NFC East preview: Cowboys fight Eagles, Commanders

Cowboys will need defense to win games in 2022

DeMarcus Lawrence, Cowboys

Photo by Andrew Dieb/Icon Sportswire

In our 2022 NFC East preview, we see the Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles and Washiington Commanders as all having cases to win the crown.

Pick your fighter.

The NFC East has three viable options as a 2022 champion, with the New York Giants being the weakest option in this Mortal Kombat analogy. 

However, the Dallas Cowboys — who won the division last year — along with the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Commanders are all reasonable choices to host a playoff game come January. The question is which team is likeliest?

If you go by the quarterbacks, it’s Dallas.  The Cowboys have Dak Prescott, a top-10 player at the game’s paramount position. Even with the losses of edge rusher Randy Gregory, wide receiver Amari Cooper and right tackle La’el Collins, Dallas has Prescott and therefore, plenty of reason to believe it’s a contender. 

If you go by which team is most-improved, it’s Philadelphia. The Eagles spent the offseason loading up on both sides of the ball, drafting a pair of former University of Georgia studs in defense tackle Jordan Davis and linebacker Nakobi Dean. General manager Howie Roseman also signed corner James Bradberry and, most importantly, swung a massive trade for receiver A.J. Brown before giving him a $100 million extension.

If you go by upside, Washington is an intriguing choice. The Commanders upgraded at quarterback with Carson Wentz after watching Taylor Heinicke flounder throughout 2021. They also brought in rookie receiver Jahar Dotson to pair with Terry McLaurin and running back Antonio Gibson. If Washington can see a bounce-back performance from its defense after a poor showing last season, the Commanders could be a team which wins double-digits games.

As for the Giants — who play in the division and therefore deserve some mention — it’s about improvement. New York has a new regime in first-year general manager Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll. If the Giants can see a future with quarterback Daniel Jones and find some building blocks defensively, 2022 should be considered a success. If not, Schoen then needs to find his answer under center and work from there.

But in the immediate, the NFC East projects to be a three-team fight, with each having their strengths. The division might well come down to who plays the best inside of it, and who stays healthy.

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Author: Lucas Carlson