It’s only been three weeks in the 2019 NFL season but the Dallas Cowboys already have a two-game lead in the NFC East. Let’s take a look around the division and see what’s going on with Dallas’ longtime rivals.
Following Washington’s loss last night to the Chicago Bears, here are the current NFC East standings:
- Dallas Cowboys 3-0 (2-0 vs division)
- Philadelphia Eagles 1-2 (1-0 vs division)
- New York Giants 1-2 (0-1 vs division)
- Washington Redskins 0-3 (0-2 vs division)
The big story of the week, with long-term ramifications, may have been Daniel Jones’ debut performance as the Giants’ starting quarterback. But before we get to that, let’s talk about this two-game losing streak for the Eagles.
After letting last week’s game against the Falcons slip out of their grasp, Philly returned home and got upset by the visiting Lions. Neither Atlanta or Detroit was considered a contender going into the season, but the Eagles certainly were.
Granted, both losses had a combined point margin of just seven points. A few things may have swung things Philadelphia’s way, but that won’t matter when we’re looking at the standings in December.
It certainly doesn’t help that the Eagles are missing key passing targets in DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery. Their return could go a long way to helping matters, especially for struggling QB Carson Wentz.
Wentz has not been able to get back to the MVP form he showed prior to his 2017 injury. The missing receivers and pass protection issues certainly don’t help, but Carson’s passer rating and completion percentage are near the bottom of the league right now.
The Eagles gave Wentz $32 million per year in his recent contract extension; money that suggests a QB should be able to overcome adversity and make teammates better. You can’t make many excuses at that salary.
With a quick turnaround this week and a road game in Green Bay on Thursday night, there’s more adversity on the way for the Eagles. Will they drop to 1-3, and will that hole prove too deep to get out of?
Daniel Jones Starts With Style
With 336 passing yards, two touchdowns through the air, and another two running, Giants Quarterback Daniel Jones put in one of the better rookie debuts we’ve ever seen. It becomes even more impressive when you consider all of the factors around his week.
For one, Jones wasn’t named the starter until Tuesday of last week. With Eli Manning’s stranglehold on the job finally gone, he only got a few days to settle into being “the man” and working exclusively with the first-team offense.
The fact that this big game occurred on the road, with the pirate ship cannons firing and the Buccaneers providing decent competition, was also impressive. Jameis Winston had his own big numbers and the Bucs put 31 points on the scoreboard.
Did I mention that the Giants had to overcome an 18-point halftime deficit to get the win? Or how about that they lost Saquon Barkley midway through the game?
Did you know that Daniel Jones was sacked five times and, even still, had that kind of game and led the comeback victory?
It’s only one game, and I know Tampa isn’t among the NFL elite this year, but Jones showed a lot of positive things in that win. Perhaps the defining trait of the great quarterbacks is how they perform in adverse situations, and the rookie did it in style on Sunday.
The real tests are coming. New York gets a likely cupcake this week in the visiting Redskins, but then they host the Vikings and travel to pay the Patriots. A few weeks later, the Cowboys will be coming to town.
We may have a very different feeling about Daniel Jones after these next few weeks, or at least by the end of the year. But for now, with one dazzling debut, it looks the Giants have their QB of the future.