Dallas Cowboys: PFF has Eagles as most talented in NFC East…so what?

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

As the start of the NFL season comes upon us, so does the prediction of where the Dallas Cowboys fall in the hierarchy of the good teams in the league. Depending on which publication or talking head you trust, the Cowboys will either win the NFC East for the second year in a row or lose out to the perceived “more talented” Philadelphia Eagles.

ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky is definitely a hater and is predicting Philly to win the division. Smh 

The Cowboys might miss out on the playoffs altogether. Regardless of what side of the fence you’re leaning on, the Cowboys created their own self-inflicted personnel issues, giving the talking heads a topic to discuss ad nauseum.

However, I look at the Cowboys’ roster as one of a glass half-filled. Yes, the Dallas Cowboys did lose some talented players, but we all know that it takes more than just talent to win in this league.

PFF says the Eagles are more talented than the Dallas Cowboys, but it’s going to take more than a talented roster to beat the Cowboys in 2022.

The biggest disappointment for Cowboys Nation heading into the 2022 season were the losses of key players like Amari Cooper, Cedrick Wilson and Randy Gregory. The one Dallas had over most teams was the talent at the wide receiver position. And when it came to its NFC counterparts, their talent was above all others.

Having more talent than the New York Giants, Washington Commanders, and the Philadelphia Eagles made Dallas’ fans sleep a little better at night. I mean Dallas did sweep the division like a highway full of roadkill.

But in the eyes of PFF (Pro football focus) the Eagles are ranked 7th in roster talent, and the Cowboys are ranked in the middle of the pack at 16th. Wow. What a drop-off from last season.

until Hurts prove he’s a consistent passer that can win those tough games, Dallas will have the edge to win the NFC East.

It’s understandable why the Eagles are ranked so high. The Eagles got better in the offseason by drafting elite defensive tackle Jordan Davis in the first round, and then trading their number 18 pick to the Tennessee Titans for WR1 A.J. Brown. Mr. Brown joins Eagles wide receivers DeVonta Smith, Jalen Reagor, JJ Arcega-Whiteside, and tight end Dallas Goedert. The Eagles added rookie linebacker Nakobe Dean in the draft-upgrading their roster on both sides of the ball.

Those aforementioned players join defensive stalwarts Darius Slay, Fletcher Cox, and an improved offensive line that consists of veterans Lane Johnson and Jason Kelce. PFF currently has the Eagles ranked as having the best offensive line in the league.

Philly got aggressive in the draft and closed the gap on their archrival. And PFF truly believes those buzzards are the 7th most talented roster in the league. My Gawd!

Yes, the Eagles improved and certainly closed the gap on Dallas, but who cares? So what? But when has having a talented roster or the best roster in the league automatically equated to a playoff bid or a Super Bowl victory? Several teams have worn that crown only to see it get knocked off in disappointing fashion.

Think about the 2007 New Patriots who went 16-0 in the regular season only to lose to the Giants in the Super Bowl.

The last question is certainly relatable to Dallas fans as they have witnessed their beloved team stack rosters full of talent on a few occasions but only to disappear like the smoke on the fireworks of a 4th of July celebration come playoff time. The fact Dallas didn’t replace their most productive players with household names makes it easy on paper to declare the Eagles as the most talented one.

Since it’s on paper, you can compare each position group and see where Dallas’ talent stands against its rival. The offensive line goes to Philly simply because Dallas is in a semi-rebuild mode with the additions of a rookie and Terence Steele becoming the undisputed RT1. Basically, there are a few unknowns in that group, but those players are promising (that’s the good part).

Although Coop and Wilson are long gone, Dallas’ receivers are equal to the Eagles’ receivers because Dallas has Ceedee Lamb, Michael Gallup, Jalen Tolbert, James Washington, Noah Brown and Dalton Schultz. Rookie tight end, Jake Ferguson, is turning heads at camp and could be a starter. When it comes to the depth of its pass catchers, Dallas definitely has the edge, but this position group is equal for the moment.

Miles Sanders, Boston Scott, and Kenneth Gainwell round out the Eagles running backs. But Dallas has a better duo of Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard-with Rico Dowdle showing potential to be a really good runner. The key to beating the Eagles will be in stopping their running game and forcing Hurts beat to you.

If defensive coordinator Dan Quinn can do that, then Dallas has a great opportunity to beat Philly!

The Eagles did upgrade their defense with the additions of Davis and Dean, followed by the aging Cox and a really good corner in Darius Slay. Edge rushers and Pro Bowlers Javon Hargrave and Josh Sweat are legit and make the front line respectable. Ditto their linebackers and secondary.

After that, Dallas has an overall better secondary with All Pro corner Trevon Diggs leading the way, the safety position has improved with Malik Hooker, Jayron Kearse, and Donovan Wilson. Anthony Brown and Jourdan Lewis may have their issues at times, but they helped Dallas lead the league in takeaways (34). Oh, and Dallas’ backups are full of potential, too! Y’all better ask somebody.

I didn’t forget about that ultra-talented, freakish athlete named Micah Parsons, or the ferocious pass rusher DeMarcus Lawrence, along with Leighton Vander Esch, Jabril Cox, Sam Williams, Dorance Armstrong, Neville Gallimore, and a few more players with star potential.

There’s no need to compare the quarterback position because Dak Prescott has the edge as a top-10 quarterback and is on another level compared to Jalen Hurts-who has potential to be good but must become a consistent passer in this league.

sidenote: It’s likely that Gallup will be back in time to play for Dallas in the first game against the Eagles on Oct. 16th in a Sunday night showdown in Philly. That means the Eagles will face Dallas with all of their offensive weapons twice. Also, Philly needs to worry more about the Washington Commanders and their new quarterback, Carson Wentz, and the WASH defense than focusing on Dallas. 

Yes, Philly improved drastically, and they must get credit for it. I foresee both games being much closer this time around than last year’s blowout wins for the Dallas Cowboys. But until Hurts proves he’s a consistent passer that can win those tough games, Dallas will get the edge on paper today because they have Dak and should be favorites to win the NFC East.

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If Hurts takes the next step as a quarterback and beats Dallas twice and win the NFC East, my hat is off to him and those pesky Eagles. Then Cowboys Nation will have every reason to blame Stephen Jones for his bargain bin shopping ways in free agency and not doing enough overall to spend that $22 million unspent dollars to improve the roster this offseason.

We all remember the Dallas Cowboys having one of the most talented rosters on paper last year and it all disappeared like the smoke from your Uncle Willie’s grill on the 4th of July celebration. Philly better take notice because it can easily happen to them, too. Or maybe Philly fans believe the hype and are really smoking….