The NFC East is always filled with drama. Year after year, it seems like you can flip a coin to pick a winner in the division. Heck, the division hasn’t seen a consecutive winner in back-to-back years since 2004. In 2020, the Philadelphia Eagles will play the role of the defending champions after a disappointing 9-7 season. However, it looks like the Dallas Cowboys are the clear-cut favorites to take back the title this upcoming season.
Last year, the talk around the Cowboys and Eagles was how talented their rosters were. But both teams struggled for different reasons. In Dallas, coaching seemed to be the main problem while Philly was plagued with injured starters.
So what’s changed?
Perhaps the biggest change of all comes for the Cowboys, who have moved on from Jason Garrett. In his place, former Super Bowl Champion Mike McCarthy is taking the reigns in Dallas. Except for a few key staff members including Offensive Coordinator Kellen Moore, the team’s coaching staff has been overhauled.
A culture change is taking place for the Cowboys. The team made some key acquisitions in free agency by signing two quality defensive tackles, a position that hurt the team in 2019 with poor run defense and a lack of pressure in the interior defensive line. Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe should do a pretty solid job taking this defense to another level.
The Eagles didn’t waste the free agency period as they retained Cornerback Jalen Mills, signed Defensive Tackle Javon Hargrave. They also traded for CB Darius Slay.
In the NFL Draft, the Cowboys set themselves apart, though. They drafted CeeDee Lamb with the 17th overall pick, possibly giving the offense the best trio of wide receivers in a long time. Dallas built on a strong first round after taking CB Trevon Diggs at 51st. Lamb and Diggs will likely be starters in 2020.
After that, the front office added key rotational players that always seemed to be drafted as the best players available. While it’s hard to trust draft grades, their draft class has been nationally recognized as one of the best of the year.
For the Eagles, it’s hard to evaluate their rookie class. Wide Receiver Jalen Reagor was a surprise in the first round, considering Justin Jefferson was on the board, but it was a good pick regardless. Jalen Hurts in the second round is difficult to judge since it’s a quarterback pick, but he wasn’t the best player available and he doesn’t fill a need.
Many have said that the Eagles’ Draft shined because of a pair of wide receiver picks on Day 3. However, we know how little impact these players usually have on their rookie years. Philadelphia took a step in the right direction to fix their offense, but I doubt it was enough.
The Cowboys stand as the early favorites to win the NFC East in the betting world with the Eagles close behind them. It seems like once again, the division will be a close race.