NFC East preview

By By Mandeep Gill

By Mandeep Gill

Records in parentheses are prognostications

Dallas Cowboys (11-5)

Bill Parcells is gone, but that does not mean America’s team won’t shine in 2007. New head coach Wade Phillips has a lot of talent to work with in Big D. He inherits a pro bowl quarterback in Tony Romo and wide receiver Terrell Owens, who is still among the best in the league. Tailbacks Julius Jones and Marion Barber III are a two-headed monster out of the backfield. On the other side of the ball, the Cowboys could benefit significantly from Phillips’ expertise. Phillips is regarded as one of the best defensive minds in the league and should bring a more pressure-oriented defense in 2007.

Biggest addition: DE Anthony Spencer (draft)

Biggest loss: OG Marco Rivera (released)

Circle your calendar: Nov. 4 @ Philadelphia

Philadelphia Eagles (11-5)

Quarterback Donovan McNabb will be back in 2007. After suffering a season-ending knee injury early last year, McNabb has worked diligently through the off-season to get back to 100 percent. The key for the Eagles in 2007 is keeping McNabb healthy. Despite McNabb being out for the majority of last year, they were able to earn a playoff spot because of strong play from backup quarterback Jeff Garcia. However, Garcia is now in Tampa Bay. The Eagles are not deep enough at the quarterback position to survive an injury to McNabb this season. Defensively, the Eagles are aging, but still possess one of the top units in the league.

Biggest addition: LB Takeo Spikes

Biggest loss: WR Dont Stallworth

Circle your calendar: Dec. 23 @ New Orleans

New York Giants (10-6)

Tiki Barber will not be running the ball for the Giants in 2007, having retired following the end of last season. Replacing Barber in the backfield is tailback Brandon Jacobs. Jacobs is more of an inside threat and should be able to pound the ball in the middle effectively. Quarterback Eli Manning bears the responsibility of being the Giants’ leader with the veteran presence of Barber now absent. Defensively, the Giants have some question marks. Cornerbacks Sam Madison and Corey Webster have got to step up after subpar performances in 2006.

Biggest addition: CB Aaron Ross (draft)

Biggest loss: RB Tiki Barber (retirement)

Circle your calendar: Dec. 25 vs. New England

Washington Redskins (8-8)

The Redskins have been busy during the offseason, hoping to prevent a 5-11 record from happening again. Specifically, they took aggressive action to make their defensive secondary better. Washington will bring cornerback Fred Smoot back this year and will also insert rookie safety LaRon Landry in the starting lineup at some point this season. Offensively, the Redskins should produce a solid ground game behind running back Clinton Portis. The passing game is up in the air, with quarterback Jason Campbell beginning his first season as the full-time starter. The ‘Skins will need him to make good decisions in order to stay competitive.

Biggest addition: S. LaRon Landry (draft)

Biggest loss: RB T.J. Duckett

Circle your calendar: Oct. 23 @ New England