On the last three episodes of the ‘All About the Birds‘ podcast, we have been breaking down the offseason of the Philadelphia Eagles’ three divisional rivals. This has included coaching changes, draft recaps, free agents gained and lost, and where they stand against the Eagles.
New York Giants (2019 Record: 4-12)
The New York Giants began the offseason by cleaning house in the coaching ranks. They brought in Joe Judge as their new head coach, added Patrick Graham as defensive coordinator, and recruited former Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett as their offensive coordinator. In addition, the Giants hired former Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens to coach the tight ends.
With a young offensive core that includes quarterback Daniel Jones, running back Saquon Barkley, and wide receiver Darius Slayton, New York continued the process of building around them. At the 2020 NFL Draft, the team selected offensive tackle Andrew Thomas with the fourth overall pick. This came after Jones was sacked 38 times in just 12 starts last season.
The following round, the Giants selected safety Xavier McKinney. With a first round draft grade, this was considered a steal for New York. With little aspirations in 2020, the Giants are continuing to build upon their young roster in order to prepare for future success.
Washington Redskins (2019 Record: 3-13)
After another disastrous season, the Redskins also elected to clean house with the coaching staff. As a result, Ron Rivera, former Carolina Panthers head coach, was brought in to take over a young team with minimal talent. He will be tasked with not just rebuilding the team, but also stripping it down to its foundation, as there are not many bright spots on the roster at the moment.
The Redskins were able to receive the most talented player in the draft with the second overall pick. Defensive end Chase Young is a great prospect to start the rebuild with. He will run throughout the NFC East and the rest of the league for years to come, putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Rivera has to determine this season what he has in sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins. The former Ohio State product had an underwhelming rookie campaign. A low 58.6 completion percentage, a mere seven touchdowns to seven interceptions in seven starts made for a disappointing outing. They have a young receiver in Terry McLauren, who showed some flashes in his rookie campaign. However, running back Derrius Guice spent most of his rookie season injured.
Dallas Cowboys (2019 Record: 8-8)
Much like other teams in the NFC East, the Cowboys elected to change up their coaching staff in hopes of a positive outcome. With Jason Garrett gone, the Cowboys brought in Super Bowl winning coach Mike McCarthy. With McCarthy, he brings a winning pedigree to a team that has underachieved the last few seasons, despite having a talented roster.
The Cowboys are bringing back their core of Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, and the re-signed Amari Cooper. With breakout receiver Michael Gallup on the roster, the Cowboys used their first round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft on Oklahoma receiver CeeDee Lamb. offense. Considering the Eagles were eyeing Lamb in the first round, this was another opportunity for the Cowboys to add to their top notch offense. With Randall Cobb gone, it won’t be difficult for Lamb to receive targets. The up-tempo offensive scheme of McCarthy warrants all of the players to gain attention.
By adding Alabama prospect Trevon Diggs, the Cowboys were able to make up from the loss of cornerback Byron Jones. Two rounds later, Dallas traded up (ahead of the Eagles) en route to selecting the best center in college football in Wisconsin product Tyler Biadasz.
Without locking up Prescott to an extension, the Cowboys are forcing him to sign his franchise tender. While a deal still could be made before the July 15th deadline, it does not bode well for the Cowboys that it still has not worked out. Only two quarterbacks have ever played under the franchise tag: Drew Brees (2005) and Kirk Cousins (2016 and 2017). In both instances, the quarterback on the franchise tag eventually played for a different franchise.