NFC East in 2021: Cowboys are favored, but can Washington repeat?


The NFC East is up for grabs for the 2021 NFL season. That is nothing uncommon. In spite of everything, this can be a division that hasn’t had a repeat winner because the Philadelphia Eagles in 2004.

As if that is not sufficient, not one of the division’s storied franchises managed to complete with a successful file final season, leaving numerous room for enchancment.

The Washington Soccer Group is the default defending NFC East champion after ending 7-9. However the Dallas Cowboys are nonetheless the early favorites, for seemingly the twentieth consecutive yr. Clearly hope yearly springs everlasting for Cowboy Nation.

It could be silly to depend out anyone on this unpredictable division, particularly contemplating the key offseason strikes made by Washington, the New York Giants and Philadelphia. As the percentages be aware, each group is a contender, albeit some extra in style with most of the people than others.

How betting market views NFC East

Oddsmakers mission the division to be aggressive but moderately underwhelming for the second straight season. Among the many 4 groups, Dallas has the best win complete at 9.5 (beneath -130). Nevertheless, the Cowboys are the NFL’s solely projected division winner with a win complete that isn’t in double digits.

By comparability, the Los Angeles Rams (10.5), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (11.5), Inexperienced Bay Packers (11), Kansas Metropolis Chiefs (12), Baltimore Ravens (11), Indianapolis Colts (10) and Buffalo Payments (10.5) all symbolize stronger high groups.

The win totals additionally point out that Washington (8), New York (7) and Philadelphia (7) can surpass Dallas to win the division. In actual fact, at 5-1, the Eagles have the shortest division odds of any group that’s anticipated to complete in final place in 2021.

By comparability, the Las Vegas Raiders (18-1), New York Jets (20-1), Houston Texans (20-1), Cincinnati Bengals (24-1), Carolina Panthers (10-1), Arizona Cardinals (+575) and Detroit Lions (22-1) all painting cellar-dweller groups which might be seemingly no less than a yr away from any division crowns. — Doug Kezirian

This is a breakdown for every NFC East group, with odds offered by Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill:

What is the worth (good, dangerous, about proper)? About proper. It appears as if there may be buy-in that the Cowboys shall be a contender in 2021. Possibly that is simply the way in which to attract in bets. There are questions round this group, beginning with quarterback Dak Prescott’s well being, after all, however they haven’t added big-time expertise in free company, and may rookies make a giant distinction in coordinator Dan Quinn’s protection?

Why the Cowboys can win: It is attainable if the expertise comes collectively, if coach Mike McCarthy can punch the appropriate buttons, if Quinn could make the protection higher. That is a variety of ifs. However talent-wise, the Cowboys are higher on offense than every other group within the division. Prescott’s well being should not be a difficulty by the point the season begins. The Cowboys are assured offensive linemen Tyron Smith, La’el Collins and Zack Martin shall be at one hundred pc. Operating again Ezekiel Elliott has one thing to show. The protection merely can’t be worse than it was a yr in the past. Of the division groups, the Cowboys would seem to have probably the most going for them.

Who must be the favorites: It might probably’t be the Eagles with a rookie coach and Jalen Hurts at quarterback, though they’ve made some strong additions. It might probably’t be Washington since no group has repeated as division champ in 16 seasons, though that protection shall be distinctive. It is likely to be the Giants, particularly if that offense can get it going with operating again Saquon Barkley’s return from harm and Kenny Golladay at large receiver. That leaves the Cowboys as the favourite. Possibly the percentages are proper in any case. — Todd Archer



Marcus Spears argues with Mina Kimes and Dan Orlovsky over why the Cowboys had one of the best draft out of the NFC East groups.

What is the worth (good, dangerous, about proper)? About proper. Although Dallas is taken into account the favourite primarily based on these odds, it is not as if Washington is severely undervalued. This seemingly shall be a three-team race, with Washington simply nearly as good of a guess because the others. When you think about that no group has repeated because the division winner right here in perpetually, it is comprehensible Washington is not the favourite.

