2020 NFL Preview: NFC East

Written By: SimpleSlates

June 15, 2020


Welcome to the magical NFC East, where an 8-8 finish is likely a playoff appearance. This division manages to stay competitive with each other every single year, regardless of who looks dominant on paper.

The NFC East has had its glory years, but with the exception of the Superbowl run from Philadelphia a few years back, it has been a considerable amount of time since the division has been relevant. This year will likely be more of the same, unfortunately for fans of teams in this division.



There may be a bit of author bias by placing Dallas at the top of the division, but in fairness, most analysts have Dallas at the top of the division and making a Superbowl push at this time of year anyway. Then by Thanksgiving everyone has come back down to reality. 

The offense for the Dallas Cowboys made the most important change possible this year, they removed Jason Garrett from the kitchen. Taking the play calling away from him was attempted last season, but by week three or four you could visibly see his fingerprints all over it again. This time around he is no longer with the team in any fashion and can’t possibly stain the offense with his boring and predictable play calling. On paper this offense is fighting for the best in the NFL. The appearance on paper is almost always the highlight of the season for the Cowboys unfortunately.

On the defensive side of the ball things started out rough this off-season by losing Byron Jones in free agency. Add to that the loss of Jeff Heath, and Maliek Collins. Dallas lost three starters and one pro-bowl caliber player on the defensive side of the ball. Thankfully for Cowboys fans, through free agency wheeling and dealing they were able to add Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Dontari Poe, and Gerald McCoy. As crazy as this statement is about to sound, we believe it to be true. The Dallas Cowboys actually got better this off-season on the defensive side of the ball.

Our expectations are for the Cowboys to win a contested battle for the division and finish with a record somewhere in the 10-6 neighborhood. The NFC East never disappoints in the drama department and we see no reason why a team that looks so great on paper should do anything but underwhelm in true Cowboy fashion. 



This choice may come as a surprise, but the Redskins are on the rise. They are a young team with plenty of key pieces on both sides of the ball. We expect them to be the team to compete with Dallas for the top of the division. 

The Redskins offense is not exactly the gem of the organization, but remains solid nonetheless. Haskins is going to get his first start to finish opportunity this season and regardless of what you believe about his talent level, his heart and desire to win is second to none. That is of course assuming he doesn’t lose the job to Kyle Allen after Washington was able to acquire him for a Snickers bar and a Snapple. The only real loss to note is Jordan Reed. This loss was medical however, and he is likely to never play football again.  

On defense is where the Skins eat. The defensive line on this unit is quite possibly the best in the NFL and they just added potential generational talent in the draft by selecting Chase Young. Then to go even a step further, Washington signed two corners in the off-season by grabbing Kendall Fuller and Ronald Darby. Both should benefit from a strong pass rush and a defensive mind that doesn’t mind dialing up pressure with Ron Rivera. The defense should have the team in a position to win most games, which should help out the younger inexperienced quarterbacks that will be running the offense. 

Under the right set of circumstances this team could go worst to first, but the Redskins are like the NFC version of the Browns most seasons and we assume that they will find a way to mess it up. Even with imperfect execution we still believe they will be able to push for the division.



Philadelphia is the most recent team of relevance in the division. They generally do it with an underwhelming roster as well which makes it slightly more impressive. This season the team is missing a big insurance policy at backup Quarterback.

Carson Wentz is missing one of the key pieces in the offense this season, his backup. Wentz has a severe injury history, and it is unlikely that he will develop magical durability. The games he is injured are set to be several losses already for the Eagles, unless of course you are in the minority that believes Jalen Hurts will be able to get it done in the NFL. Aside from Wentz being injury prone, the offense is also missing fire power at the wide receiver position. There is substantial buzz around rookie Jalen Reagor from TCU, but most of that buzz is from Philly fans. Outside the fan base that pick is highly believed to be a reach and the team was criticized for having several other receivers available that had higher grades.  

The defense has improved slightly in the offseason. The only loss worth mentioning is Kamu Grugier-Hill, but he was balanced out with the signing of Jatavis Brown. Beyond the swap of names at linebacker, the Eagles improved their secondary significantly by trading for Darius Slay, signing Roby-Coleman, and planning on using Jalen Mills at safety. 

The Eagles won’t be terrible, but they won’t be great either. Expect a typical NFC East middle of the road finish from this team. The only real issue keeping them from the wildcard hunt is the lack of quality at backup quarterback.



The New York Football Giants are the worst team in the NFC East. The most painful part of that statement is knowing that Saquon Barkley is going to waste in such a bad situation. We will likely have so many miles on him by the time his contract is up in New York, that he probably won’t be the same player with a different organization.

The offense rests its hopes and dreams on the shoulders of Danny Dimes. Daniel Jones is the quarterback who’s confidence was worth the loss of the second overall pick, which cost the Giants a shot at Chase Young. Jones had flashes of talent last season splitting time with Eli Manning. This season will be the ultimate test however, as it is his show alone. Having a killer in the backfield with Barkley should help some, along with the speed differential that Engram will have most of the linebackers and safeties attempting to cover him. Beyond that however, and the Giants are less than impressive on offense.

Defensively the Giants remain capable but not great. The linebackers are among the worst in the league, the defensive line has progressively gotten worse in the last decade, and aside from the potential of draft pick Xavier McKinney, the secondary joins in on the clown show. They may be able to perform better this year if former first rounder DeAndre Baker can manage to stay in the same zip code as the receiver he is guarding this season. 

Oh, and did we forget to mention that this is the new home of Jason Garrett? He was picked up as their offensive coordinator. Clap it up!

All things considered, and there is much joy in making this statement, the Giants will be among the worst teams in the league this season. The positive outlook on that is that the Giants will have a shot at Trevor Lawrence as long as they can manage to lose right this year.



What do you think is going to happen in the NFC East for the 2020 season? Let us know in the comments below. Do you agree with or dislike our assessment of your team in this division? Again, let us know. 

As always, make sure to follow on Twitter @SimpleSlates and like us on FaceBook @SimpleSlates for more sports posts and DFS content! 

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