2007 NFC East Football Picks & Predictions
Dallas Cowboys – NFC East Football Predictions
Tony Romo went from rags-to-riches last season and now those lofty Dallas Cowboys expectations are back to “Super Bowl or bust”. The Cowboys had two glaring weaknesses on defense last season: pass rush and free safety. The pass rush was addressed in the first round of the NFL draft, when the Cowboys selected Anthony Spencer, who is in the DeMarcus Ware mold. The safety spot was filled by veteran Ken Hamlin. Both figure to provide upgrades. Combined with the fact that new head coach, Wade Phillips, is a defensive guru, the Cowboys defense should take a step forward. On offense, the Cowboys should be a better outfit too, especially with Romo starting the whole season. The running back tandem of Julius Jones and Marion Barber is solid, Terrell Owens’ hand has fully healed and the Cowboys opened up the chequebook to upgrade the offensive line. This team will go as far as Romo can take them.
New York Giants – NFC East Football Predictions
Everyone keeps waiting on Eli Manning to grow up and develop into the type of Manning that we are used to seeing, but that might not happen. He’s had three years to do it and hasn’t necessarily improved in the last two. It is hard to gage this offense. On one hand, Manning has seemingly hit a lull, left tackle Luke Petitgout was cut and Tiki Barber retired. On the other hand, Manning is expected to improve and his weaponry should be stronger. Along with Amani Toomer, Plaxico Burress and Jeremy Shockey, Manning is hoping that second-year speedster, Sinorice Moss, or rookie, Steve Smith, get in on the action. Even so, Tom Coughlin looks like a lame duck coach whose team has started to tune him out. Furthermore, they’ve ripped him during the past two seasons. There isn’t enough space in this column to start detailing the issues on defense, which translates to another 8-8 season.
Philadelphia Eagles – NFC East Football Predictions
You don’t have to wonder about this team. As always, they will be competing for the division crown. It will be interesting to see whether they continue the 50-50 pass-run split that was extremely effective after Donovan McNabb’s season-ending injury, or if they will go back to their unbalanced attack, which forces the ball through their air between 60%-70%. If they run the ball more frequently, the Eagles are a Super Bowl contender. When that happens, they can play ball control and keep their stellar defense on the sidelines resting. The defense, as usual, will once again be an effective unit. They always bend up-and-down the field and give up their share of yards but they are a high-pressure unit that forces mistakes and tightens up in the red zone. The Eagles are the model of consistency, meaning the division is theirs to lose.
Washington Redskins – NFC East Football Predictions
The Redskins should be an interesting team to watch in 2007. They did win 10 games in 2006 before coughing up only five last year. The All-Star coaching staff is still there, which means this team will always be a candidate for a big turnaround. On offense, the Redskins will be relying on Jason Campbell, who should grow significantly in his third season. The offensive line is solid and the backfield is stacked with the Clinton Portis-Ladell Bets duo. The wide receivers are small, but fast, and that is where the sharp coaching staff has to use their heads to make the most of it. Last year’s defense was an aberration from what we typically see from Gregg Williams. Expect him to have his squad better prepared this year. For starters, the ‘Skins have a high draft pick at free safety in LaRon Landry, instead of a highly-paid bust, Adam Archuleta. They also brought back Fred Smoot at cornerback, whom they shouldn’t have gotten rid of in the first place. This team has the ability to finish anywhere from first to fourth in the NFC East.