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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

1 Comment

  1. Matthew

    April 14, 2014 at 8:11 am

    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

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Star Blog

Could Loaded FA Safety Market Drive Down Earl Thomas’ Value?

Brian Martin

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Could Loaded FA Safety Class Drive Down Earl Thomas' Price Tag?

It's no secret the Dallas Cowboys and Earl Thomas share a mutual interest in one another. Thomas has publicly stated his desire to join America's Team and the Cowboys did their darndest to make that happen last offseason. Nothing ever materialized a year ago, but it's looking as if the stars have finally aligned and a union between the two could merely be just weeks away.

Surprisingly enough, the Dallas Cowboys may have dodged a bullet last year when the Seattle Seahawks refused to part ways with their All-Pro safety. Not only would they have had to surrender a high draft pick, but they would've also had to extend Thomas' contract. Fortunately, timing is everything and now the Cowboys might just have to do the latter.

A potential contract between the Cowboys and Thomas is of course what I want to dive in today. I'm not going to get into numbers right now, because it's nearly impossible to project any kind of contract for any safety this offseason, especially for the former Seahawk, Earl Thomas.

Earl Thomas

Free Agent FS Earl Thomas (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Right now, it's a little difficult to know who might have the advantage in contract negotiations, Earl Thomas or the Dallas Cowboys. A lot of times the one that has the leverage, however slight, is the one that gets the better of the deal. As surprising as it may be, the Cowboys might just have the advantage here and I'll tell you why.

First off, this year's market for free agent safeties is pretty stacked with starting caliber players. See below:

  • Earl Thomas
  • Landon Collins
  • Lamarcus Joyner
  • Tyrann Mathieu
  • Adrian Amos
  • Clayton Geathers
  • Ha-Ha Clinton Dix
  • Glover Quinn
  • Tre Boston
  • Kenny Vaccaro
  • George Iloka
  • Jimmie Ward
  • Adrian Phillips

Earl Thomas is obviously the headliner here amongst the free agent safeties, but having so many starting caliber players available could drive down Thomas' market value just a bit. This is especially true when you take into consideration the market for FA safeties just a year ago. It was almost a complete standstill last year, with only Kurt Coleman signing a three-year $16.5 million deal with the New Orleans Saints. Not even the "Honey Badger" Tyrann Mathieu could get more than a one-year deal.

With all of these safeties available in free agency, we could be looking at another stingy market. This of course could be good or bad news for the Dallas Cowboys, especially as it pertains to Earl Thomas. Since he is the top FA safety available, everything could once again be at a standstill until he is signed.

Earl Thomas

Free Agent FS Earl Thomas (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Of course, we all know this will ultimately come down to determining Earl Thomas' market value. There is no denying he is still arguably the best free safety in the game today, but there are concerns about his age (30) and the two lower leg injuries he's sustained in the past three years.

Even with the loaded free agent market of starting caliber safeties and Thomas' age and recent injury history, he's still likely to receive a contract that earns him $10 million annually, give or take. It wouldn't surprise me at all if he gets another four-year deal worth $40 million, $25.7 million guaranteed, with a $9.5 million signing bonus like he signed with the Seahawks back in 2014.

The Cowboys of course would probably find a four-year $40 million deal for Earl Thomas acceptable. They would more than likely frontload the contract with a lot of protection in the details. They have the cap space to make this happen and still be able to sign their own, so money shouldn't be a problem.

Now, whether or not Thomas' market value may dip a little due to all of the above mentioned reasons will be something we will have to wait and find out. Regardless, I'd be a little shocked if Earl Thomas doesn't finish his career with the Dallas Cowboys.

Do you think Earl Thomas' market value will take a little hit this offseason?



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Star Blog

Acquiring Brown Will Give Dallas Twin Turbo Terrors

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Acquiring Brown Will Give Dallas Twin Turbo Terrors

What a difference a receiver makes, right? As Dallas fans, we know the impact of a player who can shake coverage, get open, and catch the ball. How was the season going before the Cowboys pulled the trigger for Amari Cooper in the deal with the Raiders? Cooper proved to be the lightning rod and a turning point in a season that was growing increasingly dismal. Dak Prescott and Cooper went together like peanut butter and jelly, while the Cowboys stormed to a division title and a postseason berth.

Now, imagine all of that times two… maybe even two and a half if Antonio Brown could be had from the Steelers. Scary right? We understand there’s only one ball to go around but that didn’t stop Kevin Durant from joining the Warriors, did it?

