If you were to think of one of the best divisions in the NFL right now, the Nfc East would most likely be one of the first divisions to come to mind. While the Dallas Cowboys shocked everyone with their sheer dominance, the rest of the division fought tooth and nail for the Wild Card all season long.

While the surprising New York Giants came out with the first Wild Card, both the Washington Redskins and the Philadelphia Eagles fell short of securing the second Wild Card.

With every team in the division making substantial additions and subtractions during the offseason, the NFC East will easily be one of the most interesting divisions to watch out for this upcoming season.

But with a division as a competitive as the NFC East, one question still remains: who will win the NFC East this season?

Dallas Cowboys

The reigning NFC East champions came out of nowhere last season with rookie quarterback Dak Prescott and rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott leading the way.

The Cowboys finished 13-3, ranking fifth in total offense and while ranking only 14th in total defense. Prescott’s game was without a doubt phenomenal, posting up a very impressive touchdown per interception ratio. But let’s face it, the bread and butter on both sides of the ball came down to the run game.

The Cowboys boasted hands down the best offensive line in the game which lead to Elliott leading the league in both rushing yards and attempts.

Not only did the Cowboys run more than any other team in the league, but they also made sure to stop the other teams from running on them. In addition to having the second best running game behind only the Buffalo Bills, the Cowboys also had the best rushing defense in the league.

However, despite all their success, the Cowboys were not infallible. The team ranked 26th in pass defense which was significantly exposed by the Green bay Packers during the NFC Divisional round of the postseason last year.

What’s worse is that it seems as though their secondary will only be worse this upcoming season with the loss of cornerbacks Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne. While the Cowboys have tried to address this issue through free agency and the draft, there’s no doubt that their secondary will be a source of further frustration this year.

Not to mention that both Prescott and Elliott could very well fall victim to the dreaded sophomore slump that often plagues young NFL stars with amazing rookie seasons.

New York Giants

Last offseason, the New York Giants spent a fortune to revamp their defense, and the team in general, after failing to make the postseason for four consecutive years. After parting ways with long-time head coach Tom Coughlin, and replacing him with former offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo, there were a lot of question marks surrounding the team.

But much like the rest of the NFC East, the Giants surprised everybody, finishing 11-5 and making their first postseason appearance since they won the Super Bowl in 2011.

Their defense was absolutely dominant, giving up the second fewest points in the league behind only the New England Patriots. Not to mention that among the three loses the Cowboys suffered last year, two of them were against the Giants.

Unfortunately, even with the efforts of their spectacular defense, the offense was pretty lackluster. Quarterback Eli Manning had consistency issues all year long while the team’s abysmal running game ranked fourth worst in the league. The Giants have certainly tried to address their passing issues during the offseason with the acquisition of wide receiver Brandon Marshall as well as the drafting of tight end Evan Engram. Although, not much has been done to fix the running game other than releasing Rashad Jennings and giving the starting role to Paul Perkins -- who looked respectable last season.

It’s difficult to say if their offense will significantly improve with their new additions, but as long as their defense remains intact, the Giants will be a force to be reckoned with.

Washington Redsksins

The Washington Redskins are a team that have had issues for quite some time. But on the upside, they’ve managed to win the division twice in the last five seasons and were very much in contention for a Wild Card berth last year. Even with a fairly bad defense, the team’s offense managed to carry their weight last season, primarily thanks to quarterback Kirk Cousins.

Out of all the NFC East quarterbacks last season, Cousins proved to be the best, and the Redskins managed to finish third in total offense. He finished third in passing yards behind only Drew Brees and Matt Ryan, while also finishing sixth overall in QBR. After last season, there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind who the most valuable player for the Redskins is.

But for some reason, the Redskins' front office doesn’t really seem to understand this simple concept. The Redskins have already parted ways with wide receivers DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon, Cousins’ two best receivers. In addition to this, the team’s management have been trying to negotiate a long-term contract with Cousins all offseason with no real progress being made. Due to the frustration of Cousins' contract situation, rumors have recently been surfacing that he might not be on the team by the start of the season.

If Cousins is no longer a Redskin by the time the season starts, I think it’s fair to say that the Redskins will be doomed to finish at the bottom of the barrel.

Philadelphia Eagles

Despite finishing last in the NFC East last season, the Philadelphia Eagles have plenty of reasons to feel optimistic. The number one reason being rookie quarterback Carson Wentz who certainly managed to impress last season despite having no real weapons to work with. Although the Eagles finished 7-9, making them the only NFC East team to finish with a losing record last year, the 2017 season is certainly looking bright for them.

The team’s defensive unit was actually more than respectable, finishing 13th in total defense last season. Likewise, the team’s rushing offense was also fairly impressive, finishing 11th in the league. With the acquisition of running back LeGarrette Blount, who led the league with 18 rushing touchdowns, the Eagles' running game will only get better this season.

But out of all the moves they’ve made this offseason, the signing of wide receivers Alshon Jeffrey and Torrey Smith were by far the most substantial. Jeffrey has already proven that he has superstar potential which has been hampered over the last few seasons due to injuries. While Smith may not be a perennial pro-bowler, he’s still a deep ball threat which was a luxury Wentz didn’t really have last season.

Now that Wentz has the weapons he needs to succeed, the ceiling is very high for both himself and the Eagles' season.

The verdict

It’s pretty difficult to say who will finish at the top of the NFC East, but if I had to pick a team as of now, it would be the New York Giants. The team’s defense was truly a force of nature last year and has remained pretty much intact for the upcoming season. But their biggest question was never about defense. The real question is: did the Giants do enough to improve their offense?

Personally, I think so. The wide receiver trio of Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall, and Sterling Shepard will definitely be a group to watch out for this season. Plus, with their first-round draft pick Evan Engram specializing in being a receiving tight end, the Giants won’t have to worry about a lack of receivers. But at the end of the day, the Giants live and die by Eli Manning’s arm.

There’s no doubt that Manning didn’t have a great season last year. Not to mention that he’s only getting older, which certainly doesn’t bode well for him or the Giants' future. But if there’s any quarterback in the league that’s earned the benefit of the doubt, it’s Manning. With a wide array of weapons to throw to this year, Manning is poised to have a bounce-back season.

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