NFC East Odds: Cowboys Favored
Thanks to an injury-marred season, the Dallas Cowboys finished in the basement of the NFC East last year. Now they're favored to win the division.
According to oddsmakers from online sports book Bovada.lv, the Cowboys have +175 odds to win the NFC East for the upcoming 2016-17 NFL season. Dallas drew headlines back in April when it selected Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott, who is a Rookie of the Year candidate playing behind the Cowboys' stout offensive line.
But the team's fate will be tied to the health of QB Tony Romo, who missed all but four games in 2015 after suffering a broken left collarbone in a victory over the Eagles in Week 2. After returning in Week 11 to lead the Cowboys to a win over the Dolphins, Romo injured the same shoulder the following week in a Thanksgiving Day loss to the Panthers. That officially ended his season.
The Cowboys need Romo to stay healthy so Elliott, Dez Bryant and Jason Witten will thrive. The defense is also a major question mark for the team thanks to the suspensions of Randy Gregory and Demarcus Lawrence. Without Gregory and Lawrence, a lack of pass rush on defense could damper Dallas' chances to have a rebound season.
The rival with the next-best odds to win the NFC East is the Giants, who has +250 odds to win the division next season. New York invested cap space this offseason by bringing in pass-rusher Olivier Vernon from Miami and cornerback Janoris Jenkins from St. Louis/L.A. With Vernon can restore a dormant pass-rush and Jenkins solidifies the secondary, the Giants have more than enough offense thanks to Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr. and running back Rashad Jennings to challenge for the division crown.
As for the team that actually won the division a year ago, the Redskins are +300 to win the NFC East this season. Washington returns the same core - Kirk Cousins, DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon and Jordan Reed - that won nine games a year ago, plus added another playmaker in TCU receiver Josh Doctson via the draft. The biggest acquisition this offseason was cornerback Josh Norman, who was one of the league's best at the position the last two years. He should dramatically improve a defense that ranked 21st in defensive efficiency a year ago according to Football Ousiders.
Finally, the Eagles have the longest odds to win the NFC East at +400. They're in the midst of a rebuild after Chip Kelly was fired and replaced by Doug Pederson. The team selected Carson Wentz with the second overall pick in this year's draft, but he'll likely sit behind starter Sam Bradford, or at least until Bradford inevitably gets injured. Philly also traded running back DeMarco Murray and cornerback Byron Maxwell, who both struggled mightily after signing big-money contracts under Kelly a year ago. The Eagles have some sporadic talent on both sides of the ball, but it could take a year for Pederson to put his mark on the team and the front office can acquire enough depth to compete.
NFC East Division Odds to Win
Dallas Cowboys +175
New York Giants +250
Washington Redskins +300
Philadelphia Eagles +400