NFC East Outlook: Only Week 1 but Redskins tied at the top, Cowboys and Giants struggle

JP Finlay
NBC Sports Washington

Sure, it's only Week 1, but for at least this short period of time the Redskins are landing at the top of the NFC East. That never happened in 2017.

Washington and Philadelphia won their season openers, while the Giants and the Cowboys took losses to begin the schedule. The records only tell a bit fo the story, so let's dig in.

Philadelphia Eagles (1-0)

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As defending Super Bowl champs, the Eagles got to kick off the NFL season last Thursday with a home game against the Falcons. It wasn't pretty, but the Eagles prevailed 18-12. The game was marred by penalties and ineffective offense, but powered by their defensive line, the Eagles emerged with the win.

Still, the biggest question in Philly remains Carson Wentz's return. Nick Foles had a remarkable playoff run in 2017 but didn't look particularly sharp last week. Some reports say Wentz could be out a few more weeks, and with Foles at the helm, the Eagles can be beat. Next: Sept. 16th @ Tampa Bay

Washington Redskins (1-0)

The Redskins played the best game of any team in the NFC East in Week 1. Washington's 24-6 demolition of Arizona, in Arizona, also marked the only road win logged in the division. The 'Skins proved capable of running the ball and stopping the run, two very valuable techniques to win football games late in the year, especially in a run-heavy division.

Washington will need to pile up wins early for the rest of the NFL to take the Burgundy and Gold seriously, but the talent is there, assuming the team can stay healthy. 

Next: Sept. 16th vs. Indianapolis 

Dallas Cowboys (0-1)

The Cowboys offense looked stagnant in a road loss at Carolina. Dallas only scored eight points, and QB Dak Prescott passed for just 170 yards. Ezekiel Elliott showed some burst, with 15 rushes for 69 yards and a TD, but the lack of receiving options could be a real problem in Big D.

As usually happens in Dallas, the Cowboys only needed one week for drama. Dez Bryant trolled his former team on Twitter during their lackluster Week 1 loss and fans are screaming about the offensive playcalling. Dallas needs a win and needs to run the ball more, or things could get ugly quick. 

Next:Sept. 16th vs New York Giants (Sunday Night Football)

New York Giants (0-1)

Big Blue lost their opener, at home, to the Jacksonville Jaguars. The stars played well; Odell Beckham had more than 100 receiving yards and rookie Saquon Barkley broke free for a long TD run. The Giants really didn't play bad, yet they still lost to Blake Bortles and the Jags.

Bortles only threw for 168 yards and Jacksonville RB Leonard Fournette injured his hamstring in the first half. New York lost because of an Eli Manning turnover, and strong defense from the Jags. Here's the reality: Sunday night's contest between the Giants and the Cowboys is a de facto playoff game. The loser of that game is highly unlikely to sniff the postseason after starting 0-2. 

Next: Sept. 16th @ Dallas Cowboys (Sunday Night Football)


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