The 2012 NFL regular season kicks off this Wednesday night with a classic NFC East showdown between the Cowboys and the Giants making it the perfect time to wrap-up my divisional previews with a look at the NFC East as a whole.
Lately it seems that there is always something hanging over the Eagles' heads going into a new season. Last year it was the whole 'Dream Team' fiasco coupled with a disgruntled DeSean Jackson crying about his salary. This year it is the team owner Jeffery Lurie giving long-time head coach Andy Reid a very public win-or-else ultimatum just days before the season opener against Cleveland. Reid is well aware that given the overall talent he has on this team that an 8-8 record is unacceptable. He does not need the added pressure of being placed on the hot seat before the Birds even get out of the gate.
Personally, I think it is much to do about nothing as one thing Reid is extremely capable of doing is blocking out the outside world when it comes to doing his job. Fortunately for Andy and for Eagles' fans, he will be back next season after Philly notches the NFC East title with an 11-5 record and makes a deep run all the way to a sixth NFC Championship Game during his tenure.
The New York Giants will suffer from a bit of a Super Bowl hangover but still play well enough to match last season's record of 9-7. What they will not match is a dramatic run in the postseason as it will be one and done in the playoffs this time around.
Another team facing the potential wrath of its owner is the Dallas Cowboys. If the Cowboys miss the playoffs again this season, I could easily see Jerry Jones blow the whole thing up with wholesale changes. This year will be a true test to see how head coach Jason Garrett and quarterback Tony Romo hold up to the pressure. Dallas will win its share of games but in the end the result will be the same; an 8-8 record and a ticket to another early offseason.
Lurking in the shadows is the Washington Redskins with first-round pick Robert Griffin III in place as the team's new franchise quarterback. This guy is going to be fun to watch but he might just become a one-man show on an offense that is devoid of any other players that can match his level of play. The Redskins' defense will once again keep them in most of the games they play. This all adds up to a slightly better record of 6-10 this year.
The following is a link to my preview of the NFC East in an article that was originally posted on Bang the Book.
2012 NFC East Odds & Preview