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May 07, 2019

Preseason All-NFC East team: Offense edition

At this point in the offseason, NFL rosters are pretty much set, at least in terms of players expected to make any kind of reasonable impact. And so, let's take a look at the NFC East, and determine who has the best players at each position. As you'll see, it is dominated by Eagles players.

Quarterback: Carson Wentz, Eagles

This was pretty easy. While Dak Prescott has certainly been more durable and has a better overall record, there's no question that Carson Wentz is the more talented player, though he'll have to prove he can stay healthy. Without Wentz's contributions in 2017, the Eagles almost certainly would not have won the Super Bowl, and I believe he gives the Eagles a better chance to win it all than any of the other quarterbacks in the division give their respective teams.

Running back: Saquon Barkley, Giants

As a rookie, Saquon Barkley ran for 1300-plus yards on 5.0 yards per carry behind a bad offensive line. He also caught 91 passes for over 700 yards, and had 15 total TDs. Some would call this a two-horse race between Barkley and Ezekiel Elliott. I would not. 

Wide receiver: Amari Cooper, Cowboys; Alshon Jeffery, Eagles; DeSean Jackson, Eagles

Odell Beckham was a mainstay here for years, but Dave Gettleman traded him for 50 cents on the dollar. Amari Cooper gave the Cowboys' passing game a shot in the arm after they traded for him mid-season in 2018. Beyond him, Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson are the best of the rest in a very weak positional group in the NFC East.

Tight end: Zach Ertz, Eagles

The Giants have a good young player in Evan Engram. However, he is the only player even remotely close to Zach Ertz, who broke the single-season receptions record for tight ends in 2018.

Offensive tackle: Lane Johnson, Eagles; Tyron Smith, Cowboys

There is strong argument to be made that Lane Johnson is the best offensive tackle in the division. In 2017, there's little doubt that he was the best offensive tackle in the entire NFL. The days of left tackles having significantly more importance than right tackles are over. At the other tackle spot, there was always a debate between Tyron Smith, Trent Williams, and Jason Peters. None of the three have a stellar durability track record of late, but Peters is no longer part of this conversation.

We'll go with Smith over Williams.

Guard: Zack Martin, Cowboys; Brandon Brooks, Eagles

The three great guards in the division -- Zack Martin, Brandon Brooks, and Brandon Scherff -- all play RG, so it would be stupid to include a lesser player because he plays LG. Scherff was Washington's best chance of landing someone on the All-NFC East offensive team, but he is stuck behind Martin, a perennial All Pro, and Brooks, a deserved Pro Bowl selection the last two seasons.

It is noteworthy that Brooks may not be ready for the start of the season as he continues to rehab a torn Achilles, though he does seem to be making positive steps in his recovery. Scherff suffered a torn pectoral muscle last season.

Center: Jason Kelce, Eagles

Jason Kelce is the best center in the NFL. He possesses unmatched athleticism, and is over the problems he used to have anchoring against massive nose tackles.  

Second team All-NFC East

QB: Dak Prescott, Cowboys

RB: Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys

WR: Golden Tate, Giants; Sterling Shepard, Giants; Nelson Agholor, Eagles.

TE: Evan Engram, Giants

OT: Trent Williams, Washington; Jason Peters, Eagles

OG: Brandon Scherff, Washington; Kevin Zeitler, Giants

C: Travis Frederick, Cowboys

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