Today's question: The New York Giants are 0-4 against the Dallas Cowboys the past two years and 1-3 against the Philadelphia Eagles. Is New York still viewed as a major rival within the NFC East or a threat to win the division?
Todd Archer, Dallas Cowboys: To the Cowboys' veterans -- which basically means Tony Romo and Jason Witten now -- the Giants were always the biggest rival because they knocked Dallas out in 2007 and 2011. What makes the NFC East so great is that the rivalries have an ebb and flow. Now I would say the Eagles are the Cowboys’ top rival, at least to the players. To the fans, I think it is the Washington Redskins and will remain the Redskins. From far on the outside, I always think it is dangerous to count out Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning. Yes, things haven’t gone the way they had hoped recently, but I can’t dismiss how Coughlin puts his teams in position to be in position. That doesn’t mean they always win, clearly, but they will be a tough out. I put the Giants and Eagles right behind the Cowboys as a threat to win the division, and I do it mostly because of Coughlin.
Phil Sheridan, Philadelphia Eagles: Absolutely, in my opinion. The Giants have the two most recent Super Bowl titles in the NFC East. Heck, all of their Super Bowl championships are more recent than the Eagles’ last championship in 1960. So yes, aside from the two games a year and the proximity, there is plenty of reason for the Eagles to respect Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning.
But I also think there was a sense the Giants were on the upswing last season. Odell Beckham Jr. seemed to give the Giants' offense a lot of energy. He caught 12 passes in that season-ending game against the Eagles. And Victor Cruz, who got hurt against the Eagles earlier in the season, could be back. It really feels as if that could be one of the more dangerous offenses in the NFL. Considering the Eagles’ troubles defending the pass the past two years, they will have their work cut out for them against the Giants. That’s what rivalries are all about.
John Keim, Washington Redskins: Any time you have Tom Coughlin as the coach and Eli Manning as the quarterback, they have to be viewed as having a chance. But that depends on whether Manning is having one of those years or, well, another one of those years. The good Eli or bad Eli syndrome. But as of right now, it still seems this division will come down to Dallas and Philadelphia. A big problem is New York’s defense. The Giants have finished under .500 each of the past two seasons, and in that time their defense finished 21st in total yards and 22nd in points. The defense has to get better if the Giants want to contend again.