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The Dallas Cowboys’ hopes of winning last season’s Super Bowl were derailed by injuries to quarterback Tony Romo and wide receiver Dez Bryant. With both players back and healthy, the Cowboys will have a good chance to be back to their 2014 form, when they went 12-4 and made it to the Divisional Round of the NFC Playoffs. They also drafted Ezekiel Elliott with the 4th overall pick in this season’s draft, and he should be able to perform well behind the Cowboys’ fierce offensive line much like DeMarco Murray did in 2014, when he lead the NFL in rushing yards. Even if Elliott doesn’t pan out this season, the Cowboys also have former Washington Redskins’ running back Alfred Morris, who has shown the world what he can do even without a superb offensive line in his 4 seasons in Washington DC. The Cowboys’ defense isn’t that great, but that didn’t stop them from performing well in 2014, and it shouldn’t stop them this season, which is why the Cowboys have a great chance to go all the way.
New York Giants
The Giants already have one of the NFC’s top offenses, with quarterback Eli Manning throwing the ball to freak wide receiver Odell Beckham for big play after big play, and this offseason, they made some more offensive improvements as well as some defensive improvements. The Giants drafted wide receiver Sterling Shepard in the 2nd round of this season’s NFL draft, and they should get wide receiver Victor Cruz back from injury as well. This will take some of the focus from defenses off of Beckham, and it will allow him to get open more often and make more big plays if defenses choose not to double cover him. On the defensive side of the ball, the Giants signed defensive end Olivier Vernon, who played for the Miami Dolphins last season, and cornerback Janoris Jenkins, who played for the St. Louis Rams last season. They also drafted cornerback Eli Apple with the 10th overall pick in this season’s NFL draft. After having the 2nd worst defense in the NFC last season in terms of points allowed, these additions to the Giants’ defense should help them improve to at least a stable level where they can finish off close games, something they were unable to do on numerous occasions last season when games came down to the last couple of minutes. If they can indeed do that, they will be Super Bowl contenders for sure this season, and Eli Manning will have a chance to one-up his legend of a brother, Peyton, in terms of Super Bowl rings.
The Eagles have some talent, but the question is whether or not they will be able to use it properly, which they were unable to do last season. They traded for quarterback Sam Bradford last offseason. Bradford ended up having an okay year despite missing 2 games with an injury. With a new coach and a developing wide receiver in Jordan Matthews, Bradford should be able to maximize his potential this season. Also, Ryan Mathews will get his first opportunity to be a starting running back on an NFL team since he played for the San Diego Chargers, where he put up solid numbers in his days of being the primary ball carrier there. The Eagles don’t have the greatest of defenses, but as long as their offense performs well enough and better than last year’s failed Chip Kelly experiment, they should be able to win a decent amount of games and have a chance at winning Super Bowl LI.
The Redskins seemed to have found their franchise quarterback in Kirk Cousins, and they have a really good replacement for running back Alfred Morris in running back Matt Jones. Cousins will have one of the league’s deepest groups of wide receivers at his disposal, including DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon, and the Redskins’ first round draft pick this year in Josh Doctson, as well as tight end Jordan Reed, who emerged last season as one of the most dominant tight ends in the NFL behind New England Patriots’ tight end Rob Gronkowski. The Redskins’ defense overachieved last season, and have since added one of the best if not the best cornerback in the game, Josh Norman, who played for the Carolina Panthers last season during the Panthers’ NFC Championship-winning season and their Super Bowl 50 run. All of the pieces of the puzzle seem to be coming together in the Capital City, and that may just result in a Super Bowl run.
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