We started in the AFC East and now do the same in the NFC where two teams will vie for the title, while the other two are works in progress. The Cowboys wrangled the division title away from the 2017 Superbowl Champ Eagles. Those same Eagles struggled through injuries to still finish 9-7, Can Carson Wents finish a season? The Redskins continue to put up mediocre season after mediocre season. Can Jay Gruden survive another? Lastly, we have the Dave Gettleman experience in New York. I am sorry New York, but at least you have Saquon Barkley.
Philadelphia Eagles, 1st NFC East
Team MVP: Fletcher Cox
Cox is the wrecking ball in the middle of, when fully healthy, an excellent defense. After a career-high 10.5 sacks last season he has become the best defensive tackles in the NFL not named Aaron Donald. Cox is a special player and will be key to the Eagles return to the top of the NFC.
Breakout Player: Derek Barnett
Barnett had 16 quarterback hits as a rookie in 2017. In 2018, through six games, he had 11 along with 17 pressures. He was well on his way to a big year before a torn pectoral muscle ended it. Barnett seems primed to have that 2018 breakout in 2019 now that he is back and looking healthy.
Season Outlook: The Eagles are healthy and ready to take back the division. But can they stay healthy? Especially star quarterback Carson Wentz. Without super-sub Nick Foles to step in Wentz will need to remain upright if the Eagles want to regain the throne in 2019. The bet is he will.
Dallas Cowboys, 2nd NFC East
Team MVP: Ezekiel Elliot
Zeke is the piece that makes the Cowboys offense go. Since his days winning a national championship at Ohio State to two pro bowls and an All-Pro nod, he has been carrying his teams over the last four years. If out of trouble and able to settle his contract dispute, he will rack up a thousand yards once again.
Breakout Player: Michael Gallup
Gallup grew throughout his rookie season ending with 33 catches for 507 yards and two touchdowns. He saved his best for last in the NFC divisional round of the playoffs. Gallup had nine receptions and 119 yards against the Superbowl bound Rams. Combine this with Amari Cooper taking the bulk of coverage, and Gallup has every chance to breakout in 2019.
Season Outlook: The Cowboys have done an outstanding job in the NFL draft over the last few years. It’s on the field where they always come up short. With a new offensive coordinator in Kellen Moore, the hope is Dallas will finally tap in Dak Prescott’s full potential and ultimately make a deep run in the NFC playoffs. Until we see it on the field its 10-6 and done once again.
Washington Redskins, 3rd NFC East
Team MVP: Ryan Kerrigan
Kerrigan’s 13 sacks helped Washing finish seventh in the NFL in sacks with 46 last season. The Redskins will need to make big plays to help an offense with a lot of question and Kerrigan is crucial to that. Should be another big season for the gifted pass-rusher.
Breakout Player: Trey Quinn
After suffering injuries throughout his rookie year, things are looking up in 2019 for Trey. He has “locked down” the slot receiver position per coach Jay Gruden and should see a lot of targets no matter who is under center. The volume alone will allow for a great year from last seasons “Mr. Irrelevant.”
Season Outlook: The offense has more questions than ever after Alex Smith’s injury, and Trent William’s hold out. The Redskins will need the defense to be great if they hope to have a successful season. In the end, this is a year of transition leading to another top pick in the NFL Draft. Jay Gruden might be better off handing the team to top pick Dwayne Haskins right now.
New York Giants, 4th NFC East
Team MVP: Saquon Barkley
The is an easy one as Saquon is the best player on a lousy football team. The second pick in last years draft broke out in his rookie season with over 2000 yards from scrimmage. Barkley will be a bright spot in an otherwise dim 2019 season.
Breakout Player: Sterling Sheperd
Sterling opened camp by fracturing his thumb, but it hasn’t limited him much in training camp. With Odell Beckham traded and Corey Coleman out for the year with an ACL injury Sterling is now the uncontested number one option. All of this could add up to a monster year this season for the young wideout.
Season Outlook: Two words…not great. The Giants are in the early stages of a rebuild lead by GM Dave Gettleman. There are questions everywhere but running back, a declining veteran quarterback, and controversial moves aplenty by the front office. Sorry Giants fans, you should expect another long season and top-five pick are on the way.
Up Next: NFC North