The dreadful summer is winding down and football season has arrived. Training camp is underway, so it’s time to predict the NFC East standings for 2017. Dallas sat on top of the division, one of the NFL’s toughest last year, but the verdict is out on if they can repeat as champions.
Dallas wasn’t supposed to have the season they had last season. Finishing with the NFC’s best record at (13-3), people were shocked. After Tony Romo went down, no one expected two rookies, Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott, to be the ones to lead the Cowboys to an improbable season.
However, the Cowboys have even more competition than last year. There are two teams that would love to upset them and another one that wants to continue the trend from last year, but earn the top spot in the NFC East this year.
2017 NFC East Preseason Predictions:
1st: Dallas Cowboys (11-5)
Although the Dallas Cowboys are coming off a fairytale 2016 season where they finished with the NFC’s top regular season record, many aren’t so optimistic about a repeat story in 2017.
Dallas is very talented on the offensive side of the ball, but off-the-field issues during the offseason and the loss of some key offensive lineman may present somewhat of a let down this year.
However, this is a tenacious squad, proven last year, that thrives on pressure and adversity. Their defense, once again, isn’t expected to do much but they weren’t last year either and exceeded expectations.
Expect a rough (2-2) start to the season, but with their talent, they will bounce back and reside at the top of the NFC East for yet another season. It is going to be a very close battle throughout, though, in one of the hardest divisions in the NFL.
2nd: New York Giants (10-6)
The Giants will give Dallas a run for their money and don’t be surprised if they take the number one spot. Because of the horrible offseason for Dallas that may have them distracted, New York’s talented and flashy wide receiver core may lift them over The Boys.
NY was the one team Dallas couldn’t get past in 2016, so the Giants are making a legit argument to repeat that narrative. The Giants’ defense was the factor throughout the season, but the added offensive firepower may make the difference. The additions of Brandon Marshall and Evan Engram to a receiving core that features two young players in Odell Beckham and Sterling Shepard will make things scary for any NFL team’s defense.
It’s really a toss up with Dallas and New York, a field goal could determine who’s first and who’s second in the NFC East this year, but we believe New York will land second for consecutive seasons.
3rd: Philadelphia Eagles (9-7)
Carson Wentz was a promising rookie in 2016. In 2017, he’ll take another step, gaining a ton of respect in the NFL as one of the better starting quarterbacks in the NFL. He went through some struggles as a rookie due to a lack of weapons on offense and that’s why the Eagles went out and got Alshon Jeffrey and Torrey Smith during this offseason.
Additionally, the Eagles signed LeGarratte Blount late in the off-season to add some more power in the backfield to protect Wentz.
The Eagles have the potential to make some noise in the NFC East. Although they aren’t going to win the division they could make a run for second and possibly a Wild Card slot in the playoffs. The defense will have to step it up this season because that was their biggest weakness in 2016.
4th: Washington Redskins (7-9)
Washington was crowned NFC East champs in 2015, but failed to make the playoffs due to a loss to the Giants in a game that would ultimately determine a Wild Card spot.
Once again, as usual, Washington is one of the unknown teams in the league and no one knows what to expect after a complicated offseason full of moves. The loss of DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon will hurt this team and will present an obvious weakness on offense.
Washington did add Terrelle Pryor for Cousins to throw to, but he’s only signed to a one-year deal which raises some eyebrows. He’s very talented, but Pryor isn’t quite the caliber of a No. 1 receiver. Washington will have to prove a lot this season, but they will not be a contender.
2017 will make for another entertaining NFL season, especially in the NFC East. The Cowboys will take the division crown, but not without a dog fight with New York. Philly will take a step forward but will miss the playoffs and the Redskins will remain unpredictable for another season.