The Dallas Cowboys are far from a favorite within the NFC. Sure, they can beat any of the favorites. After all, it’s a team with a high-powered offense led by Dak Prescott and a defense that has been able to generate takeaways. That goes a long way to win football games against the very best. But to call them a favorite in the conference is premature.
However, they’re the clear-cut favorite to win the NFC East. That’s not anything new. But before the Cowboys-Eagles matchup on Monday Night, it increasingly feels like there’s no excuse to not winning the division title.
Week 3 of the regular season isn’t over and this isn’t an attempt to put together an overreaction article. But let’s take a look at was happened to the “bottom two” teams in the division.
The 0-3 New York Giants were expected to struggle in the trenches with a weak and unimproved offensive line. There are ways to overcome such adversity, but chances are an NFL team will have a tough time doing so if the offense is led by OC Jason Garrett and QB Daniel Jones.
This isn’t to say Jones is playing bad football. In fact, he’s been able to limit the turnovers that have proven so costly early in his career. But can he and Garrett compensate for a lack of strength in the trenches and for injuries to key skill-position players?
Then there’s the 1-2 Washington Football Team. By now, you’ve probably heard all kinds of takes on Ryan Fitzpatrick, Taylor Heinicke, and their QB situation. The bottom line is they don’t have a good signal-caller. But even if we’re discussing their strength, the defense, there are concerns after three games.
Was it an overhyped unit? So far, they haven’t looked nearly as elite as the expectations demanded with the latest example being a blowout against the Buffalo Bills. Josh Allen looked comfortable most of the game as he went 32 of 43 for 358 yards, four touchdowns, and zero sacks.
The national media hyped up WFT all offseason long while simultaneously saying that the NFC East is trash (which is largely true).
Of the eight wins that Washington has under Ron Rivera *five* are against the NFC East. https://t.co/HtPXMkcwym
— RJ Ochoa (@rjochoa) September 26, 2021
So, who will rival the Dallas Cowboys for the NFC East?
The Philadelphia Eagles remain the biggest question mark in the division. In contrast with the Giants, Nick Sirianni’s team has a solid team in the trenches. Although they’ll be out two starters on the offensive line on Monday night, their offensive line is decent. They also have a few playmakers along the defensive line.
We don’t fully know what their plan for Jalen Hurts is yet. In Week 1, Hurts’ game was based on short passes while in Week 2 he averaged 14.6 intended yards past the line of scrimmage, which led the NFL.
There’s no better way of finding out how much of a threat they are than playing them on primetime and that’s the opportunity the Cowboys have this Monday. But so far, it seems it’s their division to lose.
The Dallas Cowboys have an elite unit in its offense, which is something none of the other NFC East teams can brag about. Maybe the closest unit to elite beyond it in the division is Washington’s defense.
Coupled with a defense that led the NFL in takeaways through two weeks, the Cowboys have next to no excuse to not steal the division.
Featured image via Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports