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Why is the NFC East so poor?



The NFC East have had a shocking year, with six teams in the NFL currently having as many wins as the East’s four sides have combined. The Eagles have suffered some huge injuries, Dallas’ has seen some of the worst defense in years and the Giants’ 30th ranked passing offense have a join-worst three receiving touchdowns. Washington has suffered too, ranked 32nd in rushing offense. 

All and all, it’s been an awful year for the NFC East with many of the predictions on today’s NFL tipping the sides for failure. So how has this happened? And will we likely to see some improvements in the near future? 

The Dallas Cowboys

The off-season looked promising for the Dallas Cowboys. But things have changed over the course of the season with a 38-10 throttling at the hands of the Arizona Cardinals have seen the Cowboys lead with a 2-4 record during the opening six weeks. 

They’ve had a defining injury on the team in the likes of Dak Prescott and a further collapse in production on offense. Also further issues including turnovers, with Dallas given up a league-high 15 so far including nine fumbles and six interceptions, some of which have resulted in touchdowns. Ezekiel Elliot expressed the situation perfectly saying: “The beauty of the thing is, our division isn’t doing that well this year, so we’ve still got a shot at it. But we’ve got to figure this out, I’ve got to figure this out, lead this team better and help us win football games.” 

Still, they’ve got a lot of work to do with a decimated offensive lines in the likes of season ending injuries to offensive tackles Tyron Smith and La’el Collins as well as the absence of center Joe Looney. Blake Jarwin, the tight end, is also out for the remainder of the season while Linebacker Sean Lee still suffers from a hernia. 

The Philadelphia Eagles

Potentially the best team in NFC East, but that’s not saying a lot for the division. Tight end Zach Ertz is set to be out for a month while suffering an ankle injury while Miles Sanders incurred a knee issue during their game against the Baltimore Ravens. 

An issue with the team throughout the season has been the absence of several players including offensive tackles Jason Peters and Andre Dillard, wide receivers Jalen Reagor, DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery, missing guard Brandon Brooks and line backers T.J. Edwards and Duke Riley. They currently have nine players on injured reserve with 25 players missing at least one game so far this year. 

Still, the team has hopes for success. Head coach Doug Pederson said: “This is where veteran players who have been through it, and as recently as the last couple of seasons with us, know how to deal with it, know how to handle it and know how to pull these guys along.” 

Good Morning Football’s Nate Burleson also commented on the team saying, “I’m watching Carson Wentz play heroically but still lose. But there’s something about the way the Eagles are coached, about the way they play. I like the way the Eagles play and if they win this one, and win it convincingly, it could be the win that propels them in the NFC East race.” 

The New York Giants

The Giants are ranking 31st in both total and scoring offense this year. Jason Garrett’s offense has been uninspired over the first six games as well as injuries to running back Saquon Barkley and wide receiver Sterling Shepard. General manager Dave Gettleman will certainly be looking out for his tenure. 

“One of these teams is going to get an actual win in the NFL, which in that division, equals about three wins in the NFC West,” said GMB’s Kyle Brandt. “What is the threshold in this division we’re willing to accept for the fewest amount of wins? Is it six? Because I think it might be five. I think Joe Judge and the Giants could win the division at 5-11.” 

A four-win NFC East champion? 

It certainly has been a bad year for NFC East and shows just how low a division winner can go with the teams’ .229 combined winning percentage the second worst for any division since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger. ESPN’s Football Power Index predicts there will be a 28% chance the NFC East winner will have six or less wins It’s looking like it’s going to be a bad year for NFC East in more challenging ways than 2020 has already made it be. Only time will tell what’s going to happen, but here’s hoping the NFC East has a better shot at building their reputation up again next season.