Ranking the Eagles and each NFC East team's chances of winning the division

Who has the best chance to win the NFC East? Frankly, we're glad you asked the question.
Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles
Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles / Richard Rodriguez/GettyImages

Years come and they go. The names on the back of the Philadelphia Eagles' jersey change. The name on the front is the same as it has been during the franchise's first 91 seasons. The Birds have been warring with the New York Giants since 1933 and versus the Commanders since 1934. The Dallas Cowboys were born on January 28, 1960. Philly's first battle with their rivals from Texas came on September 30 of the following season.

The NFC East was formed in 1967 and has had many nicknames, most unofficial: 'The glamour division'... 'The money division'... 'The NFC East' when all four teams in the current structure simultaneously fell on hard times...

The Saint Louis Cardinals, formerly the Chicago Cardinals (1920–1943, 1945–1959) and Card-Pitt (1944), won two of the first six division titles. They moved to Arizona in 1988. When divisions were realigned in 2002, they left the NFC East to join the NFC West.

Under the four-division per conference structure since then, Philly won the first three division titles during a stretch where they took the crown four straight years (2001-2004). There hasn't been a repeat champion since then.

Dallas won the division last season. It is believed by many that Philly will keep the two-decade-long streak alive. It won't be easy. Divisional games are never predictable.

Here's how we see things playing out in 2024. The Birds do indeed have the best chances of keeping the streak going.

1. Philadelphia Eagles

While it's unwise to count wins and losses before they occur, strength of schedule comparisons is always a discussion piece at this time of year. All four teams in the NFC East will face an always-tough AFC North and the NFC South.

Each of the teams in the latter division represent winnable games.

The Eagles are believed to have an advantage here over the rival Cowboys, the team most believe to be their biggest threat to divisional superiority. Philly will play a second-place schedule this season due to finishing behind the Cowboys last season. That also means Dallas has something they'll need to consider that Philadelphia won't.

2. Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys, last year's division winner, is again in turmoil, and we love it. There are contracts to figure out. Their head coach, Mike McCarthy, is now in a contract season and is seemingly irritated by Jerry Jones.

As far as what's expected to play out on the field, three playoff teams from last season on the Cowboys' itinerary aren't on Philly's schedule. Two are the NFC North Champion Detroit Lions and the NFC West Champion San Francisco 49ers.

The game versus Detroit is a home game in Week 6. Following an early Week 7 bye, the Cowboys hit the road to tackle San Fran and will probably be underdogs in both games.

An up-and-coming Houston Texans squad is also on the schedule. Our math may be off here, but that seemingly equates to three losses for Dallas in what figures to be a tight race for the top spot.

Advantage Philly...

3. Washington Commanders

The Commanders have finally freed themselves of Dan Snyder. They are, all of a sudden, a team worth paying attention to but still a ways from being dominant or consistently relevant.

Jayden Daniels has a chance to be great. He walks into a tough situation but has a very good supporting cast, and that will make his job easier. Terry McLaurin is one of the best in the business at the wide receiver position. Tailbacks Austin Ekeler and Brian Robinson Jr are gifted. We already know about some of the stars on defense.

This recent draft class is impressive: Daniels, defensive tackle Jer'Zhan Newton, cornerback Mike Sainristil, tight end Ben Sinnott, offensive tackle Brandon Coleman, wide receiver Luke McCaffrey, linebacker Jordan Magee, safety Dominique Hampton, defensive end Javontae Jean-Baptiste. We have questions about the free-agent signings. It feels like this would have been a better haul had it occurred three years ago.

Marcus Mariota, Bobby Wagner, and Zach Ertz don't scare us anymore.

Washington is going to sneak up on teams and win games in this division, but we're still a year or two away from them competing consistently with Philly and Dallas.

4. New York Giants

Dear Commanders fans, there's something you can hang your hat on when you place your head on the pillow at night. At least you aren't cheering for the Giants.

Big Blue owns the NFC East's most unimpressive roster. Truthfully, we sometimes forget who's on the team and have to do a Google search. We do, however, know NFL teams need good quarterback play to win consistently, and the Giants are the owners of the division's worst quarterback room. Daniel Jones returns for some reason. That won't instill fear in anyone.

The G-Men travel to Seattle in Week 5. We'll see what happens in that Week 17 affair with the Colts, but this team has the best chance of being swept by its division rivals. They'll also be hard-pressed to score visctories versus the NFC North and anyone on their schedule not named the Carolina Panthers.

Expect another long year in the Big Apple. Don't expect to hear any complaints coming from this direction.

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