GIANTS ONLY NFC EAST TEAM IN GOOD POSITION
"A year ago, the New York Giants
would have been thought of as the last team in the NFC East to be in the best
position.Now, 20 games and a Super Bowl ring later,
New York is the team with the least questions surrounding them come draft
day.The Giants will have the 32nd and final pick in the first round of the NFL
draft — a spot they will gladly take — as their counterparts within the
division all seek answers.
Despite topping the Super Bowl champions twice last season, the Washington
Redskins will be looking for the biggest improvement. After soon-to-be
back-up quarterback Rex Grossman declared
Washington as the team to beat in the division last August, the ‘Skins went on
to back up their signal-callers words, ripping the Giants at home on opening
That success was short-lived, however, as they won only four more games the
rest of the way. Washington recently traded up to the second overall pick in the
draft, where they will likely select Baylor’s Robert Griffin
III. Expect the mobile quarterback to work well with Mike Shanahan,
although it will be interesting to see how good they can be, and how quickly
that success can show up.
Eagles also made preseason headlines, declaring themselves the ‘dream team’
after signing nearly every desirable free agent in the short-term off-season. It
worked early, with a convincing win over St. Louis, but they fell apart shortly
after, dropping four straight games, including a home loss to the Giants in Week
Later, quarterback Michael Vick got hurt,
leaving Vince Young at the helm
of the offense for a few weeks. The Eagles made a late surge, but it was too
little, too late. The talent is certainly there for Philadelphia, but it will be
interesting to see what changes are made prior, and post, draft day.
Then, there are the Cowboys.Oh, boy.
Whether they want it or not, there will always be scrutiny around Dallas —
due in large part to owner Jerry Jones. The
Cowboys had an eventful 2011 campaign, looking solid in the middle part of the
season, but they, of course, dropped to essential games to the Giants that cost
them the division, and a shot at the playoffs.
In a 37-34 loss at home to New York, the Cowboys had a double-digit lead with
just over three minutes remaining in the game, but the Giants’ Eli
Manning led two impressive touchdown drives to help Big Blue to a
On the last week of the season, the Cowboys had a chance for redemption,
earning the final playoff spot available with a road win in East Rutherford.
Obviously, they did not jump on that offer, falling 31-14 to the Giants and
sending the Big Blue on their way to a super bowl championship-run.
Now, with the Cowboys several years removed from their last playoff run,
questions circle about quarterback Tony Romo’s ability to
win big games — something he has certainly struggled to do — the Cowboys ability
to win games in December, as a team, and whether or not Jason Garrett is the
right man for the job.
Adamantly, Jones has defended all of his players and coaches, although it
wouldn’t exactly be surprising to see him make some moves heading into 2012,
especially if the Cowboys struggles continue to open the season.
The Giants have won two Super Bowls in four years. In those four years,
they’ve missed the playoffs once, head coach Tom Coughlin has been
on the hot-seat numerous times, and they’ve witnessed inconsistent play, to say
In their two Super Bowl-winning seasons, the Giants have never been seeded
higher than fourth and they’ve only had one home playoff game combined; a 24-2
win over Atlanta in the wild card round in 2011.
For New York, regular season success hasn’t exactly translated into
championships, but with a quarterback who will make a case, when it’s all said
and done, as the best in the history of the team, and a coach who is built on
winning, it would be hard-pressed to say that the Giants aren’t the team to beat
heading into the 2012 season."
Brian Deakyne is an NFL writer for The
Penalty Flag. He can be contacted at BDeakyne@thepenaltyflagblog.com.