Coming into the season, virtually every expert analyst, preseason forecast and prognostication had the Cowboys as the designee to come out of the NFC and to win the Superbowl. They were so much better than everyone that they were going to win the Superbowl - not just get there. Giants were ranked 3rd in the NFC East by most experts and were ranked last by a few. When the Giants started winning a few games at the beginning of the year, they were elevated somewhat, but they were still not considered the best team in the NFC East. One week it was Dallas, then it was Philadelphia, then it was the Redskins that were each the class of the East and the best team in football. For the last several weeks, most of the experts are grudgingly admitting that the Giants really are the best in the East, but there are still many who give the crown to Dallas and say that the Cowboys are behind only because Romo missed 3 games, 2 of which they lost.
Experts also have been saying that the NFC East is the best division in football and I would like to take another look at this, because I am not so sure. After watching the Giants beat the Redskins twice quite convincingly, and seeing the Redskins paucity of offensive weapons and their incredibly mediocre qb, I don't know how anybody can consider them one of the elite teams in the league. They are 7-5 for a reason; that is a fairly mediocre record and they are a mediocre team. They have a very good defense and very good db-field, but an offense that doesn't scare anybody.
The Eagles have been exposed as another mediocre team over the last several weeks. Their defense is very overrated and their defensive coach is WAAAAAY overrated. Johnson has one tool in his toolbox of defensive schemes - blitz. Everyone said that DC Spagnuolo would install the same aggressive blitz-oriented defense in NY that he learned while coaching under Johnson in Phillly. He borrowed some principals from Johnson, but look how much more varied the Giants defense is than the Eagles. Giants are not afraid to blitz and come with varied and creative blitz packages. But Giants blitz much more selectively, which makes it less predictable and more effective. The Eagles have one great offensive player in Westbrook and even he is not an unstoppable force. McNabb is a much better qb than Campbell, but I still would not put him up there as one of the elite qbs in the league. As such, at 6-5-1, the Eagles are probably right about where they deserve to be. The Eagles team statistics seem a little misleading, because when they win, they win by huge scores, and when they lose, they lose very close games. That's a little hard to figure out. I am somewhat surprised that the Giants are 8 point favorites over the Eagles this Sunday. I would have guessed it would be less than a TD, maybe 5 1/2 points, like it was against the Redskins.
Cowboys, on the other hand, have very good personnel and can line up with anyone in the league. They have some weaknesses, IMO. Their OL is massive but not quick and can be beaten by an athletic, talented DL and a defense that blitzes from different angles which requires a nimble OL adept at switching and moving around. The Cowboys other weakness is their secondary, which is vulnerable to the passing game. The Cowboys have excellent players in their front 7, but their pass defense is predicated on getting to the qb before he can throw. If you can block them at the line of scrimmage, I think you can make plays against them in the passing game. But - they do have a lot of talent on the team especially on the offensive side of the ball. The game between the Giants and Cowboys in Dallas in two weeks will be very interesting. If the Cowboys lose to the Steelers this week and the Falcons win, then the Giants can just about knock the Cowboys out of the playoffs if they beat them.