Dallas Cowboys the most popular pick in wide-open division
Around the League predicts NFC East
|Chris Wesseling||Marc Sessler||Dan Hanzus||Gregg Rosenthal|
|Cowboys (10-6)||Cowboys (9-7)||Redskins (10-6)||Eagles (10-6)|
|Redskins (10-6)||Redskins (9-7)||Giants (9-7)||Giants (9-7)|
|Giants (9-7)||Eagles (8-8)||Cowboys (8-8)||Redskins (8-8)|
|Eagles (7-9)||Giants (6-10)||Eagles (5-11)||Cowboys (6-10)|
The NFC East is the “SEC of the NFL,” but it is the most wide-open division in football. Two Around the League writers picked the Cowboys to win the division, and our podcast special guest Henry Hodgson also took Dallas for the top spot.
I (Gregg Rosenthal) have the Cowboys in dead last at 6-10 because the changes on their defense make no sense. Monte Kiffin hasn’t had a lot of success in college or the NFL for a long time, and some of Dallas’ aging talent might not fight in a 4-3 scheme. Kiffin may need time to implement his changes, but this is a win-now year for coach Jason Garrett. Chris Wesseling believes the Cowboys have the best offense and defense in the division.
Big disagreements on Eagles
I (Gregg Rosenthal) have Philadelphia winning the division. Everyone else has them in last place. The case for the Eagles: Coach Chip Kelly and plenty of latent offensive talent. Philadelphia’s offensive line should be a weapon; there isn’t a more imposing tackle duo than Jason Peters and Lane Johnson. Kelly’s offensive concepts will be difficult for defenses to handle in year one, and he has two quarterbacks that can run his system.
All the last-place votes for Philadelphia were primarily because of the defense. The secondary is a collection of castoffs and disappointments. It’s not clear where their pass rush is going to come from.
Will Robert Griffin III take a step back?
Only one of us — Dan Hanzus — took the Redskins to repeat as division champions. There is great reason to doubt their defense, especially the secondary. (This is a trend throughout the division.) But we also wondered if RGIII is going to take a step back.
It’s not just about Griffin’s mobility or lack of practice time heading into his second season. It’s his accuracy. Tom Brady wasn’t the same right away after his ACL surgery. He wasn’t as comfortable in the pocket or as accurate. It took Brady half a season to look like himself. This Redskins team just isn’t that deep unless Griffin is all the way back sooner than later, and that’s a lot to ask.
Little love for Big Blue
No one took the Giants to win the division, although three of us had them at 9-7. (Just like the last two years, including their last Super Bowl title.) It’s hard to imagine the Giants’ defense playing worse this year, but it’s also hard to imagine it being a difference maker again.
Mark Herzlich, Spencer Paysinger and Keith Rivers are a shaky starting linebacker trio. The secondary had big questions even before injuries were suffered on Saturday night. The offensive line is similarly banged up with trouble spots. Eli Manning has elevated his play overall the last two years, but he’s not the type of quarterback that consistently puts a team on his back month-after-month.
Listen to our entire NFC East podcast preview right here. (Note: 40 minute show, half of it dedicated to NON-NFC East related teams)
Gregg Rosenthal | NFL Around The League Editor
The Boys Are Back blog editors comment: Gregg Rosenthal is a dipshit. This staff is largely clueless and out-of-touch with the inner workings, philosophy, and capabilities of the 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys organization. If this article (or Gregg Rosenthal, in general) pisses you off … check out their idiotic NFC East podcast preview for even more insight into their bias. The official NFL website is the absolute LAST place a true fan should go for reliable information, or objectivity, regarding the Dallas Cowboys. Every (Dallas Cowboy) article has a negative cheap shot or slam in one regard or another. Ridiculous.
The NFL’s effort to change its offseason calendar is starting to make some progress.
The NFL and NFL Players Association are working toward a deal to move the 2014 NFL Draft to May. It likely would start as a one-year trial before deciding if the May move makes sense.
The likely target start date for the 2014 draft is May 15. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sets the date of the draft, provided it’s within the agreed-upon window. May 15 would be.
It’s likely happening in 2014 because of a scheduling conflict. The Radio City Rockettes show, “The Spring Spectacular,” is scheduled to be held at Radio City Music Hall in late April, when the draft usually is held.
“We’re actually getting bumped by the Easter Bunny. They’re going to have an Easter show. We’ll be prepared for that,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said last month on “The Rich Eisen Podcast.”
No other league calendar changes are yet agreed upon or imminent.”None of that has been decided,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told Around The League in an email Monday. The league also has considered moving the date of the NFL Scouting Combine and the start of the league year.
Goodell and NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith have had some communication on possible calendar changes. The NFL can move events like the draft without union approval, but it cannot change the start of the league year.
NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” lineup is getting younger while maintaining its robust level of blonde.
Carrie Underwood is no stranger to singing for NFL crowds. Take a look back at memorable Super Bowl performances.
The network announced Tuesday that Carrie Underwood will replace Faith Hill as the singer of its introductory theme song each week. Hill announced weeks ago she wouldn’t be continuing with the show.
Underwood’s first Sunday regular-season appearance on the show will come before a Dallas Cowboys game, featuring her ex, Tony Romo. We can only hope that NBC keeps the same lyrics to the theme song this season, so we can hear Underwood sing, “Al and Chris are the best on TV.”
Classic American songwriting, right there.