NFC East Round-up: Are the Eagles and their rivals prepared for battle?

Eagles giants
Philadelphia Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert (88) runs with the ball after making a catch as New York Giants cornerback Adoree’ Jackson (22) tries to stop him during the first half of an NFL divisional round playoff football game, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

The Philadelphia Eagles may be seen as a favorite to repeat as champions of the NFC East, but that doesn’t mean the rest of the division is ready to give up next year’s title so easily.

The NFC East posted the highest winning percentage over any other division in the NFL last season and will have one of the toughest combined schedules in 2023. That means that how each team looks coming into the regular season will be extremely important.

Unlike other teams in the division, the Eagles do not hold OTAs during this period while the Giants, Cowboys, and Commanders have all begun practices.

So how do the rivals of the Eagles look at this point? We have the full breakdown here.

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeVonta Smith (6) is tackled by New York Giants safety Tony Jefferson (36) after making ac a catch during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

New York has a new-look offense going into the second season under Brian Daboll. Daniel Jones has a lucrative deal but already looks lightyears better than last season at this time with pass catchers like Darren Waller and Jalin Hyatt improving the offense. Deep throws to both receivers have made fans of the Giants a very happy crew over the last few weeks.

Add in improvements made on defense and the Giants could be a lot better than they were last season even with a tougher schedule.

Daboll though has maintained that the team isn’t going to get a lot of intense workouts during this period as we are still on the voluntary side of things. One thing of note though is that Saquon Barkley has not attended practices as he continues to push for a long-term extension that the Giants don’t seem to be willing to give.

Dallas Cowboys

Philadelphia Eagles’ A.J. Brown speaks with Dallas Cowboys’ Trevon Diggs during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

Whether the Cowboys go after a player like DeAndre Hopkins or not, the offense should still be pretty high-powered with their current batch of players. Michael Gallup has turned heads a year removed from ACL surgery and recently drafted Deuce Vaughn has already stood out in key practices.

On defense, Stephon Gillmore has stood out and is expected to be another lockdown corner for the defense. First-round pick Mazi Smith has gotten plenty of experience with double-teams already but we shall see how long he takes to develop.

Washington Commanders

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeVonta Smith (6) makes a catch against Washington Commanders cornerback Kendall Fuller (29) and safety Bobby McCain (20) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Outside of being in the process of changing owners, the Commanders have a quarterback battle on their hands with Sam Howell competing with Jacoby Brissett for first-team reps. It’ll be a make-or-break season for the Commanders and Ron Rivera with ownership potentially looking to bring in their own personnel to improve the struggling franchise.

Both points will be the focus for Washington over the next few months and won’t be decided right away.

Howell seems to be the favorite for the starting job currently and has drawn a ton of appreciation for new offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy. If Washington is to get to the playoffs next season though, that combination of play-caller and quarterback will need to be better than over two-decades worth in Washington.

How will the Eagles fair against their rivals?

AP Photo/Matt Slocum