Here is the AFC North installment of an eight-part series sharing five predictions for each division in the NFL.
Chase Young will win Defensive Rookie of the Year
The No. 2 overall pick from Ohio State will live up to the hype. For a Redskins defense that struggled a season ago, they have a new defensive-minded head coach in Ron Rivera. Opposing offensive lines will struggle to keep Young out of the backfield and off of their quarterbacks.
Seeing red in Big D
A quarterback controversy in Dallas? Perhaps the biggest under-the-radar free agent signing will prove to be the Dallas Cowboys inking veteran signal-caller Andy Dalton after he was released by the Cincinnati Bengals. Given another opportunity behind a strong Cowboys offensive line with top receiving weapons at his disposal, Dalton will return to his Pro Bowl form. Dak Prescott will feel Dalton breathing down his neck come Day 1 of camp.
Barkley and Jones put up impressive numbers
Now that Giants legend and two-time Super Bowl Champion Eli Manning has retired, this team is officially Daniel Jones’s. Jones took his lumps last season, but he showed resilience and major upside. With a healthy Saquon Barkley, Big Blue fans and the league are in for a big season for this duo.
Wentz and the Eagles in the basement
Comparatively speaking, the Philadelphia Eagles have done the least in terms of addressing the gaping holes, mainly a receiving core that was decimated by injuries, from last season. Carson Wentz, like many quarterbacks, will struggle without reliable players to catch the ball.
Cowboys win the division
Andy Dalton will pull a Ryan Tannehill of a season ago. After a rough start to the season, the rumblings in Dallas will get the better of Jerry Jones and head coach Mike McCarthy, who will replace Prescott with Andy Dalton. And just like Tannehill last season, Dalton will save their season. He will lead the Cowboys to the NFC East crown despite the Giants, Eagles and Redskins remaining in playoff contention heading into December.