Before I departed for vacation, I spent some time in the mailbag reading your comments about the best NFC East teams of all-time. Here's a sampling of what you guys have been talking about:
Dylan from Newport, R.I., writes: Matt, anyway you could set up a poll of "The Best NFC East Team of All Time"? Let the fans decide whether the '86 Giants could take the '93 Cowboys, etc?
Mosley: I'm not able to set up a poll because I'm currently on vacation, but it's a debate worth having in the "comments" section. I think the Giants had the better defense, but the Triplets gave the Cowboys the upper hand on offense. I'd also like the '60 Eagles and '91 Redskins to throw their hat in the ring. Troy Aikman would've wanted no part of Chuck Bednarik.
Stephen from Pennsylvania sent this via Beast fax: It's hard to pick between the '86 and '90 Giants since they were built from the same blueprint and vary only slightly. I think Hostetler could have won with the '86 Giants, and he could have defeated the Broncos in 21 as he did the Bills in 25. He "grew up" in that system, and the Parcells QB of that era completed high percentage passes which were practiced to a science. I doubt Hostetler would have been 22-of-25 as Simms was, but he could have and would have won the game (SB 21). The 1990 Giants defense more consistently gave up fewer yards than did the 1986 defense, and generally got teams down and sat on them. the '86 team had more explosiveness with the likes of McConkey, so it evens out. Very hard pick!
Mosley: Excellent work, Stephen. Folks within the Giants organization actually tried to convince me to rank the '90 team ahead of the '86 team. I think the fact that a backup such as Hostetler played such a prominent role on a Super Bowl-winning team spoke to how much talent he had around him. And I'm not so sure I agree with you that Hostetler would have gotten the job done for the '86 team.
Steve from East Aurora writes: Best Giants team was the 1956 team. Won championship over Bears, 47-7. Gifford, Webster, Conerly, Brown on offense and the defense may have been one of the best of all time with Huff, Nolan, Grier, Modzlewski, et. al. Defense coached by Tom Landry and offense by Vince Lombardi. Hasn't gotten any better than that! And you don't even give them an honorable mention. Do your homework!
Mosley: Steve, you raise some excellent points. I probably held it against them that the league had about half the teams it does now. It's more of a challenge to win a Super Bowl these days. But did the '56 team deserve honorable mention? You bet it did. Take consolation in the fact that my Giants-fan editor agrees with you.