NFL Divisional Preview: NFC East 2019-20 Predictions & Picks

Dan Orlando previews the 2019-20 NFL season, starting with the NFC East where the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles are looking to challenge the Dallas Cowboys.

Once the toughest division to call in professional football, the NFC East is no longer the class of the NFL.

While much can change before September, right now there is a clear favorite to win, a team within striking distance and two rebuilding rosters that are on track for brighter 2020s.

New York Giants Season Prediction

Had GM Dave Gettleman put off the drafting of Eli Manning’s successor for one more season, perhaps the Giants would have a decent shot of taking home the division crown in 2019.

Instead, DG rolled the dice on QB Daniel Jones at sixth-overall and in doing so, he passed up on a game-changing pass rusher in Josh Allen that the Giants defense so desperately needs.

The rest of the draft may very well have produced a solid young core at key positions, which bodes well for 2020. Same can be said of the revamped offensive line.

But for 2019, the Giants will likely battle growing pains in a rookie-laden defensive backfield, a pass rush that lacks an established star, and the limitations of a passing game that is devoid of a top end threat thanks to the trade of Odell Beckham Jr.

Still, better blocking leading the way for a seasoned Saquon Barkley, less pressure off the edges allowing Manning to build off 2018’s 66% completion rate and a supposedly healthy Janoris Jenkins locking down top WRs and the Giants may very well remain in the wildcard hunt as the holiday season approaches.

Early record prediction: 8-8

Washington Redskins Season Prediction

Led by Alex Smith, Washington came tantalizingly close to grabbing the NFC East brass ring last season, setting the pace for the division until injuries obliterated what could have been a magical campaign.

Owner Dan Snyder is tired of being the bridesmaid and he opened the bank vault for the spurned former Giants, S Landon Collins. He paired that move with drafting hot-ticket QB Dwayne Haskins Jr. in the first round.

Is Washington finally for real? Do they finally have a long-term franchise QB in Haskins? Perhaps soon, but this year will likely be more about taking steps forward rather than taking home the title.

Kareem Copeland of the Washington Post believes that the team may very well let Haskins start as a rookie, suggesting that the typical rookie QB learning curve could turn 2019 into a trailer for a 2020 or 2021 feature presentation.

Early record prediction: 7-9

Philadelphia Eagles Season Prediction

The Eagles were tough to kill at the beginning of the 2018 campaign, Carson Wentz back at the helm of the defending Super Bowl champs.

But Philadelphia lost steam as the injury bug once again bit Went, giving Nick Foles another shot at recreating the improbable of the prior season. Though the Birds made the postseason, they fell to New Orleans in the divisional round.

This year, they will not have Foles to fall back on if a newly-extended Wentz can’t keep himself out of the trainer’s room.

They do, however, have insurance along the offensive edges after drafting stud OT, Andre Dillard. Dillard is the heir apparent to a legendary, but aging and ailing Jason Peters.

They added a couple promising rookies on the offensive side of the ball later in the draft too, grabbing Miles Sanders out of Penn State as a potential main RB and JJ Arcega-Whiteside to haul in the redzone balls opposite TE Zach Ertz.

Only two years removed from a Super Bowl, Philadelphia should be in the running for the divisional title, but Wentz’s cluttered injury history put their chances on shaky ground.

Early record prediction: 10-6 (Wildcard spot)

Dallas Cowboys Season Prediction

When the Cowboys traded away a first round pick to land Amari Cooper, the move may have seemed suspect. But Dallas got the featured receiver it was sorely missing.

Cooper put up the longest catch of his career last season (90 yards) while also tallying his second-best reception total (75), tying his career-best TD total (7) and posting his best ever catch percentage (70.1%).

With a returning Jason Witten, Dak Prescott coming off a nearly 68% completion percentage campaign and the top-tier Ezekiel Elliot running the ball, the Cowboys should have what it takes to outlast all three of the division’s opposing defenses.

The team may struggle in the trenches, however. Once a strength, the team’s offensive line began to falter in 2018 and they may need to call upon third round pick Connor McGovern for some fresh legs along the interior.

If the OLine can remain steady, Dallas will likely be the favorite to claim the NFC East when the regular season rolls along.

Early record prediction: 11-5

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