By Peter Brennan
The sports world loves to give out grades.
Maybe that’s because a lot of writers and bloggers are frustrated and wannabe teachers.
So, here’s how the NFC East grades out for this off-season:
The Eagles finally paid up for a cornerback, acquiring ex-Lions Pro Bowler Darius Slay for a package headlined by a third-round pick.
The Birds still carry the onerous contracts for WRs Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson, making the development of first-round pick Jalen Reagor paramount to the Eagles’ 2020 passing attack.
Reagor was inconsistent at TCU but has an impressive speed-strength package.
While the Eagles have two new talents in $13M-per-year defensive tackle Javon Hargrave and second-round quarterback Jalen Hurts, it is worth wondering if each of these investments would have been better used on areas not already fortified.
DALLAS COWBOYS: Mike McCarthy does not profile as an exciting hire, but after Jason Garrett’s latest underachieving season, the ex-Packers coach brings needed change. The Cowboys lost All-Decade center Travis Frederick (retirement) and cornerback Byron Jones (free agency to Miami), but second- and fourth-round picks (Trevon Diggs and Tyler Biadasz) join some veteran additions in stabilizing these respective situations. Dallas’ $20 million-per-year Amari Cooper deal looks more expensive than it truly is and adding CeeDee Lamb gives the team a loaded receiving stable. If the Cowboys cannot extend QB Dak Prescott by July 15, however, their years-long blueprint will be in peril. GRADE: B
NEW YORK GIANTS: Special teams coaches rarely rise to head-coaching positions, and Patriots assistants have a poor track record in these roles. GM Dave Gettleman zagging with Joe Judge is a gamble. The Giants — who ranked 22nd in sacks last season with Markus Golden — have also taken the interesting step to avoid a still-talent-laden edge rusher market, only signing ex-Packer backup Kyler Fackrell and not drafting anyone of consequence at their weakest position. Couple this with Leonard Williams’ franchise tag and DeAndre Baker’s eight felony charges stemming from an alleged armed robbery and it overshadows New York upgrading at corner with James Bradberry and right tackle in No. 4 overall pick Andrew Thomas. GRADE: D-plus
WASHINGTON REDSKINS: Although they still do not have a GM, new head coach Ron Rivera and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio bring more than 20 combined years’ worth of head-coaching experience. That will help a Washington defense that, after the team’s no-brainer selection of star-ceiling defensive end Chase Young at No. 2 overall, has one of the deepest pass-rushing groups in recent NFL history. Justified D-line excitement notwithstanding, the Washington offense features little depth at wide receiver and next to nothing at tight end. This will make second-year quarterback Dwayne Haskins’ development difficult.