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Who Is The Best QB In The NFC East?

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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

Greatest Strengths:

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.

Greatest Weaknesses:

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.

Final Thought:

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

Greatest Strengths:

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.

Greatest Weaknesses:

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.

Final Thought:

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

Greatest Strengths:

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.

Greatest Weaknesses:

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.

Final Thought:

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

Greatest Strengths:

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.

Greatest Weaknesses:

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.

Final Thought:

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.”

#DC4L #CowboysNation - Which QB will have the most impact for his team in 2014?



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1 Comment
  • Matthew

    Why don’t you just come out a say it. Tony Romo is the best QB in his division. You say maybe and then blame him for team failures but say he needs to be the one to turn the team around. Eli doesn’t need his team to suck for him to suck. He needs a good team for himself to look good. Foles and RG3 still need time to prove themselves to be better

Star Blog

Cowboys Defense is Ready to Win Now, Time for Offense to Prove the Same

Sean Martin

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Cowboys Defense is Ready to Win Now, Time for Offense to Prove the Same
(Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports)

The Dallas Cowboys lead the NFC East at 1-1, and have a favorable schedule ahead of them. With such an inexperienced roster, early season growing pains were expected, and likely should be still as the team comes off their first win to play in Seattle on Sunday.

Through a season opening clunker in Carolina and hard-earned divisional win against the Giants, the Cowboys have exceeded already high expectations on defense.

With the currently 0-2 Seahawks, Lions, and Texans awaiting Dallas, the time is now for Scott Linehan's offense to hit their stride. It will take more than a five week assessment to determine if the Cowboys are truly playoff contenders for 2018, but it could take even less than that for Cowboys Nation to realize this team is fighting an uphill battle at QB and WR.

Following Dak Prescott's 64-yard touchdown pass to Tavon Austin against the Giants, the Cowboys punted on four of their remaining seven drives. The Cowboys did a better job mixing up their early down play calling to remain ahead of the chains for most of the night, but even still their execution was lacking. Finishing three of ten on third downs, the Cowboys didn't sustain the type of originality on offense that earned them an early cushion.

Thankfully, the Cowboys turning back the clock to 2016 on a clinching touchdown drive of 14 plays would be all the defense needed. Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott would both convert a pair of first downs on the ground. The Cowboys took a 20-3 lead, and more importantly the game clock down to 5:45 with an eight minute and 23 second march.

As such, the Cowboys offense is an enigma. With the return of Brice Butler, the team is currently carrying seven wide receivers and four tight ends.

On defense, the Cowboys are expecting reinforcements in Xavier Woods, Randy Gregory, and David Irving to further bolster this aggressive, blitzing unit in the coming weeks. For the offense, Dallas must make the most out of the unknown depth they have, without any drastic change in style around the corner.

The Cowboys record under Prescott proves they're at their best when Dak is efficient. The ceiling for a new-look Cowboys offense built for Dak is not as high for this reason. Through just two weeks, it's clear that the Cowboys offense will be as good as the sum of its parts - instead of relying on any individual talents.

Jon Machota on Twitter

Cowboys' record when Dak Prescott ... Doesn't throw an interception: 20-4 Records at least a 100.0 passer rating: 15-1 Commits no turnovers: 18-1

After a strong preseason from rookie Wide Receiver Michael Gallup, the third-round pick has played less than half his team's offensive snaps through two games. Cole Beasley has seemed to regain his connection with Prescott, snagging a team high nine catches so far. Terrance Williams has been a non-factor, and the same is surprisingly said about FA acquisition Allen Hurns.

Regardless of what the Cowboys do over the coming weeks, a few narratives and lingering questions about the team feel evident. With the defense set to tee off against the Seahawks sub par OL this week, Rod Marinelli's unit will still likely not receive the credit it deserves heading into week four.

With the task at hand being maintaining their standing atop the division, the Cowboys must also be out to prove they can sustain success without a consistent passing game.

All of this to effectively say, the Cowboys are going to Seattle expecting to control the game on defense. To finish off Russell Wilson in his home opener (already at 0-2), it will take a sharper performance for a full four quarters on offense too.

A win at the Seahawks might not mean as much as it has in past seasons, but in improving the Cowboys record to 2-1 on the way back to AT&T Stadium, it could be all the confidence they need to understand the NFC East is theirs for the taking while continuing to truly find their identity.

2014 NFL: Week 6 Cowboys vs. Seahawks highlights

Week 6 Own by nfl

Tell us what you think about "Cowboys Defense is Ready to Win Now, Time for Offense to Prove the Same" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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Star Blog

Cowboys Defense So Far So Good as Seahawks Up Next

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Cowboys Defense So Far So Good as Seahawks Up Next

Dallas may only be 1-1 on the season, but the Cowboys are officially tied for first-place in the NFC East, and fresh off a workmanlike victory over divisional rivals, the New York Giants. It was a game they should have won, and did win, but the takeaways so early in the season are that, although the offense has not clicked on all cylinders, the defense is getting high praise.

The Cowboys sacked New York’s Eli Manning six times and limited the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 draft, Saquon Barkley, to a mere 28 yards rushing. It was also a night in which Dak Prescott not only out-gained Barkley by 17 yards on the ground, but torched the Giants’ secondary on a 64-yard touchdown strike to Tavon Austin which proved New York’s Safety Landon Collins wrong when leading up to this game he remarked that the key to a Giants’ victory would be getting Prescott to throw. When Prescott was made aware of the comment in a midweek interview he replied, "…challenge accepted," and the third-year veteran made good on his word leading to the 20-13 victory.

