Division Winner: Dallas Cowboys
After years of failing to make the playoffs, the Dallas Cowboys finally broke through by winning the NFC East title in 2014. They finally did what every fan wanted them to do, which is to run the football behind that massive offensive line. However, the man who carried the ball for over 392 times in 2014 is no longer with them. DeMarco Murray decided to sign with the Philadelphia Eagles. To replace the void left by Murray, the Cowboys signed former Raiders running back Darren McFadden. McFadden will not repeat what Murray did last season, but when he is healthy, he could become a headache for defensive coordinators.
McFadden will also be partnered up with fellow running back Joseph Randle, who was a change of pace back for the Cowboys last season. Going into 2015, the Cowboys have a chance to go 12-2 in their first 13 games, before they face conference rival, the Green Bay Packers. That game may very well decide home field advantage throughout the playoffs. My prediction for this ball club is that they will indeed contend for a Super Bowl title, and for the second time this season, there will not be a December meltdown from quarterback Tony Romo.
The New York Giants will once again make an attempt to bring back the magic that catapulted them to two Super Bowl titles. However, would it be better if they would try to win the division and lock up at least the 2nd seed in the NFC? The reason I said that, is because the road to winning another Super Bowl title, would not be as hard as it was in previous seasons. The Giants head into this season with one of the most dynamic offenses in the National Football League.
Last season, a top contributor to the Giants offense was lost for the rest of the season in wide receiver Victor Cruz. Cruz tore the patellar tendon in his right knee during last season’s Week 6 matchup against the Eagles. Cruz will look to return to his pre-injury form when he is lined up opposite to explosive wideout Odell Beckham Jr. I believe that the Giants will indeed contend for at least a wildcard spot in the playoffs this season. But it will not be easy, the Giants face two high-powered offenses, in the Dallas Cowboys and the Atlanta Falcons at the beginning of the season. Their first real test will be a Week 4 contest against the Buffalo Bills.
This ball club is in year two of the Jay Gruden era. They will look to gain some traction on NFC East rivals, the Cowboys, Eagles, and Giants. To accomplish that quarterback Robert Griffin III must become the leader of this team. He has the pieces in place to become a premier passer in the National Football League.
All he has to do is show some initiative and learn Jay Gruden’s offense. He should continue to act as a dual a threat quarterback by running the football, however; he needs to be smart about it, similar to how his counterpart Russell Wilson utilizes his legs in Seattle. My prediction for this ball club is that it will go as far as RG3 takes them.
The fire sale in Philadelphia has not ended. The Eagles recently traded talented cornerback Brandon Boykin to the Pittsburgh Steelers. That move leaves the Eagles thin at the cornerback position. They did sign Seahawks cornerback Byron Maxwell for a six-year, $63 million dollar deal with $25 million guaranteed. Many fans around the country, including myself, have some serious doubts about the Eagles signing Maxwell to a deal of that magnitude.
It is a big difference when you face wide receivers such as Dez Bryant and O’Dell Beckham Jr. twice a season than once every three years. On top of that, Maxwell clearly will not have the support of defense as he did in Seattle. My prediction for the Eagles is that they could make a late season run, to contend for a wild card spot. However, if they do make the playoffs, expect a one and done ending for this ball club. The only bright spots on this team are running backs DeMarco Murray and Darren Sproles.
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