The Philadelphia Eagles are the Super Bowl Champions, so clearly there is a target on their back.

The Giants think they can make another run with Eli Manning at the helm (and as long as they are supported by a sturdy ground game).

Washington was riding high, until their newest potential star tore an ACL.

And then there are the Cowboys… At FA Nation there are A LOT of Cowboys fans, so I’ll skip the commentary and let the stats speak for themselves.

Here are the stats that you need to know about the NFC East:


The Dallas Cowboys were founded in 1960 by Clint Murchison Jr. Murchison wanted a team for years, but the owner of the Washington Redskins, George Preston Marshall, continuously blocked him. In a power move, Murchison bought the rights to the Redskins’ fight song, and used it as a bargaining chip. It worked.

Dak Prescott ’s completion percentage dropped by five points between his rookie (67.8 percent) and sophomore season (62.9). He also went from four interceptions on the season, to 13. Eli Manning has thrown at least 13 interceptions in every season since 2009.

Ezekiel Elliott only played in 10 games last year, but he still finished in the top-10 among running backs in carries, red-zone touches and touchdowns.

Rod Smith and rookie Bo Scarbrough are the likely two and three.

The Cowboys are hyping Tavon Austin and many fantasy platforms will let you play him at running back. Austin has been in the league for five years, has never put up more than 509 receiving yards or 434 rushing yards. But he did score nine total touchdowns in 2015, five in the air and four on the ground.

Without Dez Bryant in the mix, there is much debate about the Cowboys depth chart. The Cowboys haven’t had a 1,000-yard receiver since 2014. There are 219 targets available after the departure of Dez Bryant and Jason Witten .

Terrance Williams was dealing with a foot injury at the beginning of camp, but he did play in the second preseason game as a starter, caught two passes for 16 yards and a touchdown. Over his five-year career, he’s averaged 46 catches, 671.8 yards, and 4 touchdowns per year. Last year he scored zero touchdowns.

Allen Hurns has been limited at training camp with a groin injury. His best year was in 2015 when he played opposite Allen Robinson and caught 64 passes for 1,031 yards and 10 touchdowns. In the last two years, he hasn’t played in more than 11 games, put up more than 484 yards or score more than three touchdowns.

Rookie Michael Gallup was known for separation at Colorado State. His strong play in the two first preseason games and throughout camp makes him the lead candidate for a breakout season, in my opinion. In his first preseason game, he caught a 30-yard touchdown pass. In his second, he caught two passes for 16 yards, one of which was an eight yard catch for a first down on the Dak Prescott led touchdown drive.

Cole Beasley is also dealing with a groin injury. 2016 was a breakout season for him, with 75 catches for 833 yards and five touchdowns. 2017 was a step back, with 36 catches for 314 yards and four touchdowns.

The Cowboys also quietly brought in Deonte Thompson . Thompson caught 43.8 percent of his targets at 20-plus yards downfield. That was tied with Keelan Cole and Nelson Agholor for the 12th best catch rate on deep passes.

The Athletic’s Calvin Watkins wrote that there is no clear No. 1 tight end on the team. In could be Blake Jarwin , or it could be Dalton Schultz or Geoff Swaim . There are no stats to backup any choice.


The New York Giants were founded by Tim Mara with an investment of $500 in 1925. The average cost per square foot for residential real estate in Manhattan currently sits at $1,458. That’s down from $1,773 just a year ago.

Last year Eli Manning could only muster 3,468 passing yards, 19 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions. But it was only two years ago when he put up 4,436 yards, 35 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions. Manning was under pressure on 117 of his dropbacks, 17th most in the league. Russell Wilson was under pressure the most at 271 dropbacks. Manning was sacked 31 times, the 15th most. Jacoby Brissett had the dubious honor of getting sacked the most last year, and that was 52 times.

The NY Giants opted out of the top quarterback prospects this year at the NFL Draft, but they did get Kyle Lauletta from Richmond in the fourth-round. He’s making his case to be the No. 2 guy instead of Davis Webb . But Eli Manning hadn’t missed a game since 2005 until Ben McAdoo decided to YOLO and bench him.

At the No. 2 spot in the NFL Draft this year, the Giants selected Saquon Barkley . During his time at Penn State, he broke numerous records:

  • Most career rushing touchdowns – 43
  • Most rushing yards by a freshman – 1,076 yards
  • Most rushing yards by a sophomore – 1,496 yards
  • Most total yards in a single game – 358 yards
  • First player to score a return and passing touchdown in the same game

Barkley’s handcuff is Jonathan Stewart , although Wayne Gallman is performing better in the preseason. A 2017 fourth-round draft pick, Gallman scored both a rushing and a receiving touchdown during the team’s second preseason game.

Odell Beckham sat out Week 1 of last year with a sprained ankle. Then he came back for four games and was on pace for 93.75 catches, 1,132.5 yards, and 11.25 touchdowns in 15 games. Over the first three years of his career, Beckham averaged 96 catches, 1,374 yards, and 11.66 touchdowns per season.

On a per game basis, Sterling Shepard improved all his primary stat lines, minus touchdowns, during his sophomore season. He went from 4.1 to 5.4 catches per game. He went from 42.7 to 66.5 yards per game. He went from 10.5 to 12.4 yards per reception. But he dipped from eight touchdowns his rookie year to only two in 2017.

The other receivers likely to make the team are Cody Latimer , Roger Lewis , Hunter Sharp , and Russell Shepard .

Even though Evan Engram had to sit out Week 17, he put up the best rookie season at the position in over 15 years. He caught 64 passes for 722 yards and six touchdowns. Prior to Engram, was the most production in terms of catches and yardage (55 catches, 627 yards). Mike Ditka still has the best rookie season on record, when he posted 1,076 yards in 1961.


