The Dallas Cowboys might have finished the 2016 with the best record in the NFC, but they also proved they have plenty of room to grow as well.
With a 13-3 regular season record, the Cowboys finished the regular season as one of the better teams in football. However, when it came to the playoffs, they also proved that they are still a player or two away on the defensive side of the ball to be considered true contenders for the Super Bowl.
Dallas used the 2017 draft to fill those needs and it looks on paper that this team is ready to contend for Super Bowl 52. With the offense coming back intact for the most part, along with the defense looking to build on the young core they have, Dallas seems to be the best team in the East, at least on paper to start the season. Who is the biggest threat to the Cowboys in the NFC East? The first step to getting to the Super Bowl is to win your division and get in the playoffs, where anything can happen.
Per ESPN.com, Prescott laid out to the rest of the East what is expected out of the 2017 season and who is the favorite to win the NFC East.
“We’re the team that they have to beat,” Prescott said. “It’s not the opposite way.”
That is fact, but let’s take a look at what each team in the East can bring to the table to try and dethrone the Cowboys as the division champs.
New York Giants
You have to assume the Giants are the most likely team to dethrone the Cowboys, being that they did win both regular season meetings in 2016. With Brandon Marshall and Evan Engram joining an offense to go along with Odell Beckham and Sterling Shephard, the Giants have the weapons, but the line might be a little weak to protect Eli Manning for an entire season. The biggest strength of this team will be the defensive line, which will make the two matchups “must see” football with their line against the best offensive line in football in Dallas.
The rivalry between the Cowboys and Eagles was on showcase during the draft. Cowboys great Drew Pearson put that fan base in their place when he reminded them how dominate this team has been over the years. As for the talent on the field, the Eagles have a young quarterback that will likely be a nice competition for years between Prescott and Carson Wentz. However, the Eagles can’t match the play makers that the Cowboys have on offense. Outside of Alshon Jeffrey, the Cowboys have a huge advantage at every position on offense.
The Redskins have to be considered the weakest of the group in the East. The only thing this team has is that it added to a defensive line to help limit the dominance the Cowboys front five have on their front four on defense. The addition of former Cowboys lineman Terrell McClain helps, but the front four in Washington is no match for the big men up front on the Cowboys offensive line.
As usual the six games inside the division will be battles, but 2017 will be just as 2016 was, a Cowboys division win!