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Does Coaching Continuity Really Give Eagles an Advantage in 2020?

The will be the only team in the without a new in 2020. One of their top defensive players, , says that gives them an advantage over their division rivals. division. Should the rest of us, and particularly the , agree with him?

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

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

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 like we're supposed to.”

So is Graham correct? Does continuity really give the Eagles an 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 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 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 .

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.

Jess Haynie
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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