We talk about the Washington Redskins lots in these parts. The Redskins play in the NFC East. So do the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants and Philadelpha Eagles. Things also happen with those teams. Here is a look at some of those things ahead of Week 1 and quickie season-long take from Redskins contributor Forrest Cobble.
New York Giants
In the News: Stand-out defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul will miss the season opener against Dallas on Sunday night. He may sit out much longer than that. After a fireworks accident that resulted in a right index finger injury, JPP had the finger amputated, derailing contract negotiations between the Giants and Pierre-Paul. Though he was originally thought to be on pace to return early in the season, the Giants were disappointed by what they saw in their first look at Pierre-Paul’s injury earlier this week. It now looks as though he will miss at least a month. The deadline for the Giants to make a deal with him is November 17, so it seems unlikely at this point that Pierre-Paul will be cashing in on the almost $15 million tendered to him any time soon.
Season Outlook: The injury bug found its way to New York in 2014, ending the Giants’ hopes of putting together a solid campaign for the first time in a few years. An improved, and so far, healthy offensive line will be the most noticeable difference for the G-men. Expect a 6-10 record this season as the already banged-up defense once again limps to the finish line and Eli throws another 15 or more interceptions.
In the News: The Cowboys traded for Christine Michael from the Seahawks a few days ago. On what is otherwise a relatively complete team, the running back situation has looked subpar heading into the regular season. Joseph Randle and Darren McFadden each have different issues, but neither seems to possess the qualities of a featured back. Michael represents a new dynamic in the Dallas backfield as a young, high upside, power back. Once heralded as the next Adrian Peterson, the 24 year-old has yet to reach his physical peak and is still developing as a player. Though he won’t be a factor immediately, Michael will be given the opportunity to become the full time back, a job which is he may be better suited for than Dallas’ other options.
Season Outlook: Will 2015 be the season that Dallas goes all the way? Probably not. Every year Dallas fans claim that Tony Romo has the potential to lead their team to the Super Bowl, and every year he falls short. After a promising showing last season, the Cowboys are in for another playoff berth, but they won’t win it all. Additions on the defensive side of the rock will give the unit a step up, but not enough to contend with elite QBs in crunch time. The loss of DeMarco Murray doesn’t help either. Finishing 10-6 and a divisional round exit is a reasonable expectation for the upcoming campaign.
In the News: Starting guard, Andrew Gardner, signed a three-year contract extension with the Eagles on Tuesday. Gardner, as one of the less experienced linemen in Philly will look to contribute to what is shaping up as a formidable front five on offense. The Eagles were smart in locking up Gardner in a low risk contract while he’s cheap, rather than wait until next offseason when the price could have gone up. Although he started the last half of the season for Philadelphia, Gardner was not assured of the starting gig heading into camp. A solid preseason has made his foothold on the position secure. As a mediocre interior lineman, Gardner won’t amaze anyone with his ability, but will provide a consistent veteran presence to strengthen the Eagles O-line.
Season Outlook: Though I hate to admit it, Chip Kelly does seem to be a genius. Showing little attachment to specific players, he’s shifted nearly every aspect of the Eagles in a massive offseason overhaul. The defining moves: the departure of Nick Foles and LeSean McCoy and the addition of DeMarco Murray, Sam Bradford and Kiko Alonso. With a far more reliable bunch of defenders and a so far effective plan at QB, the Eagles will win at least 10 games this season, and have the potential to do more.