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Big Blue View's All-NFC East Team -- Offense

Everyone's doing it, so who would I pick as my "All NFC East Team"?

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the Dog Days Of Summer everyone! It's roughly a month's wait until the New York Giants report to training camp, so in the spirit of the season I'm making my very own "All NFC-East Team" picking the best players from the Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, and of course, the Giants.

I'll get right to it in a minute, but first let me explain my method:

First, this is based on a balance between 2014 play and 2015 upside. If there are two players who both played well last year, I'm taking the one I think will be better in 2015.

Second, since this is Big Blue View, I am looking at the offense through a lens similar to the Giants' base offense in 2014. Fair? Maybe, maybe not, but I figured I would go with an offense most readers would be most familiar with. So, in that vein, I am using an "11" -- one running back, one tight end -- personnel package.

Offensive Line

Left tackle: Tyron Smith - Smith is one of the best left tackles in football, and one of the youngest. I was tempted to go with Jason Peters, but Smith is just entering his prime while Peters is well over 30.

Left Guard: Justin Pugh - Up until Evan Mathis was cut, this was his spot, but now the competition is between Ronald Leary and Justin Pugh. Pugh might be transitioning, but I like him better than Leary, and Pugh being bigger, stronger, and having spent his offseason doing MMA training to improve his balance and hand usage bodes well.

Center: Jason Kelce - I don't like him, but Kelce is the best all around center in the division. Travis Frederick is a beast of a run blocker, but he was strikingly inconsistent as a pass protector. With a pocket QB, I'm taking the better pass protector.

Right Guard: Zack Martin - Martin may not have been the best rookie offensive lineman in 2014, but he definitely made his mark. Granted he was inserted into a unit that was already good, but Martin deserves this spot.

Right Tackle: Lane Johnson - Johnson was ranked as the second best right tackle in football last season.


Eli Manning - This position basically comes down to two players: Eli Manning and Tony Romo. My decision to go with Eli has nothing to do with fandom. It was based on two factors:

First, Romo is the older of the two, and carries with him a significant injury concern. On the flip side, Eli is younger and consistently healthier.

Second, Romo just had his best season when the Cowboys took the ball OUT of his hands. Eli had his most efficient season when the Giants put the ball IN his hands.

Tony Romo - Backup - Hey, Romo is still a really good quarterback. I'd gladly take him as my backup and Eli's clipboard caddie.

Running Back

Alfred Morris - Most people will automatically go with DeMarco Murray here, but I don't trust him. He has yet to make it through a season without picking up an injury. Also, he went way WAY over the 370 touch barrier that often signals doom for a running back's next season. Morris, on the other hand, has been consistently dependable and productive in Washington. His stats took a bit of a hit in 2014, but that offense had some serious issues, and they were playing from behind more often than not.

Shane Vereen - Backup - Vereen is one of the best third down backs in the NFL. His pass protection is top-notch, and he is a deadly receiving threat out of the backfield. He brings all the same things that Darren Sproles does, but he's six years younger.

Henry Hynoski - Fullback - The fullback position is out of style in the NFL right now. Does that mean it always will be? Who knows. As defenses adapt to the spread offense, it would probably behoove offenses to go back to power running schemes. But as of now, fullbacks are out of vogue, in favor of H-Backs and hybrid tight ends. That being said, Hynoski is the best one in the division. He is a punishing run blocker, a viable short-yardage back, and a good receiver out of the backfield.

Wide Receiver

Odell Beckham Jr - Simply put, Odell Beckham Jr. was the best receiver in the NFL over the last nine games of the season. He faced some of the best cornerbacks in the league and an ex-KGB hit-squad masquerading as St. Louis Rams players, and never slowed down. He caught nearly 90 percent of passes thrown his way regardless of whether teams were playing man or zone coverage, and still caught better than two thirds of the passes thrown his way when he was double-covered. What's more, he can play all over the offensive formation.

Dez Bryant - I don't know how Dez would respond to being the No. 2 option on a team behind Beckham, but he's still one of the two best receivers in the NFC East. His blend of size, speed, and agility makes him the prototypical "X" receiver.

Slot Receiver

Jordan Matthews - With Victor Cruz's status going forward still up in the air, I'm forced to go with Jordan Matthews. Great size and hands, he is a mismatch going against smaller slot corners, and would definitely feast with Beckham and Bryant on the outside.

Tight End

Zach Ertz - Zach Ertz is quietly becoming one of the better tight ends in the NFL. He is a dependable receiver and developing into a quality run blocker. He might not have the pedigree of Jason Witten, but entering his third year, Ertz's arrow is clearly pointing up.

Larry Donnell - Backup - Wait, what!? Jason Witten doesn't make the list at all? Well, I found it hard include him despite a HOF worthy career, when he was coming of his least-productive season since his rookie year in 2003. Instead, I'm going with Larry Donnell, who in his first season as an NFL tight end, did manage to be one of the top-10 receiving tight ends in the league. While his habit of going flying like an extra in an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie ('80's vintage) is worrisome, and his run blocking certainly leaves something to be desired, Donnell's hands are excellent. He runs good routes and hauled in every single catchable pass to come his way.

Final Thoughts

There you have it, one half of the Big Blue View edition of the "All NFC-East" team. Let me know what you think in the comments and stay tuned for the defense.