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Breaking down the NFC East

The Post’s Ryan Dunleavy breaks down the NFC East:

Cowboys

Coach: Mike McCarthy (second year)

Training camp site: Oxnard, Calif.

Key additions: S Keanu Neal is the only notable addition to a secondary that was historically bad last season. Rookie LB Micah Parsons, DL Brent Urban and edge rusher Tarell Basham are supposed to upgrade the front-seven.

Key losses: CB Chidobe Awuzie signed with the Bengals and OLB Aldon Smith joined the Seahawks after resurrecting his career. QB Andy Dalton is competing to be the Bears’ starter after he stepped in effectively for the injured Dak Prescott last year.

Training camp storylines to watch: McCarthy was supposed to be the savior last year. Now it’s supposed to be defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, who helped orchestrate the Seahawks’ “Legion of Boom” secondary. The Cowboys are loaded at linebacker. Prescott finally signed his $160 million contract, so now he has to live up to huge expectations — while coming off of a compound ankle fracture no less. How long until the Cowboys’ once-great veteran offensive line begins to break down again? Watch all of it unfold on HBO’s “Hard Knocks.”

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Mike McCarthy and Jalen Hurts
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Mike McCarthy and Jalen Hurts
AP (3)

Washington

Coach: Ron Rivera (second year)

Training camp site: Richmond, Va.

Key additions: After Washington won the NFC East by using four different QBs last season, Ryan Fitzpatrick arrives as the starter — along with three new WRs: Curtis Samuel, Adam Humphries and rookie Dyami Brown. CB William Jackson and OL Ereck Flowers signed big contracts.

Key losses: QB Alex Smith retired after saving last season and CB Ronald Darby signed with the Broncos. Two Washington mainstays, DE Ryan Kerrigan (Eagles) and RT Morgan Moses (Jets), are gone.

Training camp storylines to watch: You won’t see many reigning division champs make this many significant personnel changes. The gunslinging Fitzpatrick finally has a job in which he is not just a caretaker for a rookie, and Washington’s offense no longer lacks complementary playmakers to WR Terry McLaurin. If Chase Young improved in the offseason, the preseason might reveal the NFL’s new best edge rusher. Washington was fined $10 million by the NFL for its toxic front-office culture, so maybe Rivera can put those questions to bed and continue a new era.

Eagles

Coach: Nick Sirianni (first year)

Training camp site: Philadelphia

Key additions: Failures drafting WRs over the years didn’t stop the Eagles from trading up to select Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith with pick No. 10. DE Ryan Kerrigan and S Anthony Harris signed one-year deals and should be motivated, if they have anything left in the tank.

Key losses: Trading disgruntled QB Carson Wentz rather than trying to repair the relationship was a bold move. Two longtime Eagles, P Cam Johnson and WR DeSean Jackson, joined WR Alshon Jeffrey and CB Jalen Mills in splitting town. It seems the Eagles always are short at cornerback.

Training camp storylines to watch: Projections for the Eagles range from winning 11 games to being one of the worst teams in the NFL. QB Jalen Hurts’ development is the root of the uncertainty. Even the Eagles weren’t expecting their 2020 second-rounder to be the starter this soon. Is this a team that had one hiccup and is ready to reemerge as a perennial playoff contender? Or are the Eagles in denial over a stale roster and about to bottom out after scapegoating fired Super Bowl-winning coach Doug Pederson? So much rides on Hurts.

Giants

Coach: Joe Judge (second year)

Training camp site: East Rutherford, N.J.

Key additions: The Giants spent at the top of the free-agent market for WR Kenny Golladay and near the top for CB Adoree’ Jackson. TE Kyle Rudolph and rookie WR Kadarius Toney should help in the red zone.

Key losses: RG Kevin Zeitler was a salary-cap casualty. Choosing to re-sign DL Leonard Williams at top dollar meant losing run-stuffing DT Dalvin Tomlinson, who joined the Vikings.

Training camp storylines to watch: All eyes are on offensive coordinator Jason Garrett and QB Daniel Jones. After ranking second-to-last in points per game (17.5) last season, will Garrett’s playbook include more creative routes for the speedster Toney and downfield throws? It’s a make-or-break Year 3 for Jones’ development, but he only can go as far as the protection allows. Every year, the Giants say the offensive line is improved. It rarely is. This time, it’s five starters age 24 or younger trying to jell. The Giants are unproven at pass-rusher, too.

https://nypost.com/2021/07/25/breaking-down-the-nfc-east/

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