Remember the Fired-up Fridays? Yeah, we had some fun back in those dark lockout days, didn't we? I remember one time we did a whole post about who had the best wide receivers in the division and I picked the New York Giants (not even aware yet of what Victor Cruz was about to become) and Jeremy Maclin was down there in Philadelphia ripping me on the radio. Ah, memories...
Anyway, I think it's pretty clear that this is no longer a Giants-Eagles debate but rather, like everything else this week, a debate between the Giants and the Dallas Cowboys. With Miles Austin set to return for Dallas after a season-long battle with hamstring problems and Mario Manningham looking as though he'll be back for the Giants, it appears as if Tony Romo and Eli Manning each will have his full complement of receivers when the big divisional showdown kicks off Sunday night in Dallas. So the question is: Whose wide receivers are better? The Giants' Hakeem Nicks, Cruz and Manningham or the Cowboys' Austin, Dez Bryant and Laurent Robinson?
They're two pretty strong groups, especially considering that Cruz ranks among the league leaders in receiving yards this year and Robinson has played at least as well in Austin's absence as Austin was playing just before his most recent injury. Bryant is obviously a huge talent who could end up being the best of either bunch before long. Nicks is an established star who currently ranks as the best, given the sustained success he's had in his first three years in the league and the number of things he does on and off the field to set himself apart. Austin has been a bona fide No. 1 NFL wideout in the past, and while he hasn't looked his old superstar self the past two years, the ability is there. Manningham has become almost an afterthought in New York due to the emergence of Cruz, but you'd better believe opposing defenses aren't forgetting he's there.
The strength of each team's receiving corps, coupled with the relative weakness of each team's secondary, makes me believe we will get to see a lot of these guys performing at a high level Sunday night. And you wouldn't be upset if you got stuck with either threesome on your team. But since we have to pick, I'm sticking with the same pick I made this summer. I think the Giants, led by Nicks and the emerging Cruz, and given the injury problems the Cowboys' top guys have had this year, currently have the best group of wide receivers in the NFC East.
Of course, what I really want to know is what you think. So let me hear it and I'll check the comments to see what kind of feedback you have to offer. What was that we used to say back in the spring and summer when we did this all the time? Oh yeah.