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Does Coaching Continuity Really Give Eagles an Advantage in 2020?

The Philadelphia Eagles will be the only team in the NFC East without a new head coach in 2020. One of their top defensive players, Brandon Graham, says that gives them an advantage over their division rivals. division. Should the rest of us, and particularly the Dallas Cowboys, agree with him?

Doug Pederson is returning for his fifth season as Eagles coach. Since winning the Super Bowl in 2017, Philadelphia has gone 9-7 each of the last two years. That was good enough to win the NFC East in 2019, though, and earn a Wild Card spot the year before.

After a decade of highs and lows under Jason Garrett, the Cowboys finally fired him in favor of Mike McCarthy. He brings a Super Bowl ring and a highly successful track record during a long run with the Green Bay Packers.

The Giants and Redskins will also have new coaches this year, but really we’re just worried about the battle between Dallas and Philadelphia. Barring an unexpected surge from either of those other two teams, the NFC East is a two-horse race in 2020.

Brandon Graham, the Eagles’ sack leader in 2019, thinks his team is out in front thanks to the coaching turnover in the division.

“It’s all about having an advantage and I feel like we’ve got an advantage right now. We’ve got the same coach. All we have to do is make sure that we take this offseason like we’re supposed to.”

So is Graham correct? Does coaching continuity really give the Eagles an edge over the Cowboys?

Obviously, yes, it’s a positive thing for Philadelphia. They benefit from not having to learn a new system and not having any locker room angst from the arrival of new coaches.

But Graham’s statement assumes a coaching change isn’t a net a positive for the other three teams in the division. And in the case of the Dallas Cowboys, you’d have a hard time winning that argument.

Jason Garrett
Former Dallas Cowboys Head Coach Jason Garrett

Don’t get me wrong; Jason Garrett did good work during his time here. I was probably one of the last Cowboys fans and writers to turn on him.

But while I forgave the 8-8 years from 2011-2013 due to a young coach learning and a team rebuilding, those same excuses were gone last season. And on top of the lack of wins last year, the Cowboys seemed to finally be quitting on Garrett.

Jason seemed to give up as well. You didn’t see the same enthusiasm in him on the sidelines. It was like he made “lame duck” status a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The Dallas Cowboys needed a change. And if Mike McCarthy is as good as advertised, a very talented roster just got an upgrade at head coach and perhaps multiple assistant positions as well.

Sure, there will be some transitional issues and growing pains. Perhaps it will give Dallas some extra challenges in the early part of their 2020 schedule.

Thankfully, the Cowboys’ first division game isn’t until October 11th (vs Giants). Their first meeting with the Eagles isn’t until November 1st. They have time to work out the kinks.

So no, what Brandon Graham said isn’t wrong on the surface. Continuity is an asset when you have the right coach, and Doug Pederson seems to be one of the better ones.

But for the Dallas Cowboys, sticking with Jason Garrett would have made them a weaker team in 2020. The likely upgrade to Mike McCarthy should make them more competitive this year and draw them closer to the Eagles, if not making them the favorites in the NFC East.

What do you think?

Jess Haynie

Written by Jess Haynie

Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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  1. Good riddance to Smiling Dopey Opie. 2-8 in Win or Go Home games! Only 2 pathetic Wild Card wins. Ridiculous smile on his face doing high school coach things like running out before the team before games, throwing the football around before games, saying “How we doing guys” before every press conference to have Dallas Media act like sheep, taking team on field trips to museums and train rides instead of focusing on football… He was a fraud. Just because his Daddy got him into Princeton doesn’t make him smart, tough guy slogans on T-shirts doesn’t change his effeminate nature. Love McCarthy hiring Go Cowboys!

  2. I think its fair to suggest its an advantage, but it can be reduced to a very limited advantage so long as the training camp schedules are not COVID-19 impacted.

  3. Hard to argue that Eagles dont have adv. Especially with a shortened camp Not only do we have several new coaches but also several new starters (Inc. Rookie T. Diggs) to integrate into new system. Some of this could be mitigated by our outstanding draft and solid free agent pick ups especially Poe and McCoy who should shore up our porous run defense which has really cost us dearly in important games in recent yrs

  4. How about a disadvantage every team in the division may have the same athletes but will all feature new schemes/staffs and will use players differently and the Eagles have been awfully stale since the Super Bowl run

  5. I’m not sooo much worried about the Eagles coaching staff but what I am concerned about is playing them at their place! I’m still not over the game up there a couple years ago when they played a perfect game (no penalties!) and the commentators showed several plays where their OL was holding!! Now seriously can a team play a perfect game ?

  6. I don’t think keeping the same coaching staff gives them an advantage!! Look at the Green Bay Packers…. They had a new head coach last season and they went 13-3 and made it to the NFC championship game!! Plus, we mite have new coaches, but we still have the same offensive coordinator, and Mike Mccarthy said we’ll be doing a lot of the same stuff as last season he’ll just be adding a little bit of his west coast style to it, so the offense won’t be much different than last season!! So I say no, the sheagles won’t have the advantage just because they have the same coaches!!

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