NFC East Intel: Checking in on the Eagles’ closest rivals

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PHILADELPHIA, PA – DECEMBER 22: Dallas Cowboys Quarterback Dak Prescott (4) looks to pass in the second half during the game between the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles on December 22, 2019 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

The 2020 NFL season is upon us. For the Philadelphia Eagles, a chance of being the first repeat division champions in the NFC East since 2004 is within their grasp. Similar to the beginning of every season, fans have to be aware of not just the roster and quality of play, but the play of their NFC East foes. Let’s take a look at how the three Eagles arch-rivals look as Sunday approaches.

Washington Football Team

Last Season: (3-13) 4th Place in NFC East

Week One Opponent: vs. Philadelphia Eagles 1:00pm

The Eagles’ opening opponent. A team with a new coach, a new system, and a new name. Washington comes in with a lot of questions this season along its offensive line and skill positions. Add in the fact that with no preseason games, the Eagles have very little tape on what Washington will want to run, and this team offers a lot of intrigue heading into opening day. For more on the Eagles matchup with Washington, check out PSN Reporter, Chris Infante’s article here.

The latest injury report from Washington:

New York Giants

Last Season: (4-12) 3rd Place in NFC East

Week One Opponent: vs. Pittsburgh Steelers 7:10pm – MNF

Ron Rivera was one of the most coveted coaches in this latest carousel. Joe Judge…..wasn’t. The 38-year-old, long time, Belichick assistant was hired this off-season to add a toughness that the Giants have not had since the Coughlin years. And boyyyy have there been a ton of changes in practice:

It’s well known the Judge is a disciple of Belichick, who in turn was a disciple of legendary Giants coach, Bill Parcells. Parcells took over a very bad Giants roster and ended up winning two Super-Bowl’s with his no-nonsense approach to practices.

That was in the 1980’s though. It remains to be seen what happens when the Giants start to struggle. Will players begin to openly question Judge’s teaching and philosophy? Belichick disciples have a track record for being bad head coaches. Will Judge be like all the others?

The Giants open up their season against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Now the first game for a new head coach is never truly an indication for how he will be throughout his career. The matchup does over some intrigue however with Big Ben returning to the Steelers and Daniel Jones having his first week one start as the de-facto starter for the New York Giants. Similar to Washington, the Giants have a lot of holes (especially on defense) but a rejuvenated Saquon Barkley might be able to make Monday Night a solid game.

Dallas Cowboys

Last Season: (8-8) 2nd Place in NFC East

Week One Opponent: @ Los Angeles Rams 8:20pm – SNF

Goodbye Coach Clap. We will miss you.

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Mike McCarthy now takes the reigns of a very talented roster. Outside of the secondary, the Cowboys have Pro-Bowl players at almost every single position. The addition of Ceedee Lamb in the draft will make the Cowboys offense extremely difficult to stop. Defensively, they lost Gerald McCoy for the year due to an injury and the free-agent loss of Byron Jones leaves the secondary without a true #1 corner. Are the linebackers and d-line good enough to hide an inexperienced DB group? Only time will tell.

Oh, and it also looks like McCarthy is bringing over some of the lasting things from Green Bay with him.

Dallas opens up their season on Sunday Night football against the LA Rams. The Rams just gave massive money to their own #1 corner in Jalen Ramsey but are in the middle of some massive cap casualties. Todd Gurley and Brandin Cooks are gone and this year will be the true test for Head Coach, Sean McVay. Arguably the most underrated difference to the Cowboys and Rams are in their special teams. Tired of losing games in the final minutes due to poor kicking, the Cowboys signed Greg “The Leg” Zuerlein. Add in trick-play extraordinaire John Fassel, and the Cowboys are going to be another team that will be very intriguing to watch on Sunday.

One Final Word

Completely unrelated to football, Cowboys QB Dak Prescott was vilified by a certain FOX Sports media analyst yesterday, after coming forward with him battling depression after his brother passed away. First off, it’s great to see thousands of people, regardless of team affiliation, defend Prescott coming forward to the media.

I’m also proud of Prescott for coming forward and talking about his mental health. It’s such an important topic that needs to be addressed and I urge anyone who is suffering from mental health problems to seek help immediately. We may be enemies on the football field but I commend Prescott’s leadership and maturity on this topic.

Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire