NFC East: 2013 NFL All-Division Team NFC

All-NFC East: New York Giants

January, 2, 2014
1/02/14
10:00
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NFC Teams: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

 
There are four New York Giants on this year's All-NFC East team, and it's no surprise that all four of them play defense. The Giants finished the year ranked eighth in the league in total defense and 28th in total offense. There was no offensive player on their team worthy of any consideration other than wide receiver Victor Cruz, and there's no way to argue that he should have cracked the division's top three ahead of DeSean Jackson, Dez Bryant or Pierre Garcon.

So the defensive players who made it were defensive end Justin Tuck, defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins and safeties Will Hill and Antrel Rolle. Unlike past years, when I ran the NFC East blog and picked the team myself, this year's team was voted on by the four team reporters who cover the NFC East's teams -- myself, Todd Archer in Dallas, Phil Sheridan in Philadelphia and John Keim in Washington.

I approve of the choice of Tuck, who had a fine year and finished with 11 sacks thanks to the six he got in December against the Redskins. And I voted for Hill and Rolle as the division's starting safeties. Rolle gets (and attracts) the attention and played well, but I think Hill was the better player this year once he was back from his season-opening four-game suspension. The two of them function very well together in the Giants' system at safety, and that was a concern after they let go of Kenny Phillips -- finding a partner who could switch off with Rolle during the games and depending on the situations. Hill has done it and done it well.

The Giants were very strong at defensive tackle this year, and Jenkins is a worthy pick. I think Linval Joseph is the better and more impactful all-around player at the position, but Jenkins played well all year against the run and helped with the pass rush. He should be back next year, and you can't say the same with certainty for Joseph as he hits the free-agent market. I can't make a case for anyone else on the Giants to have made this team except maybe Joseph.

All-NFC East: Washington Redskins

January, 2, 2014
1/02/14
10:00
AM ET
NFC Teams: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South


The Washington Redskins won only three games, so it’s no surprise that they landed only three players on the All-NFC East team, two of whom might not be with the team next season.

Washington saw the fewest number of players named to the team, which is exactly as it should be. The Philadelphia Eagles led the way with 11 members followed by the Dallas Cowboys (eight) and New York Giants (four).

Running back Alfred Morris was the only Redskin on the first-team offense, which was deserved. He and receiver Pierre Garcon were the two most consistent offensive players on a bad team. Morris was more targeted by defenses this season, and the passing game was inconsistent. But he still managed to rush for 1,275 yards, averaging 4.6 yards per carry. He was joined on the first team at running back by Philadelphia’s LeSean McCoy, the best runner in the division. I did agree with Jason Peters and Tyron Smith being named the top two offensive tackles in the division; with those two and Trent Williams, it’s an excellent division for tackles. Garcon had a terrific year, but he was not more dangerous than the two who made it ahead of him.

The Redskins’ defense had a bad season, but they still managed to land two defensive players -- both pending free agents -- on the team: linebacker Brian Orakpo and corner DeAngelo Hall. I have no problems with either player being on the list; corner play in the division was inconsistent and Hall had a solid season. At outside linebacker the choices weren’t great, either. But Orakpo’s finish certainly helped.

All-NFC East: Dallas Cowboys

January, 2, 2014
1/02/14
10:00
AM ET
NFC Teams: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

 
IRVING, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys had eight players on the All-NFC East team with Tony Romo being the biggest snub.

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles won the vote of the four NFL Nation bloggers that cover the NFC East. Foles had a terrific season taking over for Michael Vick, finishing with 27 touchdown passes and just two interceptions. Romo also had a terrific season with 31 touchdown passes and 10 interceptions in 15 games before back surgery knocked him out of the finale.

To the victor of the NFC East go the spoils, so Foles got the nod.

Wide receiver Dez Bryant, tight end Jason Witten, left tackle Tyron Smith and left guard Ronald Leary were named to the team. Bryant was dynamic. Witten was Witten but his opportunities were down. Smith might have had the best season of any left tackle in football. Leary’s inclusion might speak to the dearth of good offensive line play in the division. Mackenzy Bernadeau played better.

Normally a case could be made for DeMarco Murray, but not so much in a division with LeSean McCoy and Alfred Morris.

The Cowboys had the worst ranked defense in the NFL and had two players on the division’s defensive squad. Jason Hatcher was one of the two defensive tackles after he finished with a career high 11 sacks. Sean Lee missed five games with hamstring and neck injuries but still showed he was the best middle linebacker in the division. If he can stay healthy he might be able to show he is among the best in the league.

If there is a snub on defense it would be cornerback Orlando Scandrick. He did well versus Victor Cruz and DeSean Jackson this year and came up with the biggest play in the win at Washington when he took on Pierre Garcon for a third-down deflection. But he had only two interceptions and missed a few others.

Dan Bailey missed only two field goal attempts on the season and was named the division’s best kicker. There should have been little doubt here. Dwayne Harris averaged 30.6 yards per kick return with a long of 90 yards and 12.8 yards per punt return with an 86-yard TD against the Redskins. He has a great feel for the return game.

All-NFC East: Philadelphia Eagles

January, 2, 2014
1/02/14
10:00
AM ET
NFC Teams: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

PHILADELPHIA -- Fittingly for the team that won the NFC East title, the Eagles were well represented on ESPN.com’s all-division team. Of the 26 spots, 11 went to Eagles -- including more than half the All-NFC East offense.

Nick Foles edged out Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. Foles went 8-2 as a starter, threw 27 touchdowns and just two interceptions and led the NFL with a passer rating of 119.2.

NFL rushing leader LeSean McCoy and wide receiver DeSean Jackson also made the all-division team. So did three-fifths of the Eagles’ starting offensive line: left tackle Jason Peters, left guard Evan Mathis and center Jason Kelce.

Only McCoy and Peters were named to the Pro Bowl.

Four Eagles defenders made the all-division squad: linebackers Connor Barwin and DeMeco Ryans, defensive end Fletcher Cox and cornerback Brandon Boykin. Boykin is unusual in that he isn’t a starter. As the Eagles’ nickel corner, he plays only about half the defensive plays. But he had six interceptions, tied for second most in the NFL. Two of them, including the one off Kyle Orton Sunday night in Dallas, ended opponents’ comeback threats.

Punter Donnie Jones was tops in the division in net average, but his real impact was in having 35 punts downed inside the opponents’ 20-yard line.

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