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10 burning questions: NFC East


BY SAM SPIEGELMAN
XN Sports

No team has repeated as NFC East champion since the 2003 and 2004 Philadelphia Eagles.

The Eagles have a chance to repeat, again, after a dramatic offseason in which the team lost DeSean Jackson to the rival Washington Redskins. Speaking of those Redskins, they have a new head coach and have a healthy Robert Griffin III under center. Eli Manning is also back to 100 percent, and the team armed him with new weapons via free agency and the draft. And only the Dallas Cowboys appear to be heading toward a decline next year.

Here are the top 10 burning questions for the NFC East entering 2014:

1. RGIII, candidate for Comeback Player of the Year?

With new weapons in Jackson and Andre Roberts to join up with Pierre Garcon, Jordan Reed and Alfred Morris - not to mention a new offensive scheme - Griffin has a chance to return to the form he showed when he was the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. Health finally won't be a concern for RGIII in 2014.

2. Does the Giants offense rebound?

The Giants offense was atrocious in 2013. The line couldn't block, the running game was non-existent and Eli Manning was an interception machine. The team addressed line and added running back depth this offseason, then drafted Odell Beckham Jr. to bolster their receiving corps.

3. Is Nick Foles the real deal?

Foles' impressive 2013 campaign did not stop us from being skeptical about whether he could sustain that kind of success again in 2014. The Eagles quarterback would be hard-pressed to throw just two interceptions again, but perhaps he is a budding star.

4. Does DeSean Jackson make the Eagles pay?

Jackson was the Eagles main vertical threat in Year 1 of the Chip Kelly era, but off-the-field character concerns forced Philly to release the wideout and allow him to pick the rival Redskins to pick him up. He has two chances to make the Eagles regret their decision. The first: Week 3.

5. Is Tony Romo healthy?

The Cowboys were reportedly on the verge of drafting Johnny Manziel; can you imagine the kind of chaos that would ensue? Coming off back surgery, Romo said he'll be 100 percent for training camp. He has a new offensive coordinator and lost Miles Austin, plus the regular critics to contend with.

6. Will the Giants rediscover their pass rush?

New York's fearsome front line has mustered 33 sacks in each of the past two seasons, and in no way, shape or form has the pass rush been close to the Super Bowl form that we've become accustomed to under Tom Coughlin. Jason Pierre-Paul should be close to 100 percent, plus youngsters Damontre Moore and Johnathan Hankins have a chance to make names for themselves in '14.

7. Can Jeremy Maclin stay healthy?

Maclin hasn't been healthy for a full season since 2010, and with Jackson out of the picture, the Eagles need to find a true No. 1 wideout. Maclin is playing for a new deal and is the veteran of the bunch. He needs to succeed.

8. When will the Redskins mascot change?

In non-football-related issues, this year there has been the greatest pushback from the Native American community about the Redskins team mascot. The appeals process needs to take its course, but it seems inevitable Daniel Snyder will need to make a change.

9. Will the 'Boys regret letting DeMarcus Ware go?

Dallas' most dominant defensive player, arguably in team history, is no longer a member of the organization. After one down, injury riddled year, Ware is now rushing the passer for Super Bowl-contender Denver. The Cowboys drafted DeMarcus Lawrence to take his spot, but will Lawrence ever be comparable to Ware?

10. Breakout coming for Zach Ertz or Jordan Matthews?

Two players getting major hype out of Philadelphia are second-year tight end Ertz and the rookie wideout Matthews. Both are expected to help Eagles fans forget about Jackson; how productive will each be this year?

RELATED LINKS

5 NFL teams poised to improve in 2014

5 NFL teams poised for regression in 2014

Top 10 NFL defensive players who will regress in 2014

10 NFL offensive players expected to regress in 2014

10 NFL defensive players primed for bounce-back seasons

For more sports coverage, please visit XNSports.com

Join the discussion

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Edwin Moore July 02 2014 at 6:57 PM

The Offensive Coordinator wasn't Romo's problem. The problem lies in the fact that Romo can't win the big games. Never has, never will.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
sylvin51 July 02 2014 at 10:44 PM

When will the Redskins mascot change? I hope never becuase it is not the native american making the stink, it's everybody else and the Governmentg sticking there nose were it does not belong. Leave it alone it is fine it is a compliment not a put down or racial slurr ever how you want to look at it. Government stay out of it you have enough problems and the only racial problems we have in America start at the White House. Daniel Snyder keep your "BALLS" and keep the name "REDSKIN, REDSKIN, REDSKIN". And if you decide to give in to the Government then since it is Washingtons team let us change the mascot to Mrs. Potato Head and we can nick name it DICK-TATER-SHIP like the Government we have is trying to turn this country into.

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piksz July 02 2014 at 6:50 PM

Romo Bozo - what a joke. He couldn't quarterback a high school team. LOSER - just like his owner Rich Jones with no brain.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
john&jan July 03 2014 at 5:06 AM

GO REDSKINS

Flag Reply +1 rate up
kmd4excel July 03 2014 at 6:24 AM

And in other news on the Redskins ... The Washington Times, through a FOIA request found out that the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) did not have a single complaint on file about the Redskins name or mascot. Let me repeat that: The PTO HAD NOT received ONE complaint about the Redskins trademarks. So, other than a handful of perpetually offended leftist "Native Americans" (I was born here, does that make me "Native American") where is all of this "fuss" about the Redskins trademark coming from? Answer: A PC Media and a rogue presidential administration.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
JRGXRay05 July 02 2014 at 6:01 PM

I am, and have been for 40 plus years, a diehard Dallas Cowboy fan. Tony Romo is a joke, and will never be 100%. He is well known amongst us as a primadonna who values his fame more than he does the Cowboys success. HE WON'T win the big games, his huge ego sees to that!!!

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1 reply
billcdaly JRGXRay05 July 02 2014 at 6:20 PM

A second tier quarterback at best.

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occhurchpastor July 03 2014 at 7:55 AM

Does it matter? Healthy or unhealthy still plays the same.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
p1943ship July 03 2014 at 7:51 AM

Romo will never be 100percent and Dallas will not be either as long as JJ owns the team

Flag Reply 0 rate up
occhurchpastor July 03 2014 at 7:57 AM

Amazing how some of these guys make it and some that have real talent can't get a shot. This Romo, Big Ben and you could name several more that are just way over rated

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twalsh4440 July 03 2014 at 7:38 AM

No but at least the PRESS didn't ruin him like RGIII who should SUE DC PRESS for pushing the REDSKINS to put him in games when he was VERY HURT AND YOUNG

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