- Associated Press - Thursday, May 7, 2020

The NFL’s worst division has plenty of new kids — and coaches — on the block.

It still might not translate into much more success in 2020.

After combining for only 24 wins last season, the NFC East got three new coaches: Mike McCarthy (Cowboys), Ron Rivera (Redskins) and Joe Judge (Giants).

The division remains a two-team race between Dallas and reigning champion Philadelphia, but rebuilding New York and Washington are improving.

Compared to their East rivals, the Redskins had a relatively easy choice in the draft, taking defensive end Chase Young at No. 2 overall. He joins the team’s three previous first-round picks on the line. Young, Montez Sweat, Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne give Washington a front four that could be one of the league’s best for years. They’ll help keep the team close, but the offense has to catch up.



The Redskins have had more head coaches (seven) than playoff appearances (five) in Daniel Snyder’s two decades of ownership. Counting on Rivera to help them end their run of futility isn’t a big gamble. Rivera spent the past nine seasons coaching the Panthers, and led them to four playoff appearances, including the Super Bowl in 2015. Rivera’s defense is stacked up front. It’s up to QB Dwayne Haskins, assuming he beats out veteran Kyle Allen, to lead the offense.

Washington has some of the lowest expectations in the NFL as the Rivera era begins, including on the betting market. At +15,000, the Redskins have the second-longest odds to win the Super Bowl (ahead of only Jacksonville), according to Caesars Sportsbook, and before the draft they tied for the worst over/under win total in the NFL at just 4.5. An ESPN football analyst released a model after the draft that projected Washington would post the league’s worst record.

While some might be bracing for a long rebuild in Ashburn, Rivera expects the Redskins to become competitive again sooner rather than later.

“I told (owner Dan Snyder) I didn’t want to go through a five-year rebuilding process because quite honestly, I don’t have the patience and from what I read, neither does he,” Rivera said at his introductory press conference. “We understand that. I told him this team has some raw talent. It really truly does. It’s got some quality veteran leadership that can help this team become contenders.”

The Eagles, who edged the Cowboys with a 9-7 record last season, have the most stability.

Coach Doug Pederson enters his fifth season with a Super Bowl victory, two NFC East crowns and three straight playoff appearances on his resume.

Philadelphia added speed in the draft, selecting receiver Jalen Reagor in the first round and John Hightower and Quez Watkins on Day 3. The Eagles addressed a big need once free agency opened by acquiring three-time Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay from Detroit.

“When I look at our football team, when I look at the depth of our football team, and see where we are right now, it’s exciting,” says Howie Roseman, the Eagles’ personnel boss. “We have a good football team, and we can’t wait to get started.”

The Cowboys have the most talented offense in the division following the selection of Oklahoma receiver CeeDee Lamb, who fell to pick No. 17, and re-signing Amari Cooper to a $100 million contract. Dallas lost cornerback Byron Jones in free agency but replaced him with second-round pick Trevon Diggs, a guy many mock drafts had the team taking in the first round.

The Giants, coming off a 4-12 season, beefed up their offensive line in the draft to give Daniel Jones more protection and open bigger holes for Saquon Barkley. They chose tackle Andrew Thomas at No. 4 overall, tackle Matt Peart in the third round, and guard Shane Lemieux in the fifth.

New York upgraded its defense in free agency by signing cornerback James Bradberry and linebacker Blake Martinez, placing a franchise tag on defensive tackle Leonard Williams and an unrestricted free agent tender on edge rusher Markus Golden.

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