The Washington Redskins are one year removed from their last NFC East championship.
Listeners and readers of the Talk of Fame Network believe the Redskins are due to win it again. In last week’s poll we asked who was going to win the East – and Washington ran away with the vote with 82 percent of the support. The two teams that qualified for the playoffs in the East last season, the division champion Cowboys and wild-card New York Giants, finished well back, with the Cowboys receiving 12 percent of the vote and the Giants five percent. The Eagles received only two percent support.
As usual, Talk of Fame Network hosts Ron Borges, Rick Gosselin and Clark disagreed with the poll’s result.
“The Giants were 2-0 versus Dallas in 2016,” Judge said. “The rest of the league was 3-11. The NFC East hasn't had a repeat winner since 2004, so I look for someone other than the defending champion ... which, in this case, is Dallas. Therefore, give me the G-Men, partly because the window is closing on Eli and mostly because my father-in-law bleeds Big Blue.”
Even though the East has not had a repeat winner since the Eagles won four in a row from 2001-04, Borges and Gosselin both cast their ballots for the Cowboys.
“The Talk of Fame Network listeners may favor the Redskins by a resounding margin, but I believe it's a two-team race,” Borges said, “and they aren't in it. Dallas won 13 games and the Giants 11 a year ago. One of them will win it, and I'm betting on the Cowboys to repeat.”
Washington’s hope lies in the arm of quarterback Kirk Cousins, who passed for almost 5,000 yards last season as the Redskins finished third in the NFL in passing. But two of his top targets from a year ago are gone. DeSean Jackson left in free agency for Tampa Bay and Pierre Garcon for San Francisco. The Redskins added 1,000-yard receiver Terrelle Pryor from Cleveland and a potential ground game in draft pick Samaje Perine, Oklahoma’s all-time leading rusher.
The Giants are looking for Paul Perkins to supply the rushing attack to supplement the arm of Eli Manning. Perkins had a strong month of December in 2016, making Rashad Jennings expendable. New York also gave Manning another offensive weapon, using its first round pick on tight end Evan Engram.
The Cowboys are banking on quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott taking the next steps. Both were Pro Bowlers a year ago and finished 1-2 in the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year voting. Elliott also won the NFL rushing title.