If there has been one word to describe the NFC East division over the past several years, you'd be hard pressed to find one better suited than unpredictable. Maybe erratic or crazy. But unpredictable is best. All four teams are looking for stability which is often directly handed down from leadership. The leaders of a team are the GM's office, coaches and of course, quarterbacks.
Since everyone loves to talk about quarterbacks the most, we'll start there. All of these QB's may be unpredictable but none of them are the same. They each have their unique characterization.
Eli Manning (New York Giants) is the only Super Bowl champion in this group. He's a veteran with a rocket arm and he has more rings than his older brother named Peyton. Maybe you've heard of him?
Nick Foles (Philadelphia Eagles) is the young underdog. He seemed to master Chip Kelly's college styled offense and came out of nowhere to steal Mike Vick's job and he threw for 27 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions during the regular season. Wait what?
Robert Griffin III (Washington Redskins) is highly drafted and deemed by many to be the great QB of the future after his rookie season. However, a nasty injury and a little bit of over-publicity seemed to ground the seemingly “untouchable” QB in his second year. Will he return to first year form?
Tony Romo (Dallas Cowboys) is the brunt of everyone's joke because apparently he always chokes in big games. Statistically, he's been nothing short of spectacular, but that won't change anyone's mind until he wins the “big one.” Will the gunslinger finally break the curse?
It'd be very difficult to pick out one of these guys and say that they are undoubtedly the best in the division although Manning's two rings probably makes the strongest case. With the division title being anyone's to take for the past several years, all of these QB's have the chance to take their teams to a level of division dominance.
Let's take an in-depth look.
New York Giants QB Eli Manning
Eli Manning has a rocket on his arm and you have to admit, he knows how to win the big games. Much like his older brother, he can bring his teams back from large deficits almost single handedly. Never count Eli out.
When you throw the ball as much as the New York Giants did last season, you have to expect your QB to throw some picks. But Eli consistently throws too many. I think we all remember the plethora of turnovers that went Dallas' way opening week last season. He'll make some incredible throws, but he'll also throw the ball to other team.
What Eli Has To Overcome:
The Giants were awful last year. Just awful and Manning himself wasn't much better. It was without doubt the season filled with the some of the most awful performances by the 2-time champion. As the quarterback and leader of this team, Manning has to get things back on track next season by setting an example. He's definitely going to want to work on his TD-Int ratio if he wants to see more success this year. How much of last year was Eli's fault? Well not even close to all of it, but there's no doubt he could have played better. He also could have gotten more help from teammates.
If the Giants get healthy and Eli Manning gets back on track, and I wouldn't be surprised if they did, expect to see them right back in the thick of the competition fighting for the division crown.
Philadelphia Eagles QB Nick Foles
This guy came out of pretty much nowhere to become the Eagles starting QB last season. And the pressure didn't seem to faze him much. His greatest strength is Chip Kelly's offense. It's as simple as that. Short passes and a lot of running helped Foles pad the stat sheet last season.
Because we've seen so little of Foles, it's hard to point to one particular weakness. But I think that it is this… He can't take over games. If a team has the Eagles' offense under wraps, Foles won't be able to do anything to change that. He's not really proven himself a game-changer like the other three QB's he has to go up against. But hey, maybe that doesn't matter.
What Nick Has To Overcome:
We've seen a lot of the young QB's have a breakout season and then follow it up with a dud (Cam Newton, RGIII etc.). Nick is going to have to work extra hard to stay focused and pick up right where he left off. Another thing to worry about if you're Nick Foles and the Eagles is whether or not defenses are going to figure out the Chip Kelly offense. I have a sneaking suspicion they won't be as good this season.
If he has another season like last year, everyone else in the division will have a hard time keeping up.
Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III
Prior to the injury, RGIII's greatest strength was his phenomenal athletic ability. In his rookie season he killed teams with his legs, running the read-option to perfection. And with defenses on their heels wondering when he would take off, he was a solid passer too.
This young QB's most dangerous weakness is himself. No one really had anything bad to say about Griffin until after his injury at the end of his rookie season. Then we all got to see a little bit of his bad side. He got pretty close to blaming his coach for the injury and eventually got his coach fired. RGIII suffered from a little bit of “I'm better than I really am” last season.
What Robert Has To Overcome:
Last year was a disaster. With a nagging injury from the year before he was very hesitant to run the football, allowing defenses to be a lot more aggressive. I don't know if Griffin will regain his confidence and become the rookie year QB again or not, but that is what he must try to do if he wants his team to have a shot at winning this division.
RGIII is a fairly talented young QB but over the past year he seemed to have lost himself somewhere along the way.
Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo
Everyone that knows anything about football will concede that Tony is an extremely talented and capable quarterback. But his greatest strength is his competitive nature… his never ending desire to win football games. Tony has brought his team back from deficits countless times, even in the 4th quarter.
It only makes sense to pick up where we left off. Tony's high competitive nature can lead him to make unnecessary errors. When games get close and the Cowboys need a big play, Romo simply lets his competitiveness try to do too much. So his biggest strength is also a weakness that causes him to catch a lot of flak.
What Tony Has To Overcome:
This one is obvious. Tony must overcome the curse. The curse of the big game that has haunted this team for several years now. They always put themselves in a position to win a close game and then somehow manage to screw it up. Now all of this can't be blamed on the QB, but it has to be up to him to break this curse that breaks so many Cowboys fans' hearts.
Tony may be the best all-around QB in this division, but until he and company make a push into the playoffs and do some serious winning he'll be placed on the list of QB's that just “can't get it done.”