Why the WFT can win: As a result of it upgraded each side of the ball coming off a 7-9 division championship in coach Ron Rivera’s first season — one impacted by his most cancers remedies. It added pace at large receiver with Curtis Samuel and Dyami Brown. It bolstered the offensive line with second-round deal with Samuel Cosmi. It added cornerback William Jackson III and linebacker Jamin Davis to solidify the group taking part in behind top-of-the-line defensive strains in soccer. And, whereas quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has by no means appeared in a playoff sport he, too, is an improve — and taking part in one of the best ball of his profession.

Who must be the favorites: Washington, by the slimmest of margins. I used to be going to say Dallas due to Prescott’s return, and New York is correct there, too. However no. Washington had the division’s finest protection and improved its offense. Take into account that it gained seven video games regardless of going 1-5 in six begins by quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr., who was launched final season, and 5 of these seven wins got here with a authentic beginning quarterback — Alex Smith (5-1) — within the lineup. So whereas Dallas shall be higher with Prescott and New York has improved its offensive ability expertise, Washington additionally shall be significantly better with Fitzpatrick and its additions to pair with the division’s finest protection. — John Keim

What is the worth (good, dangerous, about proper)? Good. Borderline nice. I believed the Giants can be near favorites within the division after their offseason additions. As a substitute, they have not earned a shred of respect from the betting public. This oversight creates alternative. Bounce on the Giants at +450. They may not win the division, however at these odds it is a sensible proposition to no less than take the prospect that issues proceed trending in the appropriate route in 12 months 2 beneath coach Joe Decide. They got here shut in his first season with an inferior roster.

Why the Giants can win: Have a look at the additions. Golladay. Cornerback Adoree’ Jackson and tight finish Kyle Rudolph. First-round skills Kadarius Toney (large receiver) and Azeez Ojulari (edge rusher). And so they’re getting Barkley again from harm. There’s a lot to love about what the Giants did this offseason. They had been near successful the NFC East final season with the league’s Thirty first-ranked scoring offense. Quarterback Daniel Jones with all these playmakers within the second yr of an offensive system shall be higher. And so will the Giants.

Who must be the favorites: Take into account me skeptical of the Cowboys. How about they do one thing earlier than incomes even the slightest little bit of public belief? The favourite must be Washington, and it should not be shut. It gained the division in 2020 with the league’s second-ranked protection and upgraded this offseason at quarterback. Though I am not a lot of a FitzMagic fan, Washington is the group to beat. — Jordan Raanan



Stephen A. Smith bursts into laughter after Max Kellerman picks the Giants to take house the NFC East crown.

Philadelphia Eagles, Odds: +500

What is the worth (good, dangerous, about proper)? Good. The Eagles had been a prepare wreck final season, little question, and have since parted with quarterback Carson Wentz and coach Doug Pederson, however giving them the longest odds is an overreaction to 1 down yr. Philadelphia has persistently been one of the best guess because the flip of the century, claiming the division crown 9 occasions in 21 tries since 2000. (Dallas is subsequent with 5.) Within the land of mediocrity that’s the modern-day NFC East, any group can win it, together with the Eagles.

Why the Eagles can win: Wentz was one of many worst quarterbacks final season statistically; it is cheap to count on Hurts to clear that bar with relative ease. The addition of first-round decide DeVonta Smith will take a number of the load off Hurts and assist ignite the offense, as will recent concepts from first-year coach Nick Sirianni and a return to well being for the offensive line, which continues to be top-of-the-line items within the league on paper. The free-agent signing of security Anthony Harris will assist the Eagles generate extra takeaways beneath defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon.

Who must be the favorites: It is good to see some issues by no means change, just like the annual hyping of the ever-underperforming Cowboys. Give me a break. Washington must be within the pole place. The roster continues to enhance on the ability positions and alongside the trenches, and the group will reply effectively to the regular management of Rivera and Fitzpatrick. — Tim McManus


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