Thursday, February 20, 2014
NFL Nation: 4 Downs -- NFC East
By ESPN.com staff
In 2013, first-year Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly made an immediate mark on the NFC East landscape. Kelly’s team beat the Dallas Cowboys on the final night of the regular season to win the division title and create, for the moment, a new pecking order.
This year, Washington is the team with a new head coach. Former Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden was hired to replace Mike Shanahan and to get Washington heading in the right direction.
Dallas stayed the course with Jason Garrett, but moved Rod Marinelli to defensive coordinator. The New York Giants brought Ben McAdoo in as offensive coordinator, replacing Kevin Gilbride, Tom Coughlin’s lieutenant for two Super Bowl titles.
So where does the NFC East stand after a lackluster season in which the Eagles (10-6) posted the only winning record? Can Kelly establish dominance? Can Coughlin regroup and make another run with Eli Manning as his quarterback? Will Garrett and Tony Romo finally get over the hump? Can Gruden get Robert Griffin III back on track to stardom and have the kind of instant impact Kelly had in 2013?
The four writers who cover the NFC East teams -- Todd Archer in Dallas, Dan Graziano in New York, John Keim in Washington and Phil Sheridan in Philadelphia -- offered their insights on some key topics. They also polled their Twitter followers to find out if they saw the issues differently.