old on both sides of the ball, and Jason Campbell has never done anything to make me believe he "has it." Snyder will throw in an overpriced FA each year to keep them competitive but I just don't believe in them.

 

Great points about the Eagles. I just have a funny feeling that if Mc Nabb leaves and Westbrook breaks down, they'll still be OK... I mean... they made it to the championship game a few years back with A.J. Feely leading them into the playoffs. They just always seem to be able to plug people in and win... first it was Westbrook replacing Staley and then it was Koy Detmer/AJ Feeley replacing Mc Nabb. The only guy they didn't ever seem to adequately replace was T.O.

 

Dallas will be OK as long as Ware, Barber, and Romo are on the team. Romo may suck in the playoffs but he's a good QB, and the other two guys are high-intensity players that provide a spark for all their teammates.

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My pick would be Dallas. No, not because I hate them more thhan the others, but I truly believe they will implode first. True, the D looks good, but really, Ware is the only real force that drives that D. The secondary is horrible. And with an aging, headcase T.O. and a waste of a signing that used big bucks in R Williams and not to mention Barber may leave, I dont see that offense as very scary. The Oline is old, Jones has yet to prove and Choice as well, and Romo is a bit overrated.

 

 

BigBlue, one point I will make about the Dallas defense... you mentioned Ware, who is the brightest star on that defense, but Bradie James and Jay Ratliff both had pro bowl caliber seasons last year, even if they were not recognized for it. Watch Ratliff next season, guy is an animal... the Cowboys did well for themselves when they drafted him. Plus, word is that Ray Lewis wants to be a Cowboy. I do not want to see their defense with Ray Lewis there, even at his age. He could run a 5.2 40 and still make the players around him better, he is so intense. In our SuperBowl run, I think it was Strahan said that Dallas was the toughest team they played all year (including the Patriots) and this was said AFTER the SuperBowl).

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You always have such thoughtful posts, jim... I really enjoy reading your stuff. :TU:

 

If I was to pick a team, I'd have to go with Washington also. The front office is clueless, they're getting old on both sides of the ball, and Jason Campbell has never done anything to make me believe he "has it." Snyder will throw in an overpriced FA each year to keep them competitive but I just don't believe in them.

 

Great points about the Eagles. I just have a funny feeling that if Mc Nabb leaves and Westbrook breaks down, they'll still be OK... I mean... they made it to the championship game a few years back with A.J. Feely leading them into the playoffs. They just always seem to be able to plug people in and win... first it was Westbrook replacing Staley and then it was Koy Detmer/AJ Feeley replacing Mc Nabb. The only guy they didn't ever seem to adequately replace was T.O.

 

Dallas will be OK as long as Ware, Barber, and Romo are on the team. Romo may suck in the playoffs but he's a good QB, and the other two guys are high-intensity players that provide a spark for all their teammates.

 

 

Thanks, man. It's a long offseason! :P

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I would say Philly, McNabb was healthy all last year which is a rarity. DeSean Jackson can't catch a cold and Andy Reid dissapears on draft day i think hes at Geno's eating 16 philly steaks and just says ahh who needs to draft, we like one player but if that player is not there then we don't have a plan B we'll trade out of round 1.

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BigBlue, one point I will make about the Dallas defense... you mentioned Ware, who is the brightest star on that defense, but Bradie James and Jay Ratliff both had pro bowl caliber seasons last year, even if they were not recognized for it. Watch Ratliff next season, guy is an animal... the Cowboys did well for themselves when they drafted him. Plus, word is that Ray Lewis wants to be a Cowboy. I do not want to see their defense with Ray Lewis there, even at his age. He could run a 5.2 40 and still make the players around him better, he is so intense. In our SuperBowl run, I think it was Strahan said that Dallas was the toughest team they played all year (including the Patriots) and this was said AFTER the SuperBowl).

 

Ratliff and James....good players. On Ware's level...not even close. What makes me laugh, is we all can't understand why Dallas is the favorite every year, then in a post like this, we all say why they are a player away from the SB. :rolleyes:

 

 

MARK MY WORDS..............Dallas will stink this upcoming season.

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This is a tough one, it seems like every couple years the NFC East gets a shake up.

 

I mean four years ago we were pushing third/second place in the NFCE now we are favorites for the next couple of years. A few years back it was Philly/Washington playing for the #1 spot and if Dallas never started Romo they would still be in the bottom on the division.

 

You never know what the future might bring, maybe our holes at LB and WR this year catch up to us and we have a horrible year. Thats why I'm glad the Giants are in the NFC East...its a really unpredictable division, with four teams that would be #1 in any other division.

 

But my prediction for the future.

 

1:Giants-We draft youth on the O-line and get some OLBs who can actually play. WR situation can go either way in the future Plax comes back no problem, if we end up drafting some WRs by then they should have experience and should of developed with Eli by now. A young secondary makes us set for many many years.

 

2:Washington-Even though they have a reputation of trading away draft picks, what his face Snyder seems to finally be getting the message "Build through the draft" Also I think their one good QB away from a decent team. They will need a RB by then with Portis wearing down, but I hear they might address it this draft. Their main concerns are trying to get a D-line who can pressure the QB.

 

3:Tough pick but I say Dallas. They always seem to have a good roster of players although their lack of depth kills them. Romo is a decent QB who can makes plays and I see them eventually drafting some good WRs to help him out. Their secondary will need some work but they will probably get something together in the coming years. That Felix Jones(sp) is going to be a good RB when he's a starter. If they get Ray Lewis he will help them out quite abit.

 

4:Philly-Westbrook will either have no knees left of be worn down into the ground and they will need to find a replacement. If McNabb takes off in FA(or run outta town) they are screwed but if he stays they will still have a good QB though will need to start grooming a replacement. They finally have a WR in Jackson who is going to be something special before it's all said and done and if they can find a WR across from him they will have a really good WR core. Their D always seems to be strong so they have no problem there. I just see their O going down the tubes being their biggest downfall.

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