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2016 NFL Forecast : NFC East

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Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Washington won the NFC East in 2015 with a 9-7 record. They earned a playoff bid without beating any teams who finished with a winning record, and were promptly eliminated in the wildcard round.  Since 2008, each team has won the division exactly twice and no team has repeated as division champions.

This division is the most wide-open of any in the NFL. Each team has some quality pieces on each side of the ball, but none appear to have a cohesive team that can go deep in the playoffs. Naturally, predictions were diverse...

First Place : Dallas Cowboys

I think last year was an aberration and this Cowboys team returns to its 2014 form. The 2014 team was one bad call away from going to the NFC Championship game (Yes, Dez caught the ball.) Tony Romo is banged up, but he returns to a strong offensive line and will get a running game in the form of 1st round pick Ezekiel Elliott. To go along with a healthy Dez Bryant, the offense brings back Terrence Williams and future Hall of Famer, Jason Witten. The defense will have a tough start to the year with the suspensions of Randy Gregory and Demarcus Lawerence. When these pass rushers return along with Orlando Scandrick, the defense will help the Cowboys to recapture the NFC East title. - Evan Mazza

The Cowboys will get back to their playoff formula of running the rock behind their monstrous offensive line. The health of Tony Romo is in question, as usual. If Romo can stay upright, the Cowboys should be able to win a weak division. - Jacob Louque

Their offense is better than the Redskins, but the defense is suspect. The Cowboys drafted multiple defensive studs, but they just aren't ready to be big contributors in their first year. The game changer is second round pick Jaylon Smith who, if healthy, was the best player in the draft. Smith, however is projected to miss the entire season with a gruesome knee injury. With or without Smith, the secondary isn't anything to rave about. The offense is very dangerous. With Ezekiel Elliott running and Tony Romo throwing to Dez, the Cowboys may lead the league in total offense. The defense will keep them back of the 'Skins in a very close title race. - Matt Cohen

Second Place : Washington Redskins

It's been a while since any team repeated as NFC East champs, but I think this is finally the year. The addition of Josh Doctson makes this passing game dangerous, assuming Kirk Cousins can keep his level of play up from last year. The biggest addition is Josh Norman, who turns a decent secondary, previously led by Bashaud Breeland, into a great one. The Redskins already had great linebackers, including Ryan Kerrigan, and added another great one in Su'a Cravens. The only flaw is the running game. - Matt Cohen

There's a lot to like on offense here, but quarterback Kirk Cousins has yet to prove himself against legitimate competition. Slapping the franchise tag on him was a savvy move by GM Scot McCloughan, and 2016 will be the real litmus test for his true contract worth. - Jacob Louque

Maybe its just me, but I'm not as high on the Redskins as many others are going into 2016. Just like Dallas, I feel that last year was an anomaly and they will take a step back this year. Getting Josh Norman was huge for their defense as he will defend Dez Bryant and Odell Beckham twice each in what will surely be big divisional matchups. Also on the defense, Preston Smith is someone to watch out for as he buids off a strong rookie campaign, sacking the quarterback eight times. Offensively, tight end Jordan Reed is a star in the making, Pierre Garcon, DeSean Jackson, and rookie Josh Doctson will make a deadly receiving core. My concern is the offensive line, the lack of a running attack and the fact that quarterback Kirk Cousins might be just a one-year wonder. He could fall back down to earth as he and the Redskins face a tougher schedule. I'm just not on the Kirk Cousins train. - Evan Mazza

Third Place : New York Giants

You saw it here first - the Giants will win the division under new head coach Ben McAdoo. Rookie receiver Sterling Shepard will thrive across from superstar Odell Beckham. The defensive line should be ferocious with Pierre-Paul, Jon Hankins, Damon Harrison and Olivier Vernon putting cornerbacks Rodgers-Cromartie, Janoris Jenkins and Eli Apple in position to snag interceptions. Steady Eli Manning will guide the G-Men to their first playoff appearance in five seasons. - Vasilis Lericos

This team spent an astronomical amount of money to try and become a real threat within this division, and new head coach Ben McAdoo better hope it pays off in his first season. I don't personally see it, as overspending too often proves to be a desperation tactic that isn't how a championship team is truly built. - Jacob Louque

If the Cowboys don't lead the league in total offense, then the Giants would be a good bet to. The duo of Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard could be unstoppable. The offense is held back by a lack of a running game, rookie Paul Perkins is already the best running back on the roster. The addition of Olivier Vernon helps, but the loss of Prince Amukamara hurts. Like last year, this team is probably going to lose a lot of close, high scoring games. - Matt Cohen

Fourth Place : Philadelphia Eagles

Just like in the Big Apple, its a new beginning in the city of Brotherly Love, as the team fired head coach Chip Kelly and hired Doug Pederson to lead the charge. To help the defense, the team signed Rodney McLeod and Leodis McKelvin to help the secondary and to give assistance to the newly paid Fletcher Cox as the Eagles switch to a 4-3 defense for new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. The team has talent on offense with Jordan Matthews, Zach Ertz, and Darren Sproles but the team will have to wait on the quarterback position as the 2nd overall pick in the 2016 draft, Carson Wentz, will sit and watch as Sam Bradford mans the position again. This season is about hanging in there until Wentz is ready to become the teams first true franchise quarterback since Donovan McNabb. - Evan Mazza

The Eagles have a solid OL and a couple playmakers between Matthews and Ertz, but no competent QB to get them the ball. The defense is strong up the middle with Cox, linebacker Jordan Hicks and safety Malcolm Jenkins.  They need another offseason to recover from the Chip Kelly experiment. - Vasilis Lericos