In 2018, the NFC East race cam down to the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles. According to current odds to win the division in 2019, this season is shaping up to be more of the same. The Eagles are favored to win, followed closely by the Cowboys.
The New York Giants and Washington Redskins are currently being viewed as division also-rans. Is that a fair take on the landscape in the NFC East? Can any of these four squads surprise one way or another?
Let’s take a closer look and find out as we dig into each of the teams in full detail. And don’t forget to check our prediction on who will win the AFC East?
*Betting odds provided by MyBookie.ag
Dallas Cowboys 2019 Division Title Odds (+130)
2018 Record: 10-6 | Standings: 1-NFC East | Playoffs: Lost Divisional Round
It was looking like a middle-of-the-road season for the Cowboys in 2018, but the team would kick it into overdrive for the second half of the year. After opening up the campaign with a mark of 3-5, the team would fall to defeat just once more the rest of the way.
Dallas would go 7-1 down the stretch, a span which included an impressive 13-10 victory over the New Orleans Saints. The final record stood at 10-6, which was good enough for an NFC East title. The Cowboys would be home for Wild Card weekend, taking down the Seattle Seahawks by a score of 24-22.
From there, it was on to the Divisional Round in Los Angeles versus the Rams. This one didn’t go so well as the team fell by a score of 30-22. It was a disappointing end to the season, but that shouldn’t take away from the way the team developed over the course of the year.
Looking ahead to this season, Jason Garrett remains in charge. Kellen Moore is on board as offensive coordinator, while Rod Marinelli handles the defense. In the draft and free agency, the club took steps to bolster both the defense and the offensive line.
The team is currently at an impasse with Ezekiel Elliott over a contract extension, but we’ll see how that plays out over the rest of the summer. Oddsmakers have made a nine-win regular season the benchmark for the NFL futures market.
The Cowboys have a tough schedule, but the same can be said for the league’s other 32 franchises. If the team can continue the high-level of play on defense which it demonstrated over the second-half of last year – and the offense remains intact – then this is a team that can outperform expectations.
At a minimum, this club should contend for a division title and be in the playoff mix. If everything breaks just right, this could be a team that does some damage in the postseason.
New York Giants 2019 Division Title Odds (+1100)
2018 Record: 5-11 | Standings: 4-NFC East | Playoffs: N/A
Things didn’t go according to plan for the Giants in 2018. After a disappointing 2017 campaign, Pat Shurmur was hired to lead a team which looked like it could potentially rebound with a new voice in the room. In the first half of the year, that clearly wasn’t the case.
New York would enter the Week 9 bye with a record of 1-7. The Giants were competitive in a number of the losses, but it was still a hugely disappointing way to begin the year. Fortunes changed a bit after the break.
Whether it was buying into the Shurmur way or the team just beginning to click, the product on the field began to look much better. That translated into results too as the Giants would proceed to win four of their next five games after the week off.
The final three weeks wouldn’t go as swimmingly. The club dropped all three games, including back-to-back one-point losses in Weeks 16 and 17. While the final record may not have shown much growth for the squad, this was a different team over the second half of the season.
Shurmur is naturally back for another shot. Mike Shula returns to lead the offense, while James Bettcher is on board as defensive coordinator. The club would shake things up by trading Odell Beckham Jr. to the Cleveland Browns.
The club addressed both sides of the ball in the draft and free agency. Most notably, the club selected Duke QB Daniel Jones in round one, a clear sign the Eli Manning’s days as a starter are winding down. For the season ahead, NFL betting sites have penciled in the Giants as a six-win team.
The Giants are already facing trouble at wideout due to injury and suspension, so the offense will revolve even more heavily around Saquon Barkley. The defense looked much better in the latter part of 2018, but there have been a number of moving pieces in the offseason.
This isn’t looking like a team that can surprise and contends for the division, but an improvement over last year isn’t out of the question.
Philadelphia Eagles 2019 Division Title Odds (+100)
2018 Record: 9-7 | Standings: 2-NFC East | Playoffs: Lost Divisional Round
At the start of last season, the Eagles looked like they were suffering from a dreaded Super Bowl hangover. The club hit the Week 9 bye with a record of 4-4, but they would go on to drop their next two after the week off.
The last defeat was a 48-7 drubbing in New Orleans at the hands of the Saints. It was looking like that would be all she wrote for Philadelphia in 2018, but the club would bounce back in impressive fashion. The Eagles would win five of their last six games to finish at 9-7.
That was good enough for a Wild Card berth. Towards the end of the year, Carson Wentz went down to injury once again, so Nick Foles stepped in and did his thing. Three straight wins later, and there were thoughts that Foles may actually lead the team on another magic carpet ride.
The Eagles opened the playoffs up in Chicago, escaping with a one-point win over the Bears. It was back to New Orleans for the Division Round, where the season would come to a close with a 20-14 defeat. There would be no repeat for the team, but it was still an impressive turnaround after such a sluggish start.
Doug Pederson and the major pieces of the coaching staff return for another crack at the ring. Foles is off to Jacksonville, so there’s no question that Wentz will be leading the talented supporting cast. Both sides of the ball were tended to in free agency, so the Eagles can certainly make another postseason run if all goes well.
The regular-season NFL win total sits at 10, which makes the Eagles division champs, at least according to the futures market. As we see it, the club is definitely in the mix for that and a postseason berth regardless.
Washington Redskins 2019 Division Title Odds (+900)
2018 Record: 7-9 | Standings: 3-NFC East | Playoffs: N/A
Last year, the Redskins entered a Week 11 home game feeling pretty good about things with a mark of 6-3. By the time the final whistle blew, those feelings would change dramatically. The Texans would pull out a two-point victory, but the bigger problem was that Alex Smith went down with a broken leg.
From that point, a revolving door would open at quarterback. None of the signal-callers answered the bell, and Washington would go on to lose five of its final six games to finish with a final record of 7-9. It was a disastrous finish, which makes it pretty easy to forget that this club looked pretty good over the first half of the year.
Smith’s injury may have been a career-ender. The Redskins swung a trade for Case Keenum in the offseason and followed that up by drafting Dwayne Haskins in round one. Elsewhere in the offseason, the club would plug holes on both sides of the ball.
Jay Gruden is back for another season. Kevin O’Connell will oversee the offense, while Greg Manusky returns to lead the defense. Oddsmakers have tempered enthusiasm for the team with a projection of 6.5 regular-season wins.
Based on the new look on offense and other uncertainty surrounding the team, it’s a fair number. If the team can recapture what it had in the first half of last year, then there’s certainly the possibility of outperforming.
The team was tough and competitive before Smith went down last year, but the wheels came off afterwards. We’re not expecting this team to shock and contend for the division crown, but we also aren’t expecting them to be pushovers all season either.
Our Pick to Win the AFC East
Current odds suggest another two-horse race in the NFC East between the Eagles and Cowboys. There’s nothing to suggest that won’t be the case. While both the Giants and Reskins could show improvement off of last year, there’s too many questions surrounding the two clubs to bank on it.
The Eagles followed a Super Bowl run with another postseason appearance last year, while the Cowboys also impressed and played like one of the best squads in the league down the stretch. It’s close to being a toss-up, but we really like what we saw out of the Dallas defense over the second half of 2018.
We’re looking for that to continue and going with the Cowboys as our pick to win the division in 2019.