NFC East Offseason Reports: How Long Will Eli Manning Remain Under Center for Giants?

The MMQB is evaluating each team’s offseason, division by division. Find all the progress reports here.

DALLAS COWBOYS

2018 record: 10–6

New players: WR Randall Cobb, DE Robert Quinn, TE Jason Witten

Players lost: WR Cole Beasley, TE Jeff Swaim

In what areas did the team improve? With little leeway to spend cap-wise and no first-round pick, this Cowboys’ offseason has been about taking care of a host of their own players nearing the end of their contracts, which means improvement will have to come internally. The good news is that the roster is bursting with promising young talent, and there’s hope in an overhauled offensive staff. New coordinator Kellen Moore, who was a Cowboys player 18 months ago, takes Scott Linehan’s place. He’s expected to incorporate college-style concepts, and he has a great understanding of defensive rules and how to attack them. He’s young, he’s open-minded, he’ll bring energy—let’s see if this dice roll works.

What areas still need help/what does the team still need to do? This Cowboys roster doesn’t have a glaring deficiency—the defense has been well-stocked over the last few years, and the offense has studs all over the place. The one area where an addition might make sense is at tight end, depending on how Witten looks when the pads go on in the summer.

Biggest question heading into the regular season: Will Dak Prescott take the step the team has been waiting for him to take? And who will be on the offensive line when the Giants come to town on Sept. 8? Will Travis Frederick be ready to go at center? Will Tyron Smith be back in All-Pro form? Plus the contract situations of Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott and Amari Cooper will hover over the team for the time being.

Best tweet of the offseason:

NEW YORK GIANTS

2018 record: 5–11

New players: WR Golden Tate, G Kevin Zeitler, S Antoine Bethea, S Jabrill Peppers, DE Markus Golden

Players lost: WR Odell Beckham Jr., DE Olivier Vernon, S Landon Collins

In what areas did the team improve? The Giants continued to try and amend the downfall of the Jerry Reese era—a deficient offensive line—by bringing in Zeitler. The hope is that the arrival of the hard-nosed ex-Brown and Bengal, added to the development of Will Hernandez and potential rebound of Nate Solder, gives them a chance (acquiring Mike Remmers to address their Chad Wheeler problem at right tackle should help too).

What areas still need help/what does the team still need to do? If there was some way to add a pass-rusher or two, the Giants would probably be all over that. Golden has experience playing for DC James Bettcher, but hasn’t been able to stay on the field. Second-year edge guy Lorenzo Carter has some potential. Michael Strahan, Justin Tuck, and Osi Umenyiora these guy are not.

Biggest question heading into the regular season: How long will the team remain in contention this season? The answer will likely dictate how long the Giants stick with Eli Manning. Teams that aren’t winning generally don’t keep first-round quarterbacks on the bench—it hasn’t happened once this decade that way—and so if Pat Shurmur’s crew isn’t contending in November or December, chances are the reins will be handed to Daniel Jones.

Best tweet of the offseason:

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

2018 record: 9–7

New players: DL Malik Jackson, WR DeSean Jackson, DE Vinny Curry, LB Zach Brown, RB Jordan Howard

Players lost: QB Nick Foles, WR Golden Tate, LB Jordan Hicks, WR Jordan Matthews, DL Michael Bennett, DE Chris Long

In what areas did the team improve? Presuming Carson Wentz continues to improve as the offseason rolls on, quarterback would be one area. Receiver is another, given that Jackson is added to a group that brings back Alshon Jeffrey and Nelson Agholor. And improved health would lead to natural improvement at corner, another position where the bulk of the depth chart is returning.

What areas still need help/what does the team still need to do? Howie Roseman always has his ear to the ground on potential deals, and the way the Eagles value defensive linemen, it would be no surprise to see some addition there—particularly with Bennett and Long gone (even if those guys were replaced by Jackson and Curry, respectively).

Biggest question heading into the regular season: Can Wentz return to his MVP form of 2017? This team was strong enough since to withstand Wentz’s absence at the end of that year win a Super Bowl, then deal with it again and make the playoffs last year. So you can imagine what it’ll look like if they get what they believe Wentz to be, in full, like they’re expecting to.

Best tweet of the offseason:

WASHINGTON REDSKINS

2018 record: 7–9

New players: S Landon Collins, QB Case Keenum, OT Ereck Flowers

Players lost: OLB Preston Smith, WR Jamison Crowder, S Haha Clinton-Dix, LB Zach Brown

In what areas did the team improve? Before Reuben Foster went down with a torn ACL in May OTAs, the front seven was bursting with potential. There’s still plenty of talent there, provided that guys like DaRon Payne and Jonathan Allen keep developing, and Montez Sweat can chip in early. Adding Collins as a player who can come down and play in the box with those guys should only help.

What areas still need help/what does the team still need to do? Whoever the quarterback is could use another receiver. Josh Doctson hasn’t come close to living up to his draft position, and asking third-round draft pick Terry McLaurin to be a big contributor in Year 1 might be a tall order. So if the opportunity comes along to get another piece or two, I’d expect the Redskins will explore it.

Biggest question heading into the regular season: Who’s the starting quarterback? The situation is, obviously, complicated. Keenum and first-round pick Dwayne Haskins battled through the spring. Colt McCoy will likely be back in the mix at some point over the summer after fracturing his fibula in Week 12 last season. And for now (and maybe forever), Alex Smith is out of the equation after breaking his right leg and suffering subsequent complications. If you were laying odds right now, the smart money would say Haskins will be the starter in Philly on Sept. 8—particularly given how fast he improved once he started playing at Ohio State. But for now, the question remains, far and away, the biggest one unanswered for the Redskins.

Best tweet of the offseason:

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