Eagles Edge 'Boys for Division Crown
Philadelphia Eagles (10-6)
It boils down to this: If Donovan McNabb stays healthy, Philadelphia wins the division. If he doesn't the end up -- well could be anywhere -- except first. The offensive line, getting older, can still get the job done, and you can't go wrong with Brian Westbrook and Correll Buckhalter in the backfield.
The big question is that run defense that was very weak last season. The Eagles brought in Takeo Spikes and cut ties with Jeremiah Trotter. Time will tell if the moves were brilliant or grasps at straws. As old as some Philly players are, the other linebackers are second-year players. The defensive line is questionable because of injuries. The defensive secondary is top-notch, but if you can run through that front seven, the secondary is just going to be assisting on (or outright making) most of the tackles, and that's not good.
It should be enough to get Philadelphia back to the playoffs, at least in the NFC.
Visit SB Nation's Philadelphia Eagles blog, Bleeding Green Nation.
Dallas Cowboys (10-6)
Wade Phillips is one of those guys who is meant to be a coordinator but not a head coach. Fortunately for Dallas, the Cowboys have enough talent to overcome that deficiency -- at least for this year. Quarterback Tony Romo had a special year last year, but I think he's in for a sophomore slump, the kind of thing you see when other teams get there hands on enough film to break down certainly players.
I don't think that botched snap will bother him all that much, but he definitely has his work cut out -- especially if Terry Glenn is out for the season. The Cowboys have a solid offensive line, but I'm still skeptical that Julius Jones can be an elite running back, even with Marion Barber providing much-needed respite.
Dallas has a lot of potential. Whether they can capitalize and whether their young players can endure the travails of a full season remains to be seen.
Visit SB Nation's Dallas Cowboys blog, Blogging the Boys.
New York Giants (9-7)
Tiki Barber is gone, and after this season, Tom Coughlin will be too -- barring some miraculous playoff run. This is a team in turmoil, and not even Peyton Manning's little brother can save them this season. Eli Manning does have a couple competent receivers in Plaxico Burress and Amani Toomer, and tight end Jeremy Shockey is pretty good despite being a chucklehead, but Manning will have a tough time finding those guys if Brandon Jacobs can't make opposing defenses respect the Giants running game.
There are just too many holes on both sides of the ball, and a lot of players are disgruntled and don't want to play for Coughlin anymore. New York still has the potential to be a good team, but it won't be this year.
Visit SB Nation's New York Giants blog, Big Blue View.
Washington Redskins (4-12)
I have doubts that all these offseason defensive signings can really turn the Titanic away from the iceberg. But band-aids and quick fixes are calling cards of Daniel Snyder teams. The results have been less than impressive. Quarterback Jason Campbell has shown promise, but he makes a lot of bad decisions and he's a pupil without a tutor.
As usual, the Redskins are a good idea for a team. They're just not a good team.
One more thing: Is Joe Gibbs's mind elsewhere (like thinking of heading Toyota's top NASCAR team) or is he really trying to make a mark to end his NFL coaching career?
Visit SB Nation's Washington Redskins blog, Hogs Haven.