NFC East All-Preseason Team: The Offense
There may not be an NFL season this year, or it could possibly be delayed.
Undeterred, we here at SI.com EagleMaven are pressing forward with our all-NFC East preseason team over the next two days, starting with the offense then turning to the defense.
There are no second teams. One player at each position is it.
Here we go:
NFC EAST ALL-PRESEASON TEAM
Quarterback: Carson Wentz, Eagles
Controversy right out of the gate.
Dallas fans will certainly perceive this to be a slight to their guy, Dak Prescott, especially when you compare the numbers of the two top QBs in the division.
The belief here, however, is that Wentz has only scratched the surface of the numbers he is capable of putting up, and the older he gets - he’s still just 27 – the more comfortable he appears in taking leadership of the players around him.
He played all 16 games in 2019 and put up 27 touchdowns to just seven interceptions. In 2017 he set the franchise record for most touchdowns in a season with 33 and he didn’t play the final three games. He will break that record this year and threaten 40 TDs.
Running back: Saquon Barkley, Giants
Thankfully, there are two RB spots because this would have been a difficult choice with Ezekiel Elliott here, too. Both running backs are hands-down great. Barkley’s numbers weren’t as juicy as his rookie season, but he struggled with a high-ankle sprain and missed three games.
Like Wentz, Barkley has only scratched the surface of what he can become and is poised for his first All-Pro season.
Running back: Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys
As Elliott goes, so go the Cowboys. He has been the workhorse on this team since his rookie season in 2016 when he was first-team All-Pro. He is a two-time NFL rushing champion, doing it in 2016 and 2018.
That the Eagles have to face both these guys twice a year doesn’t seem fair, though they are fun to watch.
As for the Eagles’ Miles Sanders, he isn’t in this class, yet, but he had the kind of rookie season that could lead to overtaking Barkley or Elliott should one stumble.
Wide receiver: Amari Cooper, Cowboys
Not only is the 26-year-old the very best in the division, but he is arguably in the top 10 of the entire NFL at his position. He had nearly 1,200 yards receiving last year with eight touchdowns, and even with the addition of CeeDee Lamb in the draft and the development of Michael Gallup, who had over 1,100 yards in 2019, Cooper’s numbers don’t figure to decline.
Wide receiver: Terry McLaurin, Washington
A savvy draft pick by Washington getting McLaurin in the third round of the 2019 draft, the 76th player taken overall. He burst onto the scene in the season opener, roasting the Eagles for five catches for 125 and a 69-yard touchdown catch. He would have gone over 1,000 yards had he not missed two games.
As it was, McLaurin ended with 919 yards and seven scores.
Tight end: Zach Ertz, Eagles
There’s nobody even close in the division. Well, maybe Ertz’s backup is, Dallas Goedert.
Left tackle: Tyron Smith, Cowboys
With the Eagles’ Jason Peters out of the equation, for now, and Washington’s Trent Williams moving on to the 49ers, this is a no-brainer. Smith has made the last six Pro Bowls.
Left guard: Will Hernandez, Giants
This guy is going to be in the Pro Bowl one of these days, and maybe it’s this year, which will be his third in the league. Hernandez has started all 32 games since he was taken 34th overall in 2018.
Center: Jason Kelce, Eagles
A decision made easier with the retirement of Dallas’ Travis Frederick. Kelce has been one of the position’s most consistent and best players for nearly a decade now, and he shows no signs of slowing down.
Right guard: Zack Martin, Cowboys
This is a stacked position.
Brandon Brooks would have been in contention here, but the Eagles veteran will miss the season with a torn Achilles. Still not sure had he been healthy he gets the nod here. Then there’s Washington’s Brandon Scherff, another great guard, but not quite on the level as the Cowboys interior lineman.
Martin has been a four-time first-team All-Pro, including each of the past two seasons, and he has been named to the Pro Bowl in each of his six seasons in the league.
Right tackle: Lane Johnson, Eagles
Taken fourth overall in 2013, Johnson may not only be the best right tackle in football but also one of the top five to seven tackles in the game no matter the side.
Kicker: Jake Elliott, Eagles
Two years ago, Giants kicker Aldrick Rosas couldn’t miss. In fact, he only missed once on his field-goal tries. Elliott, though, has been more consistent though that Rosas and slightly more so than Washington’s Dustin Hopkins.
Coming Saturday: All-NFC East first-team defense
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