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Mailbag: Free Agency Impact On The NFC East?

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We saw how Washington and the Giants upgraded their respective rosters on offense and defense, while the Eagles were quiet in free agency. How do you rank the NFC East teams on offense and defense now? — NICK VIDAURE / BRUSSELS, BELGIUM

Nick: I think it's a little early to just rank the entire offense and defense for the whole division. I'll say this. I know it's Dak, Daniel Jones and then whatever Philly and Washington are doing behind them in terms of ranking the quarterbacks. That's what I know right now and that seems to matter. Now, Washington is a bit different because that defense is nasty and can carry a team regardless what is on the other side. So, I think it's safe to say WFT has the best defense. The Cowboys have the best quarterback. And let's see how it plays out from there.

Jonny: I don't think there's any question the Cowboys should have the best offense in the NFC East followed by the Giants then the Eagles then Washington if all four offenses are healthy. I do think the Cowboys' defense will improve, but they have to prove they can stop anyone considering how unreliable they were last year. I'd probably feel safer assuming that Washington will have the division's best defense, followed by the Eagles then the Giants and then the Cowboys, while hoping the Cowboys defense can prove me wrong.

It's good to see the Cowboys active in free agency, but why so many one-year deals? The problem with that is if a player has a great season the risk of losing them the next year goes up and you're right back in the same position a year later. — TONY FRITZ / BYRON, GA

Nick: Well, that's probably more on the players than the teams. Don't forget the cap went down this year because of the pandemic and it expected to go up significantly next year and then hit a huge spike in two years because of the TV deals. So players know they should probably not lock themselves into a team-friendly contract right now when the money should be there later.

Jonny: I think the franchise prides itself on its ability to draft long-term talent. So the thinking behind a one-year deal is that they are developing their draft picks during that year and in an ideal world they are ready to step in the following season if they need to. But the scenario you laid out is the risk behind that strategy and if your young players aren't ready or aren't as good as you projected then you definitely face some problems.

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