The first Philadelphia football team was the Frankford Yellow Jackets. They were around from 1924 until 1931. In 1933, league veteran Lud Wray and businessman Bert Bell decided to give football another go. That was the same year of the New Deal. The logo for the New Deal agency was an eagle carrying gear and three bolts of lightning. Wray and Bell were inspired by that image and decided to go with the eagle as a mascot.

In Week 14 of last season, Carson Wentz tore his ACL. In those 13 weeks played he scored 33 passing touchdowns. At the end of the season, that was still good enough to be the second most in the league, just after Russell Wilson (34) and just before Tom Brady (32). However, his adjusted completion percentage was 69.6 percent, 31st among quarterbacks.

Nick Foles was the Super Bowl MVP, but did you know that he also holds his high school’s passing records with over 5,658 yards and 56 touchdowns? Not impressive, until you find out the person who held all the records he broke was Drew Brees .

In his first seven games while playing for the Miami Dolphins, Jay Ajayi averaged 3.4 yards per carry. In his last seven games with the Philadelphia Eagles, he averaged 5.8 yards per carry. During the team’s preseason run, he averaged 4.4 YPC.

Corey Clement touched the ball more than 10 times in only three regular season games during his rookie season after joining the team as an undrafted free agent. He mustered six touchdowns on only 84 total touches. Not known for being a receiver, over the course of the playoffs, Clement caught all four of his targets for 100 yards and a touchdown in the Super Bowl.

Darren Sproles says this is his last year before retiring. This is his fourteenth season.

Rookie Josh Adams from Notre Dame may have gone undrafted, but according to Pro Football Focus, his 5.2 yards after contact was the highest in this year’s draft by almost a full yard. He’s 6*2, 225 pounds, and supposedly impressing everyone.

Alshon Jeffery ’s nine touchdowns tied for the third most in the league, only behind DeAndre Hopkins and Davante Adams . However, 2017 was the first time since 2011 that any fewer than five wide receivers scored double-digit touchdowns in a season.

Nelson Agholor has more receptions (62) than Alshon Jeffery (57). He did that on less targets, 91 to Jeffery’s 113.

Over the off-season, Torrey Smith left the Eagles and Mike Wallace came to town. Only once in Mike Wallace ’s career has he put up less than 748 yards or scored less than four touchdowns. That was in 2015 with the Minnesota Vikings.

Mack Hollins was a fourth-round pick of the 2017 NFL Draft. In his first season, he only caught 16 passes for 226 yards and one touchdown. And he wasn’t targeted in the Super Bowl.

In the last four years, Zach Ertz has at least 702 receiving yards in every season. But he’s never gone over 853 yards. Prior to last year when he scored eight touchdowns, he had never scored more than four.

Last year the Eagles TE2, Trey Burton , scored five touchdowns. Burton left town to become a Bear, so the Eagles drafted Dallas Goedert . Goedert averaged 8.2 yards after the catch in college. He went to South Dakota State. That’s not North Dakota (a la Wentz), but that’s a lot of straight up Dakota for one roster.


The Washington Redskins are one of only two teams in the NFL with an official marching band. The other team is the Ravens.

Alex Smith had a career year in 2017. Not only was it the first time in his 13-year career, but surprisingly led in almost every deep pass (20-plus yard) category. Highest completion percentage (50.9), yards (1,179), and touchdowns (11).

One of Chris Thompson ’s favorite meals is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with syrup, but he first mixes the ingredients together in a bowl before applying the mixture to bread. Despite only playing in 10 games in 2017, Thompson’s 510 receiving yards were the sixth most among running backs, and his four receiving touchdowns were tied for fourth best.

Rookie running back Derrius Guice tore his ACL during the team’s preseason opener. Look for Rob Kelly, Samaje Perine , Kapri Biggs, and Byron Marshall to battle it out for the early down work. So, the stat you’ll need to know is which of these players will see playing time.

In 2016 both Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson put up over 1,000 yards for Washington, but it was Jamison Crowder who led in touchdowns with seven. He struggled with injuries in 2017, but this year he’s the slot receiver in an Alex Smith led offense.

At TCU, Josh Doctson put up over 1,000 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns in each of his last two seasons. His 2016 season was derailed with an Achilles injury, but in 2017 he played in all 16 games. Unfortunately, over the course of the season he only caught 35 passes for 502 yards and six touchdowns, but he did play.

Last year Paul Richardson caught 44 passes for 703 yards and six touchdowns. 8 of those receptions went for 20-plus yards downfield. On those catches, he put up 296 yards and three touchdowns.

Seventh round pick, Trey Quinn , continues to impress at practice. So far over preseason he’s caught three of his five targets for 36 yards. However, undrafted Cam Sims is making his case for the roster, leading the team this preseason with five catches off eight targets for 131 yards. Maurice Harris is the only receiver with a touchdown so far.

Jordan Reed missed 28 games over the last five years. Reed entered camp after a month of not being able to run, so he’s admittedly catching up with the team in terms of conditioning. He has a toe injury. He also got sick. Over the course of his career, he’s averaged 5.3 catches, 54.1 yards and 0.4 touchdowns per game. That’s about 13.6 PPR fantasy points per game.

In 2017, Vernon Davis averaged 15.1 yards per reception, the second most of any tight end with more than 40 catches. First on that list was Rob Gronkowski . In 2016, Vernon Davis averaged 13.2 yards per reception, third most among tight ends with more than 40 receptions. The only players with more were Jimmy Graham and Greg Olsen (Gronkowski led the league with 21.6 YPR but he only caught 25 passes).