NFC East Final Report Card

What I perceived to be the NFL's toughest and most competitive division disappointed in the playoffs going one up and two down. The Cowboys and Redskins, my two preseason favorites, faded down the stretch and failed to qualify for the playoffs.

NFC East Final Report Cards

Pre-season Mid-season Final

1 - Dallas 1 - N Y Giants 1 – NY Giants

2 - Washington 2 - Dallas 2 – Philadelphia

3 - NY Giants 3 – Washington 3 – Dallas

4 - Philadelphia 4 - Philadelphia 4 – Washington

TEAM: New York Giants

OFFENSE A- B+

DEFENSE A B

SPEC. TEAMS B B

COACHING A A-

FRONT OFFICE A A

SCOUTING B+ B+

OVERALL A B+

STRENGTH RB OG DE

WEAKNESS TE DC LB

OFF. MVP Chris Snee

DEF. MVP Justin Tuck

TOP ROOKIE Kenny Phillips

2009 Prognosis Slight improvement

Comments: The Giants offense ended the 2008 season scoring just one touchdown in its last 21 possession, due in part to their lack of a deep receiving threat to spread the field. The extra man in the box allowed opponents to create distribution problems for their offensive fronts, both on pass protection and when creating running lanes. The Giants running game was superb throughout the entire season and when he had all of his weapons, Eli Manning proved to be a very effective passer.

Defensively the Giants were able to cover up their inadequacies at the linebacker position, injuries up front and inexperience on the back end and play exceptional defensive football for most of the season.

I really liked the playing character of this Giants club and still believe today that they were the very best team in the league in 2008. But in order for them to maintain that superiority in the future, they are going to have to dramatically upgrade the linebacker and wide receiver positions.

Based on what I have seen from this well-oiled machine over the last decade, I see no reason they can't succeed in accomplishing these goals.

TEAM: Washington Redskins

OFFENSE A- D-

DEFENSE B- D

SPEC. TEAMS B D

COACHING A- C-

FRONT OFFICE D F

SCOUTING C C-

OVERALL B+ D

STRENGTH RB WR TE

WEAKNESS DT OL DT

OFF. MVP Clinton Portis

DEF. MVP London Fletcher

TOP ROOKIE Chris Horton

2009 Prognosis Descending

Comments: What happened? The Redskins appeared to be on a mission at the start of the season, but after a shocking home loss to a lowly, winless Rams club, the Redskins were never able to recover. During the second half of the season, the offensively bankrupt Skins were a far different club then the one that started the 2008 season and more importantly rookie head coach Jim Zorn appeared to lose a degree of control of his football team.

At the conclusion of the 2008 season, it was clearly evident that in terms of playing personnel the Redskins were clearly at the bottom of this four team NFC East division. But aside from their on the field prowess, over the last half dozen season, it has become exceedingly evident that this exceedingly dysfunctional Redskins front office led by Vinnie Cerrato, doesn't have near the necessary tools or expertise to rectify the dismal situation that they in fact have created.

The Redskins have some of the most loyal fans in all of professional football and I really wish them well, but based on their play and the team's make up, I really don't have a very good feeling about this team's chances for the foreseeable future.

TEAM: Dallas Cowboys

OFFENSE C D

DEFENSE C- C

SPEC. TEAMS F D-

COACHING C- D-

FRONT OFFICE B+ C

SCOUTING B- B-

OVERALL C C-

STRENGTH TE WR OB

WEAKNESS DS DT ST

OFF. MVP Jason Whitten

DEF. MVP Zach Thomas

TOP ROOKIE Felix Jones

2009 Prognosis Slight Improvement

Comments: The under achieving Cowboys offensive front again had three of it's chargers selected to the Pro Bowl game in Honolulu. Well all I can say to that I what could these voters be possibly thinking? As I stated in my mid-term report, I'll take the Giants lunch box carrying, no name group of slobber-knockers every day of the week over this . Quarterback Tony Romo played well in the early going, but overall his play was to say the least very uneven particularly down stretch after returning from an injury to his hand.

Ownership is highly involved in personnel and all other football making decision, but unlike most other owners who choose that path, Jerry Jones has done a tremendous job of providing his coaches with the necessary tools to win; that is until this past off season when he somehow defied logic and common sense and signed cornerback Adam Jones.

I wasn't alone in my denunciation of this thug who is very lucky not to be serving some serious time in the slammer for all of his prior antics, but a person of Jerry Jones' stature should have recognized the damage one bad actor could cause to the delicate fabric of a football team.

Another failing of management has to be its failure to recognize last off season the fact that an injury to Romo would leave the Cowboys in a near death situation at the quarterback position. I think the situation will be distinctly different in 2009, but the person or persons' who made the decision that Brad Johnson was even remotely capable of guiding the Cowboys in Romo' absence should consider another line of work! Look, the Vikings who didn't even have a viable replacement for the veteran two seasons ago, but knew there was nothing left in the tank.

The Cowboys in spite of some very critical mistakes over the past two seasons are still on paper easily the most talented team in professional football, but time has shown that titles are not won on paper.

TEAM: Philadelphia Eagles

OFFENSE C- B

DEFENSE B- B+

SPEC. TEAMS B- B-

COACHING D B-

FRONT OFFICE D C-

SCOUTING C C

OVERALL C B

STRENGTH DC RB QB

WEAKNESS OL, PK, WR, DS, FB KS

OFF. MVP Brian Westbrook

DEF. MVP Juqua Parker

TOP ROOKIE DeSean Jackson

2009 Prognosis Slightly Descending

The Eagles showed far more playing character in the second half of the season than I thought possible. When think looked bleak, the players, coaches and management stuck together and down the stretch were the equal to any club in the NFL.

I had long since given up on quarterback Donovan McNabb, but again I he sure proved me wrong with his play in critical situations. The interior offensive line deserves a great deal of credit for the clubs resurgence, particularly when one considers the fact that at year's end they were playing without two starters.

Defensively, Jim Johnson once again proved to me he is the top defensive coordinator in professional football. His instincts are absolutely superb and his preparation second to none. Oh and by the way, he was given absolutely no head coaching consideration by the powers to be within the NFL.

Although former All Pro safety Brian Dawkins appears to have slowed, he is without question the leader of this defensive unit.

Realistically I don't believe the Eagles are close personnel wise to challenging for the big prize, but the fans of the Eagles can look back on the season and point to the fact that there was no quit in this football team.


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