It pains me to say this, but if NFL teams’ fortunes are determined by the collective abilities of the tandem of Head Coach, Quarterback, and Defense, the Eagles could be looking down their noses at the rest of the division for the next three years. The Eagles are a young, talented team whose quarterback and coach are performing at the very top of their respective games. Philly’s defense needs to improve, but they’ll be able to focus on making it better given how good they look on offense. Compare that to the Giants, Redskins, and Cowboys.
The Giants know who their starter at quarterback will be. They just don’t know if he’s going to be more consistent and whether or not he’s going to play behind a more stout offensive line next year. The jury is definitely out on Tom Coughlin, and that once vaunted defense has become downright porous in games that mattered tremendously.
The Redskins know who their Head Coach will be. They simply don’t know who will start at quarterback, and may not have that individual on their roster. Their defense, after being one of the league’s top units for the past five years, has been downright scary to everyone but the opposition.
The Cowboys are a lot like the Giants. They have a fixture at quarterback, and their vaunted defense has given up tons of points. Of course, they’ve done so all season, whereas the Giants waited ’till it really counted to do so. As for who their Head Coach will be next year, who knows? They could end up competing with New York for Bill Cowher’s services.
The Eagles may be the only team with a three-headed monster that’s potent, not to mention stable. Washington probably has the furthest to go to solidify its situation, as the quarterback position and defense both need a major upgrade. The Skins need offensive line help too, but then so do Dallas and New York.
If Philly drafts reasonably well, they’ll strengthen their defense while adding depth at the offensive line. Everyone else in the East has major holes to fill. While I believe the Redskins have the most holes, they may have a leg up on the Giants and Cowboys if both those teams bring in new head coaches. After all, a coaching change typically means a scheme change, and as the Redskins’ defense has proven this year, a scheme change can be downright painful. One other note in Washington’s favor – they appear to have more young talent than most observers would have predicted at the beginning of the season.