The New York Giants might be better in 2019 than they were a year ago. Whether you like all of GM Dave Gettleman’s moves or not — and most of you don’t — it feels overall like the Giants are making some progress in improving the state of the roster.
Gil Brandt has some bad news, though. Brandt has come out with a list of the 10 most talented teams in the league heading into 2019. The bad news? Not that the Giants are not on the list. At this point, no one would have expected that. The bad news is that the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys are Nos. 1 and 2, respectively on Brandt’s list.
2) Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys’ personnel department -- fronted by Stephen Jones and Will McClay -- should take a bow for building the foundation of a strong roster through the draft, headlined by running back Ezekiel Elliott, left tackle Tyron Smith, right guard Zack Martin, quarterback Dak Prescott, defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence, linebackers Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith and cornerback Byron Jones, among others. They’ve also made crucial additions in the past eight months, trading for players like receiver Amari Cooper in October and defensive end Robert Quinn in March and signing players like receiver Randall Cobb and safety George Iloka. Now, the question is, how will Dallas sort out the extensions due to Elliott, Prescott and Cooper? The Cowboys already solved one part of the puzzle by inking Lawrence to a new deal in April, and I can see them working something out with Prescott before camp.
1) Philadelphia Eagles
What puts the Eagles in the top spot isn’t just the roster assembled by GM Howie Roseman -- it’s the fact that so much core talent is locked into contracts through at least 2021. That core includes several who are considered among the best at their respective positions, like quarterback Carson Wentz (signed through 2024), defensive tackle Fletcher Cox (2022), tight end Zach Ertz (2021) and center Jason Kelce(2021). The Eagles are also at the point where the NFL draft can be used to build for the future rather than being relied upon as a source of players who can provide an immediate impact. For example, Philly was able to snag offensive tackle prospect Andre Dillard, who can essentially redshirt for a year while being groomed to replace Jason Peters next season, in this year’s draft.
You can take the ‘well, that will make beating the Cowboys and Eagles that much sweeter’ viewpoint. The reality that those are the two teams the Giants are chasing in the NFC East doesn’t, however, make the Giants’ road back to respectability any easier to traverse.