As of this writing, the best online sportsbooks like Intertops, are dealing Dallas as the seventh of 16 choices to win the NFC championship at odds of 12-1. Imagine how those odds would shrink if Brown wore a Cowboys uniform next season, giving Prescott the luxury of not one upper echelon wideout but that plus an elite receiver. Hut, hut, hut and a few clouds of smoke later the Cowboys would be moving the chains or celebrating in the endzone.

Brown and Cooper would be a devastating combination with Ezekiel Elliott coming out of the backfield. Brown was made for Dallas, it gives him an even grander stage than the one he shared with Ben Roethlisberger and Le’Veon Bell in Pittsburgh.

Despite the fact that the 'Boys haven’t won a Super Bowl since Barry Switzer was roaming the sidelines in the mid-90s, America’s Team still resides in Dallas. But we need a game-changer and Brown is just such an athlete. But what do we give in return and will that cost be worth whatever productive years Brown has left after this one? Let’s not forget that the mercurial Miami native will be 31 when the season begins and men who make a living with their legs don’t get better at that age. But Brown is so good and so unique that, even if he drops half a click, he's still amongst the best in the game.

That level of talent is hard to replicate and it could be the missing piece which allows Dallas to be a legitimate Super Bowl contender next season and the year after.

However, up to this point, we’ve been very good at dreaming of a Brown to Dallas trade but haven’t quite worked out the details. It takes two to tango and if we expect to get the Steelers’ attention we need to give them something valuable in return. Dallas surrendered their first-round pick (27th) this season when they traded for Cooper so that’s no longer an asset.

Pittsburgh would be vying for a first-round pick (and likely more) for Brown's services but some have speculated Dallas would consider dealing rookie-standout Leighton Vander Esch.

Wait... what? We know, you’re clutching your pearls, and the words are stuck in your gasp. We get it. The kid was a home run this past season, leading the Dallas defense in tackles and earning a Pro Bowl invitation in his inaugural NFL season. But this would be a Faustian deal.

The Cowboys give up a player who is poised to be a stud for years to come for a playmaker in Brown that could render a Super Bowl in the immediate future. Brown's expiration date will surely turn his milk sour sooner rather than later, but in the here and now, Antonio Brown could be the bell cow who leads the Cowboys to the promised land before he’s put out to pasture.

Just something to think about...



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Star Blog

2018 In Review: CB Anthony Brown Bounces Back

Kevin Brady

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Anthony Brown's Resurgence A Great Sign for Cowboys Defense
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

To say it's been an up-and-down start to the career of young cornerback Anthony Brown would be an understatement.

As a sixth round pick in 2016, everything Brown contributed during his rookie season was a plus. Due to injury he was asked to step into a greater role as the season went on, and he performed well enough to make the front office comfortable allowing multiple veterans to walk for nothing in free agency the following Spring. Brown looked like a legitimate starting cornerback in the league, and when Dallas brought in Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis during the next draft, the young secondary seemed set.

Then 2017 happened. And Anthony Brown struggled. Really struggled.

These struggles, coupled with the emergence of both Lewis and Awuzie during their own rookie seasons, made Brown's status heading into 2018 rather uncertain. Some wondered if they would trade him for a day three pick, others thought Brown could even end up being cut. Jourdan Lewis and Anthony Brown were slated to compete for the nickel cornerback job in training camp, and as it turned out, all Brown needed was that one extra chance to compete.

Brown won the job outright during the preseason, and began 2018 as the starting nickel. A fan favorite, most thought Lewis would reclaim his rightful spot on the depth chart sooner or later, but Anthony Brown's play (and Kris Richard's preferences) kept Lewis on the bench for much of the season.

Simply put, Anthony Brown balled in 2018, and was the Cowboys' second best corner for most of the year. By the end of the season Chidobe Awuzie had regained form, but Brown and Byron Jones were the most consistently reliable corners on the roster all of 2018.

Brown tallied 44 tackles, 2 sacks, and an interception in 2018, and finished third on the team in pass breakups with 8. As the slot corner Brown had an excellent season, especially for a former sixth round pick.

Now he enters a contract year, and with the Cowboys having so many guys to pay over the next two offseasons, he could find himself as an unrestricted free agent in 2020. And if he can keep up his play from last year moving forward, he could be in for a nice payday that Spring.



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