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NFC East Outlook: Eagles still look like champs but Giants, Cowboys present problems, questions

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NFC East Outlook: Eagles still look like champs but Giants, Cowboys present problems, questions

The Redskins finished an awful 1-5 in the NFC East last season, and while much of that was self-inflicted, the division was quite tough as well.

The Eagles won the Super Bowl, with their backup quarterback, and the Cowboys went 9-7. The Giants bottomed out at 3-13, but much of that was due to injuries and a mess of a coaching situation. 

Now, it's a new year. New teams and new seasons.

Let's run through what things will look like, or are expected to look like anyway.

Philadelphia Eagles

The defending Super Bowl champs are set up to be just as good as they were a season ago, and maybe even better. They added Michael Bennett to an already dominant defensive line and should get multiple players back from injury, including nine-time Pro Bowl tackle Jason Peters. 
Biggest question: What is going on with Carson Wentz? In 2017, the second-year QB emerged as a star for the Eagles before a late-season knee injury. Head coach Doug Pederson has been very guarded about Wentz’s status, and backup QB Nick Foles will start against the Falcons on Thursday in the Week 1 opener. To be their best, the Eagles need Wentz. And they need him back at full strength.
Biggest loss: Super Bowl-winning teams typically see some offseason turnover in the coaching department, and that's exactly happened in Philadelphia. Frank Reich went from Eagles offensive coordinator to Colts head coach, and John DeFilippo went from Eagles QB coach to Vikings offensive coordinator. That’s a lot of coaching churn.
Good follow for Eagles info: @DZangaroNBCS

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys won nine games last season even as their best player Ezekiel Elliott was forced to miss six games due to a suspension. The Cowboys might be the biggest mystery in the NFC East, as they lost a lot on their offensive line and at pass catcher. Dez Bryant got released, Jason Witten retired and Travis Frederick is out.
Biggest question: Zach Martin, the linchpin of the offensive line, avoided a serious knee injury during the preseason. The Cowboys need their O-line to be dominant because the offensive system runs through Elliott. If Dallas has to rely too much on Dak Prescott, Dallas is not a .500 ball club. 
Biggest loss: Some might say Dez, but it’s more likely Witten. The tight end served as a security blanket for Prescott and last season, even at 35 years old, Witten posted 63 catches for 560 yards and five TDs. Prescott targeted Witten nearly 90 times. Where is that production going to come from?
Good follow for Cowboys info: @NewyScruggs

New York Giants

Don’t take too much from their terrible record in 2017. Big Blue was a mess last year. They fired their coach and GM, and are kinda starting fresh. They still have a strong defense, and still have Odell Beckham Jr., who missed most of the 2017 season with an ankle injury. And, oh yeah, they added freakshow former Penn State running back Saquon Barkley with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Biggest question: Eli Manning. The 37-year-old QB played bad last season, and also had awful protection in front of him. Manning got sacked 31 times in 2017. Thirty-one times. He also threw for less than 3,500 yards with 19 TDs against 13 interceptions. And, oh yeah, he got benched for the first time in his career. So, 2017 is over, and the Giants invested in improving their offensive line, both in the draft and via free agency. If the O-line is better, will Manning be better? 
Biggest loss: For the Giants, the biggest losses will actually look like additions. Former coach Ben McAdoo lost the team and had to be fired. He was. Former GM Jerry Reese lost the team and had to be fired. He was. 
Good follow for Giants info: @JordanRaanan



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Derrius Guice out for Week 15 vs. Eagles as he awaits MRI results

Derrius Guice out for Week 15 vs. Eagles as he awaits MRI results

The injuries just keep coming for Derrius Guice.

The second-year running back will miss the Redskins Week 15 contest against Philadelphia after suffering a left knee injury against Green Bay, interim head coach Bill Callahan announced on Monday. The injury is on the same knee that Guice tore his ACL in just a year ago that caused him to miss the entire 2018 season.

The severity of the injury is still unclear. Guice underwent an MRI on his knee earlier on Monday. The team is still waiting for the results.

Guice missed eight weeks earlier this season after tearing the meniscus in his right knee during the Redskins Week 1 loss in Philadelphia. He was placed on injured reserve and returned in Week 11.

Entering Sunday's contest, Guice was coming off the best game of his young career. In Week 13, the second-year veteran ran for 129 yards and two touchdowns on just 10 carries in the Redskins' victory over Carolina.

Guice seemed on his way to another big game in Green Bay before getting hurt. He finished with 42 yards on just five carries, including a 23-yard run, the play he suffered the injury on.

The LSU product has shown flashes of how good he can be, but injuries keep occurring for Guice. He's played in five NFL games in his two-year career and been forced to leave the game early in three of those.

Whether the injuries are just a series of bad luck or not, the Redskins need Guice to stay healthy.


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    2020 NFL Mock Draft 7.0: College football's elite well represented

    2020 NFL Mock Draft 7.0: College football's elite well represented

    The College Football Playoff committee announced the four schools selected for this playoff, and each program is full of NFL talent.

    So it's not a shock to anyone that in our latest mock draft, LSU, Clemson, Ohio State and Oklahoma all have multiple players projected to go in the first round.


    LSU, the No. 1 seed in the playoff, also has on its roster the likely Heisman Trophy winner and consensus No. 1 overall pick in quarterback Joe Burrow. The Tigers have multiple players in their secondary expected to go in the first round, such as safety Grant Delpit and cornerback Kristian Fulton. Where will they end up?

    While Burrow may be the consensus top pick, Ohio State has whom many consider to be the best player in the draft in edge rusher Chase Young. Could he be an option for the Redskins at No. 3, where they would select if the season ended today, or will he be off the draft board by then? 

    The Buckeyes defense is a lot more than just Young. Cornerback Jeffrey Okudah is widely considered the top cornerback in this year's class, and safety Jordan Fuller would likely be a first-round pick in past years.

    Clemson's offense deserves a lot of credit, but perhaps their best NFL prospect comes from the defensive side of the ball in linebacker Isaiah Simmons. He has the ability to go after the quarterback, but also make plays in coverage and is all over the field.

    A little undersized, Simmons will be an impact player for any team right away. Where does he land?


    Oklahoma has had the NFL's No. 1 overall pick the past two seasons in quarterbacks Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray. While Jalen Hurts has had a spectacular season, he's not the prospect either one of those signal-callers was.

    However, the Sooners do arguably have the best wide receiver in the draft in CeeDee Lamb. In a deep wide receiver class, can Lamb jump over Alabama's Jerry Jeudy or Clemson's Tee Higgins to be the first receiver selected?

    The 2019 College Football Playoff will be without Alabama for the first time in history. Although the Crimson Tide won't compete for a National Championship, the amount of NFL talent they have on their roster is impossible to ignore.

    In our latest Mock Draft, the Crimson Tide have nine (!!) first-round selections, by far the most of any school. 

    A lot can change between now and April, but college football's elite programs are expected to dominate the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.