Dallas Cowboys Need to Save NFC East in 2021

Ezekiel Elliott will play a key role in the Cowboys resurgence in 2021.
Ezekiel Elliott will play a key role in the Cowboys resurgence in 2021. / Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The 2020 season was a rough year for the NFC East.

The Washington Football Team were crowned champs with a 7-9 record, which was only the third time in NFL history that a team won their division with a losing record. All four teams in the division, for the most part, were a complete joke. They took on the nickname “NFC Least," and almost every prime time game that featured one of their teams had a moment or two that resulted in memes being made at their expense across the internet.

Entering the 2021 season, it’s up to the Dallas Cowboys to regain some respect for the NFC East.

The Philadelphia Eagles are clearly in a rebuilding phase, Washington has their hopes riding on Ryan Fitzpatrick, and who knows what’s going on with the New York Giants.

With a healthy Dak Prescott returning to the lineup for the Cowboys, it’s their division to lose.

Here are the latest odds on WynnBET for each team to win the NFC Least. Sorry, I mean NFC East.

Dallas Cowboys +135

There’s no doubt that the Cowboys have the offensive weapons to be a force in the 2021 NFL season. Before Prescott went down in Week 5 against the Giants last year, he was on pace to smash the NFL single-season record for passing yards.

With CeeDee Lamb, Michael Gallup and Amari Cooper out wide, not to mention Ezekial Elliot in the backfield, Dallas has more than enough pieces to be a scoring machine on offense.

Where they need to improve in 2021, is their defense. The Cowboys ranked second last in the NFL in rushing defense, allowing teams to put up 158.8 yards on the ground against them per game. It’s hard to win many games when you’re allowing teams to pick up an average of five yards every time they run the ball.

Rookie linebacker Michah Parsons, who the Cowboys drafted 12th overall, will hopefully help fill the gaping hole in their run defense.

The Cowboys are certainly the most talented team in the division, but it’s time to turn that talent into a winning record.

Washington Football Team +225

Washington’s defense didn’t get the respect that it deserved in 2020, but without any shadow of an offense, it was all for naught. Gone are the days of the ‘85 Bears and the ‘00 Ravens, who could win a Super Bowl based on their defense alone. That doesn’t seem possible in the modern era of football, as offense now reigns supreme.

While you can be assured that Washington’s offense will be more entertaining in 2021, with veteran QB Fitzpatrick taking the reins, whether or not they’ll be more effective still remains to be seen.

Washington ranked 29th in the NFL in yards per game last season, with the Cincinnati Bengals, Giants and New York Jets the only teams ranking below them.

The Football Team has no hope of being a respectable franchise this season if they don’t improve those numbers drastically.

While Chase Young and Washington’s defense will win them some games, it won’t be enough to carry them deep into the playoffs.

New York Giants +300

As previously mentioned, the Giants gained the second fewest yards in the NFL in 2020, averaging fewer than 300 per game. While a Week 2 season-ending injury to their star running back Saquon Barkley certainly didn’t help matters, Daniel Jones continued to play at a level that’s average at best.

The second-year quarterback threw for only 11 TDs in 14 starts in 2021, which was 13 fewer than he threw for in his rookie season despite starting two more games. Part of the blame for the regression could be placed on their offensive line, as the Giants ranked 31st in sacks allowed per game at 3.1.

Free agent signings Kenny Golladay, Kyle Rudolph and John Ross will hope to provide Jones with some better options in the passing game this season.

Philadelphia Eagles +600

While I think Jalen Hurts deserves more respect than he’s been getting based on how he performed at the end of last season, the Eagles are in a rough spot heading into 2021.

The Eagles were 26th in points per game last season, averaging only 20.9. More importantly, they were the worst team in protecting the passer and it wasn’t even close. The Eagles ranked last in sacks allowed per game at 4.1. That’s a full sack more per game than the next worst team, who were the aforementioned Giants at 3.1 per game.

Despite drafting Heisman Trophy winning wide receiver Devonta Smith to help out the passing game, he won’t be much help if Jalen Hurts will have to avoid being sacked within a half second of receiving the snap.

The Eagles shipped Carson Wentz off to the Colts this offseason, and they fired head coach Doug Pederson.

All signs point to a rebuilding year for Philadelphia, but given the history of the NFC Least, they could be worth a bet to win the division at +600.