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May 11, 2022

Preseason All-NFC East team: Offense edition

Eagles NFL
051122JordanMailata Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports

Eagles offensive tackle Jordan Mailata

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. We'll start with the offense.

Quarterback: Dak Prescott, Cowboys

While he is trying to progress past his status as something of a borderline top 12 type of quarterback, Prescott is still very clearly the best quarterback in the NFC East. The rest of the bunch are all back half of the league starters, for now. 

Running back: Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys

I really struggled with who to name here, as the NFC East is filled with flawed running backs. The Cowboys ran Elliott into the ground during his first four years in the NFL, and that wear and tear has shown over the last two seasons. I considered Antonio Gibson, but was uncomfortable giving him the nod after his play fell off a bit last season. There's maybe even an argument for Elliott's backup, Tony Pollard, but he has fewer than 400 touches over his three-year career.

So with much reluctance, it's Zeke, I guess.

Wide receiver: Terry McLauren, Commanders, CeeDee Lamb, Cowboys, A.J. Brown, Eagles

This group felt pretty cut and dried, oh and hey, the Eagles finally get a player in here after a long absence. There's maybe an argument for DeVonta Smith as well, but he would probably replace Brown if we were to include him.

Tight end: Dallas Goedert, Eagles

In his first year out of Zach Ertz's shadow, Goedert had 56 catches for 830 yards (14.8 YPC) and 4 TDs. In the five games Goedert played in, pre-Ertz trade, he averaged three catches for 43 yards. In the 10 games during which Ertz was gone, Goedert averaged four catches for 61 yards. 

It's Goedert's efficiency in 2021 that was particularly impressive. He averaged 10.9 yards per target on the season, which was fifth-best in the NFL among all players, and first among tight ends. He is also a good blocker.

Not far behind is Dalton Schultz, who got slapped with the franchise tag after catching 78 passes for 808 yards and eight TDs.

Offensive tackle: Jordan Mailata, Eagles, Lane Johnson, Eagles

Cowboys fans will no doubt object to Tyron Smith's absence here, and while he's still a good player when he can actually, you know, play, he hasn't been durable in more than a half decade. Smith missed six games in 2021, 14 games in 2020, and three games each in 2019, 2018, 2017, and 2016.

Mailata was a Pro Bowl snub in 2021 (Smith made it over him on a career achievement basis), but there's no reasonable argument heading into 2022 in which anyone could reasonably say, "I'll take Tyron Smith over Jordan Mailata."

Johnson had an good bounce back season in 2021, and was a deserving second-team All-Pro.

Guard: Zack Martin, Cowboys, Landon Dickerson, Eagles

Martin is still a star player after 8 years in the NFL. Dickerson understandably struggled when he was forced into action to replace Brandon Brooks Week 2 as a rookie while still recovering from an ACL tear, but he really settled in nicely as the season progressed.

There isn't much in the way of competition at guard from the Giants or Commanders.

Center: Jason Kelce, Eagles

Kelce earned first-team All-Pro honors in 2021, and is still at the top of his game despite his annual decision to continue to play, or not.

Second team All-NFC East

Quarterback: Jalen Hurts, Eagles

Running back: Antonio Gibson, Commanders

Wide receiver: DeVonta Smith, Eagles, Michael Gallup, Cowboys, Jahan Dotson, Commanders

Tight end: Dalton Schultz, Cowboys

Offensive tackle: Tyron Smith, Cowboys, Andrew Thomas, Giants

Guard: Mark Glowinski, Giants, Trai Turner, Commanders

Center: Chase Roullier, Commanders

Totals

We'll give two points for first-team nods, one point for second-team. Good? Good. I mean, who cares?

Team First-team Second-team Totals 
Eagles 14 
Cowboys 11 
Commanders 
Giants 

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