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NFC East Position Rankings: The Quarterbacks

For decades, the NFC East was the most competitive and most feared division in all of football. In fact, an NFC East team participated in six of the nine Super Bowls played between the 1987 and 1995 seasons. However if you were to refer to the NFC East as the most competitive and most feared division in all of football today, you’d be only half right. Lacking a repeat champion since 2004, the division has become a source of parity while still maintaining the highly regarded and nationally viewed rivalry games which have become a staple of the NFL. After a horrid season a year ago where it looked as if a 7-9 team could steal the division at many points during the year, the NFC East looks to be improved and ready to begin to return to its old school form.

Kevin Brady

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NFC East - NFC East Position Groups: The Quarterbacks

For decades, the NFC East was the most competitive and most feared division in all of football.

In fact, an NFC East team participated in six of the nine Super Bowls played between the 1987 and 1995 seasons.

However if you were to refer to the NFC East as the most competitive and most feared division in all of football today, you'd be only half right.

Lacking a repeat champion since 2004, the division has become a source of parity while still maintaining the highly regarded and nationally viewed rivalry games which have become a staple of the NFL.

After a horrid season a year ago where it looked as if a 7-9 team could steal the division at many points during the year, the NFC East looks to be improved and ready to begin to return to its old school form.

Who will come out on top of this game of NFC East thrones this year? In order to make our best guess, we will break down each position group on each team in the East, and decide which team has the advantage at said group.

Let's get started with what many consider the most important position on the field, the quarterbacks.

Dallas CowboysCowboys Headlines - Tony Romo Gets New Set Of Logos From ESPN 4

Quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys is just about the most talked about position in all of sports. And this offseason has been no different.

After the abysmal 2015 campaign which highlighted the Cowboys lack of a competent backup quarterback, the Cowboys decided to draft Mississippi State Bulldogs quarterback Dak Prescott in the fourth round of the 2016 draft.

Kellen Moore, who saw time at the end of 2015, is expected to be the backup quarterback, and Jameill Showers, who is impressing many within the organization, will more than likely be the odd man out.

Then of course there is the leader of the Dallas Cowboys, the man who's absence last season was felt like no others in history, Tony Romo. When healthy, we all know who Tony Romo is and what he can do. He is a special kind of player who embodies everything the Jason Garrett-led-Cowboys are meant to represent.

Philadelphia Eagles - Auto Draft

The Eagles quarterback drama has been impossible to avoid if you consider yourself a football fan this offseason.

Sam Bradford, the only notable survivor from the "erase everything Chip Kelly did" movement, signed a short contract extension this offseason. Bradford has been average at best during his career, but was expected to be the starter for next season after re-signing with the Eagles.

But then, the Eagles traded up to select North Dakota State Bison's quarterback Carson Wentz with the number two overall pick in this years draft.

It was all good just a week ago, wasn't it Bradford.

Now Bradford has been causing drama within the organization and reportedly seeking a trade which he most likely won't get.

The third quarterback on the roster is long time backup quarterback Chase Daniel, who comes over from Kansas City with new head coach Doug Pederson.

New York Giants

NFC East Blog - Coaching Changes Around The NFC East

Dec 6, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) and offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo look at the playbook during the second quarter against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Giants quarterback situation is about as simple as it can get.

Eli Manning has been healthy for basically his entire career, and has been a good-to-great quarterback for the Giants, even if we don't like to admit it. While he is aging, he certainly has a firm grip on the job for the forseeable future.

Ryan Nassib is the backup quarterback for the team, but has seen only small amounts of game time during his short career. BJ Daniels is the third quarterback listed on the roster.

Washington Redskins

NFC East - Washington Redskins Use Non-Exclusive Franchise Tag on Kirk Cousins 2

In this photo taken Oct. 25, 2015, Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) passes the ball during the first half of an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Landover, Md. If Kirkthrows an interception in a game, he throws a second, and the Washington Redskins lose. If Cousins plays a pick-free game, the Redskins win. It really is that simple so far this season. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

The Washington Redskins quarterback position has featured a revolving door of sorts over the past few seasons with Robert Griffin, Colt McCoy, and Kirk Cousins all starting multiple games.

However, the position seems to be solidified for at least this year, as Kirk Cousins returns after impressing many during his 2015 campaign. (I wasn't all that impressed and will argue that he didn't play as good as most seem to think he did, but that's for another day.)

The Redskins also have my favorite backup quarterback in the entire division, Colt McCoy. I openly rooted for the Cowboys to make a run for McCoy this offseason, as he fits the backup role very nicely.

After ditching Robert Griffin this offseason, Nate Sudfeld remains as the third quarterback on the roster.

So, who's the best?

Keep in mind I am going to rank these position groups objectively, keeping any of my Cowboys' bias out of the picture.

With that being said, I do believe the Cowboys have the best quarterback situation, on paper, in 2016.Cowboys Headlines - Tony Romo And Jason Garrett Visit "The Boss" At MSG 1

It boils down to this; Tony Romo is the best quarterback in this division, so when he is healthy, the Cowboys have the best quarterback in the division.

It's just that simple.

The Eagles are not even in the discussion here, as I believe Bradford is an average player and while I like Carson Wentz, he is only a rookie. Rookie starting quarterbacks tend to struggle.

The Giants have just about the same backup plan as the Cowboys do if their quarterback goes down, and I evaluate Romo as a better player than Eli Manning.

This puts Dallas ahead of both the Eagles and Giants in my opinion.

While I would agree that the Redskins have more "depth" at the position, the vast talent differences between Tony Romo and Kirk Cousins eliminate the depth argument in my mind.

This leaves the Cowboys atop the quarterback position group ranking for the NFC East.

Feel free to debate me in the comment section, and be sure to check out each position group ranking as they continue to be posted.



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 have been with ITS since 2016.

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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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