The Draft Scout Roster Grades: NFC East

Our team-by-team look at every division in the NFL begins with the NFC East. The Dallas Cowboys have three stars returning from injury for 2021 but the rest of the division made major splashes through the Draft and free agency. Who has the best roster for the upcoming season? We grade them all.


Dallas Cowboys

2020 Record: 6-10

Free Agent Additions:
LB Keanu Neal, S Jayron Kearse, OLB Tarell Basham

Draft Class:
LB Micah Parsons (Rd 1, Pick 12)
CB Kelvin Joseph (Rd 2, Pick 12)
DT Osa Odighizuwa (Rd 3, Pick 11)
DE Chauncey Golston (Rd 3, Pick 21)
CB Nahshon Wright (Rd 3, Pick 36)
LB Jabril Cox (Rd 4, Pick 10)
OT Josh Ball (Rd 4, Pick 33)
WR Simi Fehoko (Rd 5, Pick 35)
DT Quinton Bohanna (Rd 6, Pick 8)
CB Israel Mukuamu (Rd 6, Pick 43)
OG Matt Farniok (Rd 7, Pick 10)

Subtractions:
DT Antwaun Woods, CB Chidobe Awuzie, T Cameron Erving, S Xavier Woods, LB Joe Thomas, OLB Aldon Smith

Overall Roster Grade: B-

The return of quarterback Dak Prescott likely makes the Dallas Cowboys the favorite to win the NFC East this year, but there are still questions surrounding the health of the offensive line after left tackle Tyron Smith and right tackle La’el Collins missed significant time in 2020. The offensive skill players might be the best in the NFL, though, which will carry the team far if they are able to remain healthy.

Defensively, the Cowboys are betting a new defensive coordinator (Dan Quinn) will cover up the lack of elite playmakers. Defensive end Demarcus Lawrence is still a top-tier player, but the team lacks playmakers at safety and cornerback. The hope has to be that Trevon Diggs and Trysten Hill—former second round picks—develop in this new 4-3 scheme.

New York Giants

2020 Record: 6-10

Free Agent Additions:
WR Kenny Golladay, CB Adoree’ Jackson, TE Kyle Rudolph, RB Devontae Booker, WR John Ross, OG Zach Fulton, OLB Ryan Anderson

Draft Class:
WR Kadarius Toney (Rd 1, Pick 20)
OLB Azeez Ojulari (Rd 2, Pick 18)
CB Aaron Robinson (Rd 3, Pick 7)
OLB Elerson Smith (Rd 4, Pick 11)
RB Gary Brightwell (Rd 6, Pick 12)
CB Rodarius Williams (Rd 6, Pick 17)

Subtractions:
OG Kevin Zeitler, DT Dalvin Tomlinson, OLB Kyler Fackrell

Overall Roster Grade: C+

The New York Giants are talented enough to win the NFC East with the healthy return of running back Saquon Barkley and the addition of playmakers at wide receiver. The key to a winning record for the squad hinges on the development of quarterback Daniel Jones in his third season. With improvements made to the offensive line via the 2020 draft and free agency plus three new receiving weapons, Jones has all he needs around him to thrive.

Defensively, this is a stout group that will love the additions of pass-rushers Ojulari and Smith. The biggest question mark comes in the secondary but the front office threw money in free agency and draft picks to address the cornerback position. If the added speed at cornerback and edge-rusher pay off, the Giants’ defense will be scary good.

Philadelphia Eagles

2020 Record: 4-11-1

Free Agent Additions: S Anthony Harris, QB Joe Flacco, LB Eric Wilson

Draft Class:
WR Devonta Smith (Rd 1, Pick 10)
OC Landon Dickerson (Rd 2, Pick 5)
DT Milton Williams (Rd 3, Pick 9)
CB Zech McPhearson (Rd 4, Pick 18)
RB Kenneth Gainwell (Rd 5, Pick 6)
DL Marlon Tuipulotu (Rd 6, Pick 5)
DE Tarron Jackson (Rd 6, Pick 7)
S JaCoby Stevens (Rd 6, Pick 40)
OLB Patrick Johnson, Tulane (Rd 7, Pick 6)

Subtractions: S Jalen Mills, DT Malik Jackson, DE Vinny Curry, LB Duke Riley, LB Nate Gerry

Overall Roster Grade: B-

The Eagles are a very tough evaluation on both sides of the ball. Quarterback Jalen Hurts showed a ton of promise in four starts last year, but now he must take the next step with an improved and familiar WR1 in Devonta Smith and the middle of the offensive line bolstered with Landon Dickerson. The return of a healthy Miles Sanders will only help, too.

Defensively, the Eagles threw a ton of draft capital at key positions of need and grabbed impact-caliber players at bargain prices. Milton Williams and Tarron Jackson are fantastic scheme fits and will work into the defensive line rotation early. The secondary is still a worry opposite Darius Slay at cornerback, but grabbing safety Anthony Harris was a steal in free agency. This isn’t the league’s best linebacker corps, which could haunt them, but the defense is overall improved from a year ago.

Washington Football Team

2020 Record: 7-9

Free Agent Additions:
WR Curtis Samuel, CB William Jackson III, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, CB Darryl Roberts, WR Adam Humphries, OG Ereck Flowers (trade)

Draft Class:
LB Jamin Davis (Rd 1, Pick 19)
OT Samuel Cosmi (Rd 2, Pick 19)
CB Benjamin St-Juste (Rd 3, Pick 10)
WR Dyami Brown (Rd 3, Pick 19)
TE John Bates (Rd 4, Pick 19)
S Darrick Forrest (Rd 5, Pick 19)
LS Camaron Cheeseman (Rd 6, Pick 41)
OLB William Bradley-King (Rd 7, Pick 12)
DE Shaka Toney (Rd 7, Pick 19)
WR Dax Milne (Rd 7, Pick 31)

Subtractions: CB Ronald Darby, OLB Kevin Pierre-Louis, CB Fabian Moreau

Overall Roster Grade: B

The Washington Football Team is a long-term answer at quarterback away from an “A” grade. This is an elite front seven defensively—maybe the best in football—and a team that improved greatly at wide receiver over the offseason with free agent signings and draft picks. While the offensive line has a question mark at left tackle, Cosmi was a three-year starter at Texas and is capable of playing right away. And while Ryan Fitzpatrick isn’t a franchise quarterback, he’s good enough to have this team in competition for the NFC East title.

Defensively, Washington is loaded. Middle linebacker Jamin Davis should be a Rookie of the Year candidate with the best front four in football wrecking offensive lines. The cornerback position got a double-dose of improvement with William Jackson III and Benjamin St-Juste bolstering the unit and adding much-needed size. While safety is still a little weak, the rest of the defense looks to be elite.