Dallas Cowboys +120
New York Giants +250
Philadelphia Eagles +270
Washington Redskins +600
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Dallas Cowboys: The Cowboys have a lot of talent coming back to this team, and as the defending champs of the division, there is no reason to believe that they won’t be able to make a repeat showing in the playoffs. The offense added yet another crucial weapon this year in the draft with WR Dez Bryant from Oklahoma State, and if he can keep his head on straight and proves his value, the combination of Bryant, WR Miles Austin, WR Roy Williams, and TE Jason Witten could make up the most lethal passing attack in the game. The defense ranked second in the NFL as well in terms of points per game, and if that keeps up, HC Wade Phillips will ultimately end up solidifying his job for yet another season.
New York Giants: Give the Giants credit for finding a way to make their offense hum quite well in 2009 in spite of the fact that a 1,000 yard rusher and the team’s top three receiving threats were no longer playing for Big Blue. A new star emerged in the form of WR Steve Smith, who caught 107 passes, but the real accolades go to QB Eli Manning, who is rounding into one of the top signal callers in the NFL. If the defense can get its act together, this could be a very dangerous squad, and the addition of DE Jason Pierre-Paul out of South Florida as a rookie coming in could be just the answer that the squad is looking for.
Philadelphia Eagles: The Donovan McNabb era is over in the City of Brotherly Love, and now, the reins are turned over to QB Kevin Kolb. The former second round draft pick out of Houston has high expectations to live up to, as Eagles fans aren’t going to accept a season of rebuilding in spite of the fact that most of the secondary from just three years ago is gone and the offense is depleted. This is a critical season for HC Andy Reid as well, as the call on Kolb could make or break the end of his career as a coach in the NFL. This is a bear of a schedule that Philly is facing to boot, and the end result is probably going to be a huge step back from the playoff years of recent memory.
Washington Redskins: Philadelphia’s loss might just be Washington’s gain. The Redskins acquired QB Donovan McNabb in the offseason and cut ties with QB Jason Campbell in the process. Also now in the fold is HC Mike Shanahan, who is back after a year on the sidelines following his dismissal from Denver. Of course, with that coaching change comes a new defensive scheme, as Shanahan prefers a 3-4 style of play over a 4-3. DT Albert Haynesworth isn’t quite on board with this, as he and the team are in a huge dispute over the schematics being used. Chaos anyone? Even though it’s hard to picture how the Redskins can be any worse than they were last year, they clearly aren’t a fantastic team yet either. One thing is for certain though, and that’s that this should be a fun team to keep your eye on one way or the other.