As we barrel towards week one and teams try to make it out of training camp and preseason in one piece, our eyes turn to what the regular season can bring each team. Each week, we’ll look around the league to ask one question about each team, division by division. We begin in the NFC East, where there is a lot of transition and questions for every team. However, the heavy emphasis is on the pass catchers.
1. Is CeeDee Lamb ready to be the best WR on a playoff team? The Dallas Cowboys traded veteran WR Amari Cooper and opted to go younger at the position while elevating Michael Gallup to the undisputed number two WR. The reason they felt comfortable doing that is that CeeDee Lamb took the production leap in year two with 79 catches for 1102 yards and 6 TDs. Now entering year 3, he will be asked to lead this Cowboys passing attack that will be in the next year of Mike McCarthy’s offense. An All-Pro season for Lamb would not be shocking, as Dak Prescott will also now be two years removed from his devastating knee injury. If Prescott and Lamb are on, the Cowboys are the favorites in this division.
2. How dynamic of a duo will AJ Brown and Devonta Smith be? The Philadelphia Eagles opted for the more proven commodity this off-season when they dealt one of their first-round picks to the Titans for stud WR AJ Brown. Instead of adding another WR from a deep WR class, they felt having the big body Brown to pair with former Heisman winner Devonta Smith was the better route, and I can’t say I blame them. AJ dealt with injuries last year but did post back-to-back 1000-yard seasons his first two years. He will help QB Jalen Hurts badly, and will open things up for Devonta in Nick Sirriani’s offense. Brown is, arguably, the best WR in the division.
3. How much does Terry McClaurin help new QB Carson Wentz? One of the more underrated WRs in football, McClaurin is coming off his second straight 75+ REC, 1000+ yard season. He chipped in 5 TDs playing with literally nobody at QB, so now he gets former first-round pick QB Carson Wentz. Wentz is coming off a season where he threw for 3563 yards, 27 TDs, and 7 INTs: to put that in perspective, that would have been the highest TD total for any Washington Commander QB since 2017. Wentz struggled down the stretch, but he didn’t have a WR like McClaurin, and how good they connect early will open things up for rookie WR Jahan Dotson and this passing attack.
4. What Giants WR steps up for QB Daniel Jones? The worst WR group in this division belongs to the New York Giants, as I think Kenny Golladay would be squarely 7th overall if you ranked the top two of each team. Kadarius Toney had little impact last year, and Commanders’ rookie WR Jahan Dotson is better than Toney was coming out. Sterling Shepherd is a solid C WR, and is reportedly on the chopping block. Make no mistake, a lot of Giant fans expecting Daniel Jones to take a Josh Allen-leap need to point out where the Stefon Diggs and Cole Beasley of this offense are. The Giants need Toney to flash more than what he’s shown (I still believe he was overdrafted), and they need Golladay to return to his Pro Bowl form or they’ll be drafting in the top 5 next year. At this point, it won’t matter who the WRs that remain on this team are because they’ll be taking a QB and starting from scratch.