- Todd Archer, ESPN Staff Writer
- 0 Shares
Today's question: The Dallas Cowboys already had the best offensive line in the NFC East and have added La'el Collins, who would have been a first-round pick. How do the front sevens of the rest of the division match up with the Cowboys' line?
Dan Graziano, New York Giants: I'm sorry, but I think this division is about offense right now. The NFC East scored more points than any other division last season by quite a bit. In 2014, NFC East teams combined to score 1,622 points. The No. 2 division in that category was the AFC North, well behind at 1,509 points. The NFC East also allowed 1,590 points in 2014, which was more than any division but the NFC South, where every team finished under .500 and the four combined to allow 1,625 points. No one in the NFC East has an especially scary front seven, and no one's front seven should feel good about its chances against the Cowboys' offensive line. It is a dominant unit playing in a division in which no team finished in the top 18 in the league in defense last season. It should continue to dominate.
Phil Sheridan, Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles are pretty happy with their front seven and added linebacker Kiko Alonso to the mix (while subtracting Trent Cole). In their two games against the Cowboys last season, the competition up front went a long way toward telling the tale. The Eagles' front seven was very good in Dallas on Thanksgiving, and the Eagles won 33-10.
In the rematch in Philadelphia, the Cowboys were able to protect Tony Romo well enough for him to throw three touchdown passes to Dez Bryant. An improved secondary would have had something to say about that, of course, but the Cowboys' line did a better job of giving Romo time and space to work.
Collins looks like a worthy addition, but it would be hard to improve that line all that much. It's not like Collins is going to line up at tight end or as a fullback and give the Cowboys six dominant blockers.
John Keim, Washington Redskins: I like what the Redskins have done with their front seven, so they're better equipped. Washington had solid success versus Dallas up front in its first meeting last season, partly because of stunts and blitzes. The Redskins are quicker up front now with Stephen Paea and a healthy Jason Hatcher -- and a switch to a one-gap base 3-4 front. I'm curious to see how Terrance Knighton fares against himself, as he is listed at 330 pounds but is about 50 pounds heavier. The Redskins have more depth up front.