New York Giants
The Giants are looking to shake off a disappointing 6-10 season that saw them lose seven games by five or fewer points. New coach Ben McAdoo should inject new life into a team that looked sleepy at times under old-guard Tom Coughlin.
Quarterback Eli Manning, after 12 seasons, has proven he can’t avoid turning the ball over. His 14 interceptions in each of the past two seasons don’t come close to his 27 in 2013, and his 199 career interceptions are the second-most among active quarterbacks.
Fortunately for him, he has Odell Beckham Jr., who is easily among the NFL’s top five receivers. Rueben Randle is gone, but the Giants added slot receiver Sterling Shepard in the draft.
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Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul played half a season after his hand was injured in a fireworks accident, and he looked like his former self as the season wore on. New York also drafted cornerback Eli Apple in the first round.
Best player ever: 56 Lawrence Taylor
The Cowboys will go as Tony Romo goes, as has been the case for the past decade, and at this point that’s not good. Romo suffered a compression fracture in his back during an exhibition against Seattle on Aug. 25 and is out six to 10 weeks.
At 3-1 as the starter last year, Romo showed he can be the quarterback everyone wants him to be when he’s healthy. The Cowboys have won just one game without him in the past three seasons.
There’s some hope in backup Dak Prescott, a rookie from Mississippi State. He put together one of the most impressive preseasons of all rookies, and Dallas could be in good hands while Romo recovers.
Best player ever: 22 Emmitt Smith
Washington won the NFC East last season because someone had to. At 9-7, Washington got into the playoffs in one of the worst divisions in football (Hi, AFC South!).
Kirk Cousins will play this year under the franchise tag with a few great options at wide receiver. Desean Jackson and rookie Josh Doctson should help Cousins look better than he really is. Washington no longer has Alfred Morris in the backfield, but Matt Jones should be able to handle the load.
Possibly the biggest addition to any team during the offseason was Josh Norman to D.C. Now that he’s out of Carolina’s scheme, where he often had help, and into one in Washington where he will be on an island more, how will he fare?
Best player ever: 33 Sammy Baugh
Coach Doug Pederson brings new blood to the Eagles after their few disappointing seasons with offensive guru Chip Kelly. This season has the makings of a disaster at quarterback for Philadelphia.
Sam Bradford wanted out, and then he wanted back in, after the Eagles took Carson Wentz with the second overall pick. At the end of the preseason, Wentz was third on the depth chart behind Chase McDaniel. Also hurting the team is the 10-game suspension of tackle Lane Johnson (performance-enhancing drugs), one of the most consistent linemen in the game.
At least Fletcher Cox is one of the best defensive tackles in the league.
Best player ever: 92 Reggie White