We all know who’s not going to win the NFC East (we predict), however who will win it? There have been varied front-runners all through the season (besides the Giants), however accidents and poor performances have created a revolving door of prospects.
Because the 4 groups put together for 2 intra-division video games this week, kicking off with the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins on Thursday, ESPN’s NFC East reporters present their perception into who they suppose will finally win the division.
After shedding to Tennessee on Monday Evening Soccer on Nov. 5, the Cowboys have been Three-5 and regarded lifeless within the water. They have been going through consecutive street video games at Philadelphia and Atlanta whereas holding a Zero-Four street document. However the Cowboys received each video games and now will likely be enjoying for first place with the most effective probability to win the division. Washington misplaced beginning quarterback Alex Smith. The Eagles have misplaced nearly all people and are slipping quick. The Giants are enjoying higher however might have dug too deep a gap with their 1-7 begin. The Cowboys are the favourite due to Ezekiel Elliott. He ought to begin getting some MVP consideration. Dak Prescott is enjoying higher because the arrival of Amari Cooper. The road has carried out higher since Marc Colombo took over the group. The protection has been top-notch all season and is now taking the ball away not less than a bit bit. 4 of the Cowboys’ closing six video games are at dwelling, which is a plus, though one is towards the New Orleans Saints. However there’s all the time a phrase of warning in terms of the Cowboys. Simply once you suppose it’s protected to peek above the covers, one thing will scare you unexpectedly. Two weeks in the past, they have been lifeless. Now they’re alive. Two weeks from now, who is aware of? Simply maintain your breath.
– ESPN Cowboys reporter Todd Archer
Whoever wins Thursday’s sport. It’s not as if the Redskins could be lifeless in the event that they misplaced to Dallas and, certainly, may nonetheless earn a wild-card berth. However with the Redskins having a number of unknowns, the simple decide is to say Dallas as a result of it’s the more healthy crew. I would favor them by a 51-49 margin. Let me be clear: The Redskins can nonetheless win. Colt McCoy is a high quality backup able to enjoying nicely in an offense he’s nicely suited to run — and for a coach who has the utmost confidence in him. The Redskins additionally, imagine it or not, may get more healthy as left sort out Trent Williams, working again Chris Thompson and nook Quinton Dunbar all may return quickly. Each represents an enormous enhance. However McCoy should show he could be sturdy; he hasn’t been in earlier seasons when having to play. And the Redskins’ protection has lived off creating turnovers. That’s why they’re ranked fourth in factors allowed per sport over the previous six video games regardless of being 19th in yards per play and 22nd in yards per sport. They make groups drive lengthy methods as a result of the offense doesn’t flip it over and punter Tress Method has been unbelievable. But when that system adjustments, the protection should be extra stout. It helps that not one of the remaining 5 video games are towards groups ranked within the prime 13 in passing offense; all six groups are 22nd or decrease in offensive factors scored per sport, although the Titans and Giants are within the prime 13 over the past 4 weeks.
– ESPN Redskins reporter John Keim
I feel the Cowboys are going to win it. I wouldn’t have mentioned that previous to this weekend, however Sunday’s occasions seem to have altered the division’s trajectory. The devastating damage to Smith places Washington’s destiny within the fingers of Colt McCoy. On the danger of underselling the veteran QB, I’m not seeing a seamless Carson Wentz-to-Nick Foles-type handoff right here. Talking of the Eagles, they placed on their underdog masks for his or her journey to New Orleans however acquired their doorways blown off by the Saints. There’s something very, very improper with the offense proper now, and accidents have hit the secondary so unhealthy, they’re signing guys off the road and throwing them into the fireplace. It has gotten to some extent that even this weekend’s sport towards the Giants doesn’t really feel like a certain factor. It might be three in a row for New York if it pulled off the upset — and I nonetheless wouldn’t be shopping for it. The G-Males have a methods to go.
Dallas simply may be capable to capitalize on the division’s sorry state. They’re in fairly good well being, Elliott is heating up (388 complete yards, three TDs in previous two video games), and the Cowboys play 4 of their previous six video games at dwelling. With the third-best protection in factors allowed (19 PPG) and a passing assault bolstered by the arrival of Cooper, they’ve what it takes to complete atop a mediocre NFC East.
– ESPN Eagles reporter Tim McManus
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I wished to give you a purpose to choose anybody aside from the Cowboys. However the Redskins are lacking half their offense, together with their beginning quarterback. The Eagles are enjoying terribly and have a secondary stuffed with practice-squad gamers. They will be the defending Tremendous Bowl champions however they’ve a three-week stretch afterward towards the Cowboys, Rams and Texans. That’s an excessive amount of for them to get streaking. The Giants, in the meantime, have to win out and have already misplaced a sport to everybody within the NFC East. Good luck with that. They’ve dug too deep a gap.
Then you definitely have a look at the Cowboys’ schedule and understand they’ve probably the most lifelike path to 9 wins. That’s all it would take to win this NFC East. Dallas additionally performs 4 of its closing six video games at dwelling and finishes towards the Bucs and Giants, two groups with a mixed 6-12 document.
It has undoubtedly turn out to be the Cowboys’ division to lose. Dallas is a flawed crew — its passing assault with Prescott on the helm is the worst within the division by nearly any metric — but it surely has the most effective protection by a large margin. It’s conceivable by the tip of the season that no crew permits fewer factors. The Cowboys are at present permitting 19.Zero level per sport. That will likely be sufficient to win this division.