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Assessing the NFC East

With our New York Giants having lost their first game Monday night I thought this might be as good a time as any to try and assess the NFC East.

We know that the Giants are 4-1 and lead the division. I believe they are the best team in the division, but I am taking absolutely nothing for granted. The last 9 games on the Giants' schedule are insanely difficult, and we know nothing can be decided this early in the season.

With that in mind, here are some thoughts on the three teams currently chasing Big Blue in the standings.

Dallas Cowboys

Of course I have to start here. Somehow, it always comes back to the Cowboys. I still don't know which way things are going to go for this team. They are an inconsistent 4-2. Some days I want to laugh at all the extra-cirricular goings on around Dallas, other days I just think they scare me.

It's a whirlwind in Dallas. Pacman is out. Mat McBriar is out. Sam Hurd is out. Felix Jones is out. Terence Newman is out. Tony Romo is out. No, wait -- he might be in. Roy Williams is in. A slew of draft choices are now in Detroit.

In the immortal words of Dennis Green "they are who we thought they were."

That means the Cowboys have proven to be a dangerous team -- both to the rest of the league AND to themselves.

Washington Redskins

They looked awful against the Giants. Then they looked like Super Bowl material for four weeks after that, which included victories over Dallas and Philadelphia. Then, inexplicably, Washington lost AT HOME to previously winless St. Louis.

Here is how Will from Hogs Haven assesses his team so far.

A fan tendency is to sway too strongly with the wind. When this team was 4-1 I felt they were just about as good as anyone in the league. Just one game later, to 4-2, and I'm tempted to give up on the season already. ... As the Giants and Cowboys likewise struggled last week, and as we have tie breaker over the Eagles and they are at the 4-spot in the East, I'm feeling great about our divisional position as well.

Personally, I think last week was an aberration for Washington. Right now this team scares me more than any other team in the division.

Philadelphia Eagles

It's easy to overlook the 3-3 Eagles, but that would be a mistake. If they can ever get Brian Westbrook healthy for an extended stretch they are capable of going on a run and winning the division. Westbrook is also their weakness. Maybe moreso than any team in this division, Philly is dependent on the talents of one player -- Westbrook. That might end up being their undoing.


You have to love the Giants position, especially if they win Sunday. That would put the Giants at 5-1 and would mean they had done exactly what they needed to do heading to the meat of their schedule -- give themselves a margin for error.

NFC East Standings

New York Giants 4 1 0 141 84
Washington 4 2 0 126 117
Dallas 4 2 0 175 141
Philadelphia 3 3 0 167 123

(updated 10.14.2008 at 4:27 AM EDT)