New Hires May End Super Droughts In NFC East
The Kansas City Chiefs ended their Super Bowl appearance drought, the one that had reached 50 years before defeating the Tennessee Titans in Sunday’s AFC Championship Game.
There are some teams who aren’t so lucky, and two of them reside in the NFC East.
The Washington Redskins haven’t been to a Super Bowl in 28 years, not since they bested the Detroit Lions in the 1991 NFC title game. That is the longest time between Super Bowl appearances not just in the division, but in the entire conference.
The Dallas Cowboys were last in the Super Bowl in 1995, which is 24 long years ago when they beat the Green Bay Packers in the championship game. That is the third longest infamous streak in the NFL, behind the Cincinnati Bengals (31 years) and Redskins.
The New York Giants last played in the Big Game in 2011 after they beat the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game. That’s a more respectable eight years ago.
The Eagles, of course, went – and won – the Super Bowl following the 2017 season, a span of just two years.
But when the NFC East get back in the Super Bowl? Philadelphia won the division in 2019 with a 9-7 record and was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs at home by Seattle. The Cowboys underachieved at 8-8. The Redskins finished 3-13 and the Giants were not much better at 4-12.
There was a time the Eagles were on the drought list, going from the 1980 season to the 2004 season without an appearance in the Super Bowl. They went through several coaches trying to find the right formula to get back in the game.
The Redskins, Cowboys and Giants have ridden the coaching carousel, too, and are doing it again, with all three giving new head coaches a spin going into the 2020 season. Based on the hires, it appears those three teams could once again be players in the Super Bowl hunt.
Joe Judge is the unknown quantity among the Gang of Three.
The Giants coach is just 38 years old and this is his first head coaching job at any level. He has a handful of championship rings, though, winning three with the Patriots and two with the University of Alabama as an assistant.
He has been building a staff with solid credentials that includes former Cowboys coach Jason Garrett, who will go from roaming the Dallas sidelines the past 10 years to being Judge’s offensive coordinator.
Think what you will of Garrett as a head coach, this should be a terrific hire for a first-time head coach, much the way Eagles defensive coordinator and former Lions head coach Jim Schwartz helped first-time head coach Doug Pederson in 2016.
The Giants have talent on the offensive side but could use an offensive lineman or two. The defense needs to e addressed, and New York certainly will in free agency and the draft.
The new coach in Dallas, Mike McCarthy, has a Super Bowl ring won with the Green Bay Packers, so he knows what it takes
The new coach in Washington, Ron Rivera, took the Carolina Panthers to a Super Bowl, so he, too, knows what it is required.
They are two experienced coaches with pedigree.
Like Judge’s hire of Garrett to be his OC, Rivera’s hiring of Jack Del Rio to be his defensive coordinator will do nothing but make that side of the ball better, especially if the Redskins take Ohio State pass rusher Chase Young with the second overall pick in this spring’s draft.
McCarthy’s decision to retain Kellen Moore, 31, as his offensive coordinator may pay dividends. This will be Moore’s second season in the position, and that may be a benefit to him. He has a good rapport with quarterback Dak Prescott.
The problem in the Cowboys and Redskins organizations, however, is ownership. Jerry Jones loves to get his hands dirty in every decision that comes down the pike in Dallas and Daniel Snyder is as meddlesome as they come in Washington.
If those two owners let their coaches do their jobs, the NFC East could once again become the great division it once was decades ago.