Why are the Dallas Cowboys favourite to take the NFC East title?
The disparity that exists within the NFL seems to have rolled over into the NFC East, where only two teams have legitimate playoff aspirations.
Once considered the most competitive division in the NFL, the NFC East is still trading on its glorious past but needs to take centre stage during the 2022 postseason to dispel fears that the Cowboys, Eagles, Commanders and Giants will forever remain yesterday’s news: no franchise from the division has won a playoff game in the last four years.
For a long time now, the NFC East has been little but entertainment value for the four teams in the division. However, there are signs that 2022 may be the campaign when a team breaks out of its malaise and makes a significant tilt at the playoffs, and possibly beyond.
Cowboys their own worst enemy
The Dallas Cowboys won the division last season and much to the delight of their fans
- and the irritation to the rest of the non-Jerryland population - they are the number one candidate to do so again this time around. The talent Mike McCarthy - who finds himself in last chance saloon - has at his disposal on both sides of the ball, coupled with the change in direction they took last year, makes the Cowboys legitimate contenders. Dak Prescott, after missing 11 games in 2020, led an offense last year that averaged 407 yards per game.
Linebacker Micah Parsons, who emerged as one of the most impressive defensive players in the NFL last season, not only shone among all rookies and set a franchise record for sacks (13) by a first-year player, he was also the only rookie to be named an NFL First-Team All-Pro in 2022.
Eagles quietly position for playoffs run
The winter will reveal if the Cowboys are self-destructing or have found a way to surmount their own obstacles. Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Eagles are waiting in the wings for their moment in the spotlight.
The Eagles were the surprise package in last year’s postseason with a running game built around quarterback Jalen Hurts, who has yet to definitively prove that he represents the future of the organization. To surround Hurts with the talent he needs, the Eagles signed AJ Brown, one of the best wide receivers in the league.
Giants, Commanders making up the numbers in NFC East
Behind the Cowboys and Eagles - most observers would suggest several steps behind - are the Commanders and Giants, who even at their best will be in a scrap not to finish under .500. It promises to be a long campaign in Washington and New York.
The Cowboys lead the all-time list with 24 AFC East titles, a reflection of the level of talent the franchise has been able to attract over the years. If nothing out of the ordinary occurs, they will be celebrating a 25th divisional title in January.
2022 NFC East predicted records