Cowboys Take Aim at Eagles in NFC East

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The NFC East looks set to be a battle between the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles.

Dak Prescott prepares to throw the ball for the Cowboys

There is a new look about the NFC East heading into the new season with three of the four teams hiring new head coaches, while Washington are set to alter their entire identity with a name change.

The Dallas Cowboys, Washington and the New York Giants are all trying to knock Philadelphia off their perch with the Eagles topping the NFC East in 2017 – when they went on to beat New England in the Super Bowl – and last year when they lost in the wildcard round of the playoffs.

Out of the four teams, the Eagles are the only franchise that hasn’t hired a new coach, sticking with Doug Pederson, who has been in charge since 2016 after his arrival from Kansas City Chiefs.

While Pederson is a proven talent at this level, a poor draft and a lack of movement in the off-season leaves the Eagles’ division title under threat and the smart money could be on Dallas to win the NFC East at odds of 1/1*.

Cowboys an emerging force in the NFC

It is a new era for the Cowboys following the appointment of Mike McCarthy as head coach, a position he held at Green Bay from 2006-2018, and his experience of winning a Super Bowl, along with some new ideas, could prove pivotal.

Dallas have a well-stocked offense, lead by quarterback Dak Prescott and he will be eager to prove himself as negotiations between his camp and the team over a long-term deal continue.

The 26-year-old was second in passing yards last season with 4,902 yards, behind only Jameis Winston, and Dallas have added receiver CeeDee Lamb for Prescott to aim for this year after he arrived from Oklahoma via the draft.

The Cowboys were ranked number one in total yards last year, while they were sixth in points scored, and the addition of Lamb to the ranks, joining Ezekiel Elliott, Michael Gallup and Amari Cooper, should make this one of the strongest offences in the league

Defending Champions to be Dethroned

The Eagles look set to fall short in their pursuit of a third NFC East title in the four years, with safety Malcolm Jenkins and receiver Nelson Agholor both opting to leave in the offseason.

Experience can often prove crucial throughout the course of a campaign and that could come back to haunt them, although they did make a big play to bring in cornerback Darius Slay from the Detroit Lions.

Injuries left Philadelphia short on offense last year but they went some way to addressing their lack of depth by drafting TC receiver Jalen Reagor. They then left many scratching their heads by selecting quarterback Jalen Hurts in round two, a stunning piece of business as they already have Carson Wentz on the fold.

The selection of Hurts was just one of several strange draft choices made by the Eagles and although offered a decent price at 7/5 to win the NFC East again, there is not enough confidence to get behind them.

New York and Washington Fighting for Third

It looks like New York and Washington will be fighting to avoid the wooden spoon in the NFC East yet again as they both continue to rebuild their rosters in the hope of challenging for glory one day.

The Giants have a new head coach in the shape of Joe Judge, who arrives from the New England Patriots, and he will be hoping to bring some of that winning momentum to the MetLife Stadium.

With Eli Manning retiring, the QB responsibilities fall to Daniel Jones and there are question marks over whether he is the man for the job.

In fairness to New York, they did bring in offensive tackle Andrew Thomas to offer Jones more protection, while cornerback James Bradberry and linebacker Blake Martinez arrive to boost their defense, but that may not be enough to turn things around this season.

The Giants should at least finish ahead of Washington, who have had a tumultuous offseason and will be happy just to focus on football again.

At the moment, the franchise is shrouded in controversy but they did manage to make a key addition in the head coach role, bringing in Ron Rivera.

It is also worth noting the arrival of defensive end Chase Young, with Washington passing on several quarterbacks to secure his services in the with the second overall pick in the draft and he could make a huge impact in his debut season.

However, there is still a lot of work to do for Washington as they start out on the path of yet another rebuild and they look likely to prop up the rest of the NFC East.

Check out the ‘Boys potential playoff rivals in our previews of the NFC South and NFC North.

*All odds correct at time of writing.

Tom offers a strong insight into football and rugby league, whilst also having a good knowledge of several other sports including boxing, horse racing and American Football.
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