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Opinion: Justin Pugh Snubbed In “All-NFC East” Team

How many Giants would start on an All-Division team?

NFL: Super Bowl LI-City Scenes Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

We are getting dangerously close to the dreaded “Dog Days of Summer.” The time of year between mini-camp and training camp when football news of substance slows down to a trickle

And frankly, that’s for the best. The stories that come out over the six weeks when players are left to their own don’t tend to be positive.

To fill the time, this becomes a time for lists and rankings. Fellow SBN site Bleeding Green Nation released their “All NFC-East” roster for the offense. You can read their full explanations here [LINK], but let’s see if they think any New York Giants would start, and I’ll offer my reaction.


First Team - Dak Prescott (Dallas)

Second Team - Eli Manning (New York)

Running Back

First Team - Ezekiel Elliott (Dallas), LaGarette Blount (Philadelphia)

Second Team - Paul Perkins (New York), Samaje Perine (Washington)

Wide Receiver

First Team - Odell Beckham Jr. (New York), Dez Bryant (Dallas), Alshon Jeffery (Philadelphia)

Second Team - Brandon Marshall (New York), Jamison Crowder (Washington), Cole Beasley (Dallas)

Tight End

First Team - Jordan Reed (Washington)

Second Team - Zach Ertz (Philadelphia)

Offensive Line

Left Tackle

First Team - Tyron Smith (Dallas)

Second Team - Trent Williams (Washington)

Right Tackle

First Team - Lane Johnson (Philadelphia)

Second Team - Morgan Moses (Washington)


First Team - Brandon Brooks (Philadelphia), Zack Martin (Dallas)

Second Team - Justin Pugh (New York), Brandon Scherff (Washington)


First Team - Travis Frederick (Dallas)

Second Team - Weston Richburg (New York)

Raptor’s Take

Okay, first the things I don’t have issues with:

Ezekiel Elliott absolutely deserves to be the starting running back. Likewise, four-fifths of the offensive line choices are right on.

Personally, I would swap Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall. Yes, Marshall is coming off his worst season, but it was in a broken Jets’ offense. The year before he was absolutely dominant and posted numbers roughly equal to Jeffery’s 2015 and 2016 campaigns combined. Likewise, Jeffery has struggled with injuries in his career, starting just 70 percent of games since he was drafted.

I could not, in good conscience, start Dak Prescott over Eli Manning — not yet, anyway. Eli might have had a down year in 2016, but the offense as a whole had issues that went far beyond the quarterback position. When the stakes were at their highest, in the elements at Green Bay in the playoffs, Manning was phenomenal. Prescott benefited from a stout offensive line and a punishing run game, and has yet to establish any kind of a track record. How he performs behind an offensive line in flux this season will be telling.

Finally, my one quibble on the offensive line is Justin Pugh. Since moving to left guard he hasn’t just been good, he has thrived. In 2015 the Giants had one of the three best offensive interiors in football with Pugh, Richburg, and Schwartz. In 2016 he was arguably the top left guard in football before going down to a knee injury. It’s time that Pugh’s talent and work ethic are recognized.