For all intents and purposes, the NFC East will probably be a two horse race in 2020, just like it was in 2019. Sure, the Giants and Redskins have improved over the offseason and are definitely trending upwards, but they aren’t in the playoff discussion just yet.
Just like it has been for the past few seasons, the East will come down to the Eagles and Cowboys. There isn’t a consensus pick among the betting sites; some give the Eagles the slight edge while others give the edge to Dallas.
Taking in the offseason as a whole, both of these teams figure to have higher win totals in 2020. Odds makers have the over/under win total for both the Cowboys and Eagles at 9.5, and it’s reasonable to predict both teams going over that total.
With a new head coach in Mike McCarthy, the Cowboys are hoping to avoid disappointment, something that felt like a staple of the Jason Garrett tenure. McCarthy is a championship head coach and should be a clear upgrade over Garrett.
Losing Travis Frederick at center won’t be an easy fix, though. They did draft Tyler Biadasz, a center out of Wisconsin, in the fifth round of the draft, but expecting a fifth round pick to pick up right where the All Pro left off is far fetched.
Their biggest loss in free agency was Pro Bowl corner Byron Jones, but they were able to mitigate that loss with their second round pick Trevon Diggs. They also bolstered their secondary with the signing of safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. Not to mention, they added two solid pieces to their defensive line with Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe.
Of course, Dallas made headlines with their selection of CeeDee Lamb in the first round, which will make their already solid receiving corps even better.
As for the Eagles, we’ve covered nearly every move the team’s made this offseason, so there’s no need to list them out here. But obviously, the biggest acquisitions through free agency, Darius Slay and Javon Hargrave, should have huge impacts on Jim Schwartz’s defense. Slay fills arguably the team’s biggest need at corner, while Hargrave makes an already stout interior defensive line that much better.
Although the team didn’t address their other pressing need at wideout through free agency, they added four receivers during draft weekend: Jalen Reagor, John Hightower and Quez Watkins were drafted, while the team also acquired Marquise Goodwin via trade.
I still believe the division will belong to the Eagles in 2020, even though the gap between them and the Cowboys isn’t very big at all. I’d just rather put my money on a head coach and quarterback who’ve been together for a few years, not a duo that has no rapport with one another.
The Cowboys may have all the flashy skill players you could ever want on offense, but glossing over the Travis Frederick retirement will likely come back to bite them in the end. Although the Eagles lost Jason Peters, they already had a replacement lined up in Andre Dillard, whereas Dallas may be forced to start a rookie fifth round pick.
The Eagles are just the more complete team, top to bottom. Dallas still has some holes on their defense that they failed to address.
If you’re a betting man, place your money on Philly to take the NFC East in 2020.