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Building An ALL-NFC East Team: The Offense

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Building An ALL-NFC East Team: The Offense

(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Building An ALL-NFC East Team: The Offense

The NFL offseason can get boring at times, leaving us die-hard football fans time to think up and discuss abstract ideas.

Earlier this week, some fellow Inside The Star writers and I were discussing how many Cowboys would make an “All-NFC East” team, fielding a full 53-man roster. It was a fun exercise, and one that we took a little time coming up with.

So, I figured I’d let you all in on the debate, as we search through the division for the best talent at each position. Instead of building a full 53-man roster, however, I have come up with a two-deep depth chart.

Let’s first look at the offense, and examine the defense during another post.

Quarterbacks

  • Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
  • Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins

    Dallas Cowboys: Ranking Top 5 Most Indispensable Players 5

    PHILADELPHIA, PA – JANUARY 01: Dak Prescott #4 warms up before a game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on January 1, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

To be honest, this might be the easiest group to sort through. In my opinion, Prescott and Cousins are the clear cream of the crop in the NFC East, with Eli Manning and Carson Wentz falling in behind them.

While many believe Wentz has a ton of promise, he certainly did not perform anywhere near as well as Prescott did during their respective rookie seasons. I’m not the biggest fan of Cousins, and understand why the Redskins aren’t sold on him as the answer going forward, but he certainly has enough talent and production to make him QB2 in the NFC East.

Manning has the pedigree, but he has shown a decline in his play over the last few seasons. Though Odell Beckham has done a nice job of masking those deficiencies.

Running Backs

I mean, come on. We all know who the best running back in the NFC East is.

Last year’s league leading rusher, Ezekiel Elliott earns the RB1 title on our All-NFC East squad. Behind him is a new conference-mate, LaGarrette Blount, joining the Eagles from the New England Patriots via free agency.

Blount is the second best back in the division currently, though I thought hard about putting New York Giants running back Paul Perkins in over him on upside alone. Perkins was a guy I wanted the Cowboys to target in 2015 before they selected Elliott, and I still believe he can play at a high level.

Wide Receivers

  • Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants
  • Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys
  • Alshon Jeffery, Philadelphia Eagles
  • Terrelle Pryor, Washington Redskins
  • Sterling Shepard, New York Giants

    Cowboys Headlines - Cowboys at Giants: Previewing New York With Giants Beat Writer James Kratch 2

    New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham (13) runs onto the field before a preseason week 1 NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins on August 12, 2016 in East Rutherford, NJ. (Evan Pinkus via AP)

Imagine this receiving corps?

Arguably the best wide out in the entire NFL, Odell Beckham, is clearly our WR1 here. After him, the NFL’s receiving touchdown leader since 2010 in Dez Bryant is named WR2, and the dynamic Alshon Jeffery comes in at WR3.

Terrelle Pryor flashed WR1-type abilities at times in Cleveland last season, and will have the chance to perform at an even higher level with a better quarterback throwing him the ball in 2017.

Last but not least, the Giants’ Sterling Shepard just edges out Cole Beasley for the slot receiver role, though I do think you could argue for either one.

Tight Ends

  • Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins
  • Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys
  • Evan Engram, New York Giants

    Cowboys Headlines - The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly For Cowboys Against Washington 2

    Nov 24, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed (86) runs the ball against Dallas Cowboys strong safety J.J. Wilcox (27) in the first quarter at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

There should be no argument about who the best tight end in this division is, as Washington’s Jordan Reed is truly a top five tight end in the entire league. Deciding who would be TE2 was a tougher call, however.

I ended up giving Jason Witten the nod, simply off his pedigree. A future Hall of Fame player, we all know what Witten has done over his career as a Dallas Cowboy.

Lastly, I threw Evan Engram on the roster for his upside. I loved Engram at Ole Miss, and though I thought the Giants reached a bit to draft him, I think they’ll still be very happy with his production over the years.

Maybe Zach Ertz should be in over Witten, but he’s been nowhere near as reliable lately.

Offensive Tackles

  • Tyron Smith, Dallas Cowboys
  • Trent Williams, Washington Redskins
  • Lane Johnson, Philadelphia Eagles
  • Jason Peters, Philadelphia EaglesTyron Smith, Giants

On this roster are the two top left tackles in the NFL in Tyron Smith and Trent Williams, and the best right tackle as well in Lane Johnson (at least in my opinion). Oh, and you can add a player who has been one of the top left tackles in the game for years in Jason Peters too.

We all know how great these four players are, but the fact that Morgan Moses was left off a list which included four tackles in the division just furthers that point.

The NFC East has three of the top ten offensive lines in the NFL, so narrowing this list down was tough to do.

Offensive Guards

  • Zack Martin, Dallas Cowboys
  • Brandon Scherff, Washington Redskins
  • Justin Pugh, New York Giants
  • Brandon Brooks, Philadelphia EaglesRG Zack Martin PFF's Top Run Blocking Guard In 2016

The best guard in all of football, for my money, is the Cowboys’ Zack Martin. So, clearly, he makes the roster and does so as a starter.

After that, I believe that Washington’s Brandon Scherff and New York’s Justin Pugh are the next best in the division. Scherff was my favorite interior offensive linemen of his draft class, and after the way he played in 2016, he certainly deserves his spot here.

Brandon Brooks is one of the more underrated guards in football, as is his teammate Allen Barbre. If I was taking five, the Eagles interior duo would both make the team.

Centers

Sorry, Giants fans, as I’m only doing a two-deep, Weston Richburg does not make the final depth chart. After a down season by his standards, I had to give the more consistent Kelce the edge as the back up center.

In the NFC East, however, everyone is fighting for second place when it comes to offensive linemen. Frederick is the best center in all of football, and earns the starting center job on our All-NFC East squad.

Kevin Brady

Die-hard Cowboys fan from the Northeast, so you know I am here to defend the 'boys whenever necessary. Began writing for a WordPress Cowboys Blog, and am currently a college student. Lets get going.

1 Comment
  • John Williams

    While Engram has incredible upside and can flank out as a “move” tight end, Ertz is the better player right now at the position.

    Can’t argue your WRs much. Jamison Crowder and Cole Beasley would have quite the argument for WR6.

    Surprised you didn’t put Sproles or Vereen on there as your 3rd down back. I guess if you go with two physical, yet durable bruisers, what more do you need.

    You know much more about the OL than me, so I defer there, but being able to load up on those tackles allows you to go only 3 deep at TE and add someone like Engram who still needs to refine his blocking.

    Could you imagine your goal line and short yardage package with

    Peters – Tyron – Scherff – Fred – Zack – Williams – Johnson – Reed – Blount (FB) and Elliott.

    pretty sure that couldn’t be stopped even though you only have one pass catcher on the field. Shoot, if you wanted to, you could flip Peters and Tyron and make Tyron eligible and throw it to him. I bet he’s got some decent hands.

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