However, Prescott ended the night with just 160 yards passing yet the ankle injury he sustained in Week 1 showed no signs of rearing its head as Prescott moved seamlessly in the pocket and ran the ball well.

As we move ahead to the Cowboys meeting in Seattle, we take a quick check over to one of the most reputable online sportsbooks in the industry - Intertops according to the reviews - where we can monitor the line on this pivotal NFC clash as the week progresses.

Seattle boasts a talented quarterback of their own in Russell Wilson but one who will find the sledding tough if the Dallas defense continues to shut down All-World wide outs like Odell Beckham Jr. and contain future rushing stars like Saquon Barkley. Outside of Wilson, Seattle is not loaded offensively, with their biggest target, Doug Baldwin, ailing with a knee injury and a backfield which consists of two young rushers in second-year man Chris Carson and a first-round rookie in Rashaad Penny who dealt with nagging injuries throughout the preseason and looked unsettled in Seattle’s 27-24 loss to the Broncos.

The Cowboys defense has already proven its worth in Carolina with Cam Newton under center and again last week against New York. The unit is surrendering an average of 14 ½ points per game and is incorporating more blitz packages than we’ve come to expect.

The difference this year is that the players they have on defense are capable of getting to the quarterback quick enough so that the coverage linebackers and secondary aren’t alone on an island for too long. The one concern is the status of Linebacker Sean Lee, who checked out of the game in the fourth quarter Sunday night and brought to mind his hamstring issues of a year ago, but apparently it was in fact cramping, and not straining, of the hammy which allowed Lee to return.

The bottom line in terms of the Cowboys' upcoming matchup on Sunday afternoon is that they will get the Seahawks coming off a short week, as Seattle played on Monday night and should be relatively healthy for the contest.

Dak Prescott may not have the formidable offensive line that he has had in the past, nor a top-tier arsenal of receivers, but he does have the elusive Ezekiel Elliott in the backfield and is capable of extricating himself from pressure situations when no target is available.

If the Dallas defense continues to play at the current level, it will not only be limiting the opposition on the scoreboard but putting its offense in good field position throughout. So check out Intertops, one of the most trusted and reputable online sportsbooks, to see where this line goes because a Dallas win and an ATS cover are just days away.



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Star Blog

Taco Tuesday: Cowboys DE Taco Charlton Starting to Dominate?

Brian Martin

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Taco Tuesday: DE Taco Charlton Starting to Dominate?
(Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports)

There has been quite a bit of talk about what a bad decision it was for the Dallas Cowboys to draft Taco Charlton with their first-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Nearly everybody wanted someone different, not a player that needed time to develop.

Well, fast forward a year later and it looks as if the Cowboys made the right decision.

Don't look now, but Defensive End Taco Charlton is starting to live up to that first-round pedigree. In the first two weeks of the 2018 season, Charlton has already looked like a much improved player from what we saw a season ago. Imagine that, a little bit of time to develop and he's turning into a solid player.

I know I may be getting a little bit ahead of myself, especially suggesting that he is starting to dominate, but I can't help myself. I'm that excited about how much he has improved in one offseason. I may be alone here, but I have high hopes he could turn into something special.

In 2017, Taco Charlton failed to start a single game for the Dallas Cowboys as a rookie. That's not really what you want from your first-round draft pick. To makes matters worse, in 16 games he only registered 25 total tackles, four QB sacks, two passes defensed, and one forced fumble. As you can imagine, it didn't sit well with most Cowboys fans.

Luckily, it looks as if Charlton's offseason in the Dallas Cowboys strength and conditioning program has paid off. Already in 2018 he has accumulated six total tackles, one QB sack, one pass defensed, and recovered a fumble. If he keeps this pace up, we could be looking at #97 reaching double-digit sacks this year.

Taco Charlton

Dallas Cowboys DE Taco Charlton

Now, I wouldn't call what Taco Charlton has accomplished so far this season dominating, but he is proving to be a starting quality DE along the Cowboys defensive line. It's a unit that has looked really good in the first two weeks of the season and is expected to be even better once Randy Gregory and David Irving are able to return to the field.

In the meantime, the Dallas Cowboys are happy to get plays like this from Taco Charlton.

Taco Charlton Eli Manning sack

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

This is a play Charlton is expected to make. He was left unblocked, but we've seen players left unblocked before not make the play. So, it may not be as impressive as some QB sacks. But, I'll take the routine tackle any day over someone trying to make a splash play and failing.

If you're looking for an impressive play from Taco Charlton, take a look at what he was able to do against Odell Beckham Jr. in the passing game.

Taco Charlton covering Odell Beckham Jr

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

In case you're wondering, that's Taco Charlton in OBJ's hip pocket 15 yards down the field in pass coverage. It looks as if that's where Eli Manning was wanting to go with the ball, but tight coverage by the Cowboys, and Charlton, across the board ended up resulting in a QB sack.

If you don't find that impressive, I don't know what will. A 275 pound DE covering arguably the best and highest paid wide receiver down the field is almost unheard of. I would count that as impressive.

What do you think of Taco Charlton's play so far in 2018?



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