The NFC East did its best to drop the “NFC LEAST” moniker from the 2020 season but to no avail. The Dallas Cowboys went 12-5 and were ousted in the playoffs with a questionable managing of the final 13 seconds of their Wild Card game. The Philadelphia Eagles were able to barely sneak into the playoffs as the No. 7 seed, but their lackluster performance caused everyone to question the decision to expand the playoff format. The Washington Football Team has a new name in the Washington Commanders and will look to improve on their 7-10 record. The New York Giants finished 4-13 and looking back, even that is surprising.
Free agency will produce considerably player movement as always, some teams will look largely the same. The published divisional odds from DraftKings Sportsbook provide a deeper look into the perceived hierarchy of each division and how much upside certain teams have within them.
The Cowboys are going to have some holes on defense that they need to fill. Linebackers to help support Micah Parsons and then safeties are going to be top of the list. Their offensive should be relatively unchanged in the new season. They do have LG Connor Williams as a free agent, but Dallas always seems to find ways to construct a dominant offensive line.
One of the big reasons the Cowboys are favored to take the division again is that they are going to be able to return almost all of their impact players in 2022. Through free agency and the draft they will be developing their depth and making moves to not only compete this year but for years to come.
The Eagles are going to have a decision to make about Jalen Hurts. There are some games that he looks like he can be just as dominant as Lamar Jackson has been, and there are other games he plays that make it seem like he shouldn’t even be considered a top-32 quarterback in the league. Will the Eagles try and move him for the future or does he get one more year to put it together?
Speaking of the future, the Eagles have three first-round picks in the upcoming NFL draft. They have a number of needs to address on both sides of the ball. I’d say another wide receiver, offensive and defensive line help and some pieces in the secondary are all going to be places they need to improve through free agency and the draft.
New name, who dis? The Commanders have found their new name so now they can focus on rebuilding their franchise. As much as I respect the effort that Taylor Heinicke put forth this season, I don’t foresee him as their quarterback of the future. They also need another solid pass-catcher so they can take some weight off Terry McLaurin’s shoulders.
It seems like everyone needs offensive line help, but with the Commanders potentially going in a new direction at quarterback, a helpful selling point would be a sparkly brand-new offensive line. They also have some pieces from the secondary hitting free agency, so they need to address those absences as well.
I honestly don’t know what is in store next season for the Giants. Saquon Barkley is heading into the final year of his rookie deal after the team had picked up the fifth-year option on his contract. Their wide receiver corps is in shambles with injuries and they don’t seem sold on Daniel Jones as their quarterback of the future. Looking at how the season shaped up, the Giants could easily have been a two-win team and their future is murky, to say the least.
Again, everyone needs new offensive line pieces but the Giants are up there as the neediest in the NFL. They will be losing a starting tackle, center and guard to free agency so they really do need some help. They will be picking at No. 5 and No. 7 in the first round of the NFL draft so look for them to try and add a veteran presence to go along with the young talent they will be bringing in.
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