Today we’ll determine the Beasts of the NFC East as we’ve reached the finale of this 8 part series. We’ll be going through each team’s secondary which includes many pro bowlers. Each secondary also has its fair share of physical players known for leveling ball carriers. This group is responsible for controlling opposing team’s aerial attack which has become the staple of the league.
The scoring system will remain the same, and afterwards we’ll be predicting each team’s final regular season schedule. Let’s get this final piece started by listing the best secondary of the division.
Philadelphia Eagles – 10 Points
The defending champs have made moves and created a young effective secondary. Trading Jordan Matthews for Ronald Darby was an excellent move by GM Howie Roseman. Darby is an incredibly athletic corner that plays with tremendous physicality. Jalen Mills has also been a solid player, racking up over 60 tackles in each of his 2 seasons. We can’t forget about the 2nd year player, Sidney Jones. Jones was the best corner coming out of the draft before suffering an injury at his pro day. Now entering year 2, he’ll get a chance to showcase his shutdown skills in a battle with Mills. Leading these young bucks is the veteran Malcolm Jenkins. Jenkins not only talks the talk, but he walks the walk. The tone of this defense is set by Malcolm’s ability to light players up at any given time. Brandin Cooks is a testament to this statement, as we all recall Jenkins laying the wood on him during the superbowl.
New York Giants – 8 Points
The Giants have made sure to spend many assets acquiring great players in their secondary that is led by Landon Collins. Coming out of Alabama Collins, was known for being an absolute missile with his hard hits. Since entering the league in 2015 he’s had over 100 tackles each year. He quickly made the upgrade and improved his coverage skill as well which in turn has made him a top 3 safety in the league. On the outside Janoris “Jackrabbit” Jenkins has proven to be a tough corner. He plays with a high motor and an attitude that intimidates receivers. Opposite is former 1st round pick Eli Apple, whom was a handful for coaches last year. However, Apple is having a solid offseason and looks to be a great corner for the future. With Jenkins and Apple locking receivers down, and Collins taking care of the deep ball, opposing teams will have to rely on their ground game more than expected.
Dallas Cowboys – 6 Points
In Dallas the addition of secondary coach Richard has been noticed by everyone. He decided to move safety Byron Jones to corner which is what Jones originally played at UCONN. Byron has good size, great speed, and is a remarkable athlete that holds the WORLD record in broad jump. There is also 2nd year corners Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis who have both shown promise in their game play. Chido just recently had probably the greatest interception by any Dallas Cowboy this preseason. Lewis was recognized as the best slot corner coming out of Michigan, and it showed last year as he quickly became a starter. Anthony Brown is a name that gets lost after a forgettable year, but has looked very impressive so far. This group of corners look to be fighters willing to battle the best of the best. As for safeties, the Cowboys aren’t looking too good at that position. Losing Jones to the corner group is a big hit. Xavier Woods has shown potential but he’ll still need to prove it with some in-game action. Jeff Heath is a guy known for making big plays, as well as giving up big plays.
Washington Redskins – 4 Points
Josh Norman is the heart and soul of the Redskins secondary. There aren’t too many players more vocal than Norman in the league. He is a master at getting receivers off their game with his words as well as with his style of play. Quinton Dunbar will look to use his size and speed to lock up the opposite side. The Redskins took a big hit after losing their next best corner Kendall Fuller in a trade with the Chiefs. Fuller was widely regarded as the best slot corner the league had to offer. Now we’ll have to see the likes of Fabian Moreau make that jump. Moreau was electric at UCLA which he’ll look to transfer into his pro career. At safety they’ll be depending on Montae Nicholson and D.J. Swearinger. Nicholson wasn’t too effective during his rookie campaign, but Swearinger reeled in 4 interceptions last year. This secondary may be underrated but it has the potential to elevate the defense to a whole new level.
Below you’ll find the final score for each team along with a regular season prediction. Every 5 points will be equal to 1 win during the regular season. However, just to give it a bit more of a realistic feel to it, we’ll be adding 2 additional losses to each team. This will give us a better idea of how each team’s season will play out. I really hope you’ve all enjoyed this series. Feel free to give us your own predictions of the NFC East.
Philadelphia Eagles – 68 points : 11-5
Dallas Cowboys – 56 Points : 9-7
New York Giants – 54 Points : 8-8
Washington Redskins – 46 Points : 7-9
Josh Norman picture: CSNPhilly.com
Byron Jones picture: SportsDayDFW.com
Landon Collins picture: NESN.com
Malcolm Jenkins picture: Philllymag.com