Gather around young children and let me tell you a story about a division you know as the NFC Least. Once upon a time, the division was the nastiest, toughest, most formidable and talent-laden division in football and known as the NFC Beast, because every team was brolic.
There have been 54 Super Bowls played In the Super Bowl era and the NFC East has won just about 25% of them. The division as a whole has won 13 Super Bowls while playing in 23. The Cowboys lead the way with 5 titles and 10 appearances. They’re followed by the New York Giants with 4 titles and 5 appearances.
The WFT formerly known as the Redskins have 3 titles with 5 appearances as well. Lastly, the Philadelphia Eagles were the only team in the division without a title until 2017 despite all the regular-season success the franchise had enjoyed. They have 1 title with 3 appearances.
NFC Beast To NFC Least
In a year where the two toughest divisions in the NFL are the NFC West (19-8) and AFC North (17-8-1), the legendary NFC East sits at a paltry (7-20-1). The once-mighty division has become the doormat for teams looking for an easy Sunday or a slump breaker.
Through seven weeks of the 2020 season, the Eagles lead the division with a 2-4 record. Dallas and Washington are 2-5 and the Giants are an abysmal 1-6. No winners here.
No Marquee Names
The division also lacks star power with guys like Dak Prescott and Saquon Barkley out with season-ending injuries. The best player remaining in the division is probably Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz who’s never returned to his 2017 MVP-caliber of play.
If not for a Giants c’hip run with Eli Manning and the magic of Nick Foles, the NFC East would probably be the laughing stock of the NFL. The Eagles and Giants have fought through inconsistency to play in a combined 5 Super Bowls since 2000 winning 3, with all three wins coming against the Dynasty Patriots led by Bill Belichick and Tom Brady.
The WFT team is the only team in the NFL without an 11 win season since 1991. The Cowboys haven’t tasted postseason success since they won their last Super Bowl in 1995.
Front Office Failure
As far as ownership and front office goes, the Eagles and Giants seem to always be in a much better position than the other franchises being run by the meddlesome Daniel Snyder and Jerry Jones (However, since Coughin, the Giants have struggled to find stability at QB and the head coach position also).
These two guys have played a huge role in why the net-worth of their franchises are elite. But their inability to stay out of the way regarding football matters has led to a lack of success on the field for the better part of 25 years.
For a long stretch, the Eagles and Giants had coaches named Andy Reid, Jim Fassel and Tom Coughlin, while the WFT and Cowboys had guys named Steve Spurrier, Dave Campo, Jay Gruden and Ben McAdoo.
Dallas and WFT did lure Hall Of Famers Bill Parcells and Joe Gibbs out of retirement, but neither could recapture their old ’80s magic the second time around. The Football Team even had former Denver Broncos two-time Super Bowl champion HC Mike Shanahan and still struggled mightily with three losing seasons in four years.
Today these teams are run by the likes of Doug Pederson (Eagles), Mike McCarthy (Cowboys), Ron Rivera (WFT) and Joe Judge (NY Giants). A far cry from when Gibbs, Parcells, Tom Landry, Jimmy Johnson, Dick Vermeil and Buddy Ryan were at the helm and revolutionizing the game in one way or another.
Pederson, McCarthy, and Rivera have all coached in the penultimate game with Pederson and McCarthy (with Green Bay) both winning and Rivera coming up just short in his attempt with Cam Newton and Carolina in 2015. I personally don’t see this division returning to greatness anytime soon. They haven’t really hit on many draft picks at the most vital positions (QB, LT, DE or EDGE).
However, the draft hasn’t been a total bust for NFC teams.
WFT struck gold with Chase Young and Montez Sweat the last two drafts and these players are foundation pieces for Rivera’s rebuild. The Cowboys struck gold with Dak, Zeke Elliott and Tyron Smith. The Eagles struck it with Wentz who was the MVP prior to injury in 2017.
The Giants hit a homerun with Saquon for sure, but they might have swung and missed on quarterback Daniel Jones, who continues to try and develop under tough circumstances. But that’s the beauty of the NFL and now it’s upto to these franchises to fix this mess of a division and get back to the days of being called the NFC BEAST.