NFC East roundup: Reasons to be bullish on each team entering 2023 season

The NFC East is without question the most storied division in the NFL. This means little to us. It is cool that the Dallas Cowboys are a part of the NFC East, but there is hardly some level of divisional pride that we are holding on to as fans. In fact, we completely despise the other teams that comprise the group. That all of them have at least one Super Bowl in their trophy case, the only division where this is the case, is irksome.

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The NFC East is, in fact, objectively the best division in the NFL as far as history goes, but in the present as well. Last season three teams reached the playoffs, and all of them won at least one playoff game. The Divisional Round featured 75% of the division on the NFC side of things.

On the latest episode of the NFC East Mixtape my co-host Brandon Gowton (the one we all love from Bleeding Green Nation) and I heaped all sorts of praise on every single team. We mostly did this because, well, it was kind of the purpose of the episode. You can listen right above here or on the Blogging The Boys podcast network wherever you get your podcasts. Apple devices can subscribe here and Spotify users can subscribe here.

Getting specific. Brandon and I discussed reasons why we (and the collective one would think) are bullish on each of the four teams. Next week will be a discussion on why we are bearish to ensure that balance remains throughout the force.

Let’s begin.

Philadelphia Eagles

Allow me to reiterate that reasons to be bearish are next week and we have a lot to say on that front, but for now we are charged with envisioning a world where the Eagles are good again.

This is a summation of what BLG and I came up with together, he obviously had a bit more in terms of his personal view of Philly.

  1. They are reigning NFC East and NFC winners
  2. Their roster did not get completely picked apart
  3. They may have the best quarterback in the conference
  4. Regression to the mean from where they were at is hardly bad

The fourth point feels really important. The Eagles were so good last season that even if they are hit by what is likely inevitable regression, they are still going to be better than most. When you pair that with the reality that they are incredibly aggressive, not just in play style, but in things like roster construction, it suggests they aren’t really going anywhere.

Dallas Cowboys

It is pretty much consensus opinion that the Cowboys had one of the very best offseasons of the entire NFL. If you exclude the sale element of Washington’s franchise (admittedly a massive thing) and focus only on football, then Dallas had the best offseason through one recent assessment.

Here is what Brandon and I came up with for Dallas.

  1. Their offseason acquisitions made their roster even better
  2. The interception numbers for Dak Prescott will surely shrink
  3. They may have the best quarterback in the conference
  4. History is on their side with the division not having a repeat winner in forever

Dak Prescott threw 15 interceptions last season, and because of the team that he plays for, this particular data point lacks a lot of nuance when you discuss it with people. My purpose in saying that is not to analyze the picks that Dak threw last year, but to acknowledge that ballooning to that number was very uncharacteristic for him. Prior to 2022 Prescott averaged not even 8.5 interceptions per season. That number jumps to just over nine interceptions per year if you exclude the 2020 season when he only played five games, though.

Regression to the mean is likely coming for Dak in a positive way here. Consider that Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence led the NFL in interceptions in 2021 (his rookie year) with 17 and that number dipped dramatically to just eight last year. If Dak has a similar effect happen to him the Cowboys will be in a positive place there.

New York Giants

At one point last season the New York Giants were 7-3 and we all thought that they were going to collapse and miss the playoffs entirely. Not only did they reach the postseason, but they won a playoff game once they got there.

It is such a bummer that the Giants are once again a competent NFL franchise. Here are our bullish reasons for them.

  1. Year 1 of Brian Daboll was already wildly impressive
  2. Daniel Jones has the best surrounding cast he ever has
  3. Important contributors will be further along in their development
  4. Same as Dallas above, but to an even stronger degree

There has clearly been a shift in football culture in definitely New Jersey New York which makes the Giants a team that we have to take seriously which stinks.

You will note that we have the same fourth point for the Giants that we do for the Cowboys. Technically speaking, this is a reason to be bearish on the Eagles. As noted up top, the NFC East has not had a repeat winner since 2004. That is a very long time ago. While history is not exactly a predictor of the future, it stands to reason that this trend will hold up, no? Or at least it is difficult to argue that it won’t? The point is it is a weird factor we have to talk about at minimum.

And while the Eagles won the division last year the Cowboys won 12 games for the second year in a row. If regression comes for the teams up top, then the Giants are going to happily ascend to the divisional throne.

Washington Commanders

Anything is possible, right?

In all seriousness, the Washington franchise has – by way of the coming change in ownership – moved past the darkest part of the night. The sun is hardly bright and shining over them, but daylight is breaking. The positive effects that will likely come in a new era likely won’t be felt for some time, but there are some things worth considering here.

  1. They were 7-5 (!) at one point last season
  2. Eric Bieniemy is now the offensive coordinator
  3. The defense remains sneakily good and underrated
  4. Sam Howell was once thought of highly as a prospect, who knows!

So much has happened over the offseason that Washington landing Eric Bieniemy feels a little bit forgotten. His track record is well-known at this point and if he can help the belief that the organization has in Sam Howell crystallize to any degree, then a group that at one point held a 7-5 record last year could find the right amalgamation by season’s end.

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