The current NFC East landscape only adds to the urgency surrounding the Washington Commanders' search for a new head coach.
It looked for a long time like the NFC East would have two potential Super Bowl contenders in 2023. A sensational wildcard playoff weekend changed all that in an instant. It also raised the stakes where the Washington Commanders are concerned.
The Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles both suffered early exits at the first hurdle. This has plunged the future of both franchises into doubt with potential landmark changes on the immediate horizon.
Commanders must capitalize on NFC East uncertainty
Perennial All-Pro center Jason Kelce's retirement might be just the start in Philadelphia. Nick Sirianni's head coaching status is hanging by a thread. Countless veteran pieces are free agents as the Eagles get set to make some tough choices to improve their future aspirations. Howie Roseman's presence provides hope, but there is a lot of hard work ahead after their freefalling end to 2023.
The same goes for Dallas. Owner Jerry Jones is a patient man, but the calls to remove Mike McCarthy are borderline deafening after their home embarrassment against the Green Bay Packers. This will have a ripple effect on the playing side of things given they are currently more than $16 million over the cap.
Couple this with the turmoil enveloping the New York Giants, and the division is in flux. The Commanders were the worst of the bunch by a considerable margin this season. But if everything goes well in the months ahead, opportunity knocks.
Washington already has its new general manager in place. Adam Peters is ambitious and experienced with winning organizations. He knows how to build a contender and will get everything he needs from Josh Harris' ownership group to make their dreams a reality.
Striking quickly is of paramount importance if the Eagles and Cowboys are also looking for a new head coach in the not-too-distant future. Conviction and competence have been in full view since the 2023 season concluded. This must continue to get the correct head coach into the building.
It's a fluid situation around the league right now. Bill Belichick interviewing with the Atlanta Falcons might force the Cowboys' hand if they want him to spearhead their quest for another Super Bowl. As for the Eagles? Losing their two coordinators to head coaching jobs exposed Sirianni enough to suggest he's not the guy.
The Commanders will keep a close eye on developments and react accordingly. They'll have a concise proposal in place and some contingency plans if all else fails. But this is not the same toxic destination most stayed clear of when Dan Snyder held absolute power.
Washington is a big market set up for a quick turnaround. Dallas and Philadelphia could say the same with better overall pieces already in place. That's why identifying the No. 1 head coaching option and making them an offer they can't refuse is imperative to keep the positive momentum going.
If the newfound uncertainty across the division is anything to go by, the Commanders have a shot to enter relevancy at the very least next season. Anything above that would be a bonus, but the foundations laid in the days ahead will go a long way to determining their 2024 fate.