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Rob Weintraub's 2019 All-NFC East Team

Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

Nearly forty percent of every team's schedule is made up of division games. Every coach and player talks about the importance of winning games against division foes. Schemes and personnel are very often tailored to matching up with division opponents. Yet when it comes to naming the best players at season's end, we never classify them by division. Where are the All-Division teams? This has always mystified me. Colleges name All-Conference teams, why not do likewise for the professional ranks?

Well rest easy, I've done it for you, covering the NFC East today. Naturally, this being Football Outsiders, our stats are used to justify selections whenever necessary.

OFFENSE

QB: Dak Prescott, DAL

Ladies and gents, the top-rated quarterback in passing DYAR of 2019 (and sixth in DVOA), currently seen embroiled in a contract dispute in Big D. Dak should march into Jerrah's office, announce he is the Football Outsiders NFC East All-Division quarterback, and await his max deal.

RB: Ezekiel Elliott, DAL
RB: Jordan Howard, PHI

Saquon Barkley was gimpy and not particularly effective when he did play -- most alarmingly, his receiving DYAR plummeted from 86 in his rookie season to -35 this year. Miles Sanders, by contrast, was extremely good as a receiver but poor running the ball, which after all is the main point of the position. So Howard gets the slot.

WR: Amari Cooper, DAL
WR: Terry McLaurin, WAS
WR: Michael Gallup, DAL
TE: Zach Ertz, PHI

Darius Slayton mounted a nice insurgent candidacy for the All-Div squad, but was no match for the top three. The Cowboys' tight end duo of Blake Jarwin and Jason Witten were both slightly better than Ertz in efficiency, but combined had ten fewer targets than the Eagles player, not to mention they got to draft off all the other weapons in Dallas while Julie's husband was pretty much all they had in Philly. Ergo, Ertz.

OT: Tyron Smith, DAL
OT: La'el Collins, DAL
OG: Zack Martin, DAL
OG: Brandon Brooks, PHI
C: Jason Kelce, PHI

While it was great to see Travis Frederick back in action, he wasn't the player Kelce was in 2019. Collins edged out Nate Solder, while Brandon Scherff's injury cost him a solid season and a place on the All-Div team.

DEFENSE

DE: DeMarcus Lawrence, DAL
DE: Brandon Graham, PHI
DT: Matthew Ioannidis, WAS
DT: Fletcher Cox, PHI

Three clear choices, plus the Greek Freak, whose strong pass-rush season bested Maliek Collins, Dalvin Thompson, and Leonard Williams.

OLB: Jaylon Smith, DAL
OLB: Nigel Bradham, PHI
ILB: Jonathan Bostic, WAS
ILB: Sean Lee, DAL

Jaylon was the standout -- the rest of the linebackers didn't scare many offensive coordinators.

CB: Chidobe Awuzie, DAL
CB: Byron Jones, DAL
Slot CB: Avonte Maddox, PHI
S: Xavier Woods, DAL
S: Malcolm Jenkins, PHI

In a division of awful secondaries, the Cowboys' sturdy tackling and sticky coverage stood out, perhaps more than the common perception would indicate.

SPECIAL TEAMS

K: Jake Elliott, PHI
P: Tress Way, WAS
RET: Steven Sims, Jr., WAS

Sims was a top-three kick returner, making him an easy choice. Elliott and Way were a bit tougher but won out in our numbers by slight margins.

Comments

9 comments, Last at 19 Feb 2020, 1:38pm

1 Tress Way

I think he's on Wash. I spent enough time watching him punt to be sure about that.

5 Poor Giants

Not a single Giant on the team. Not good.

6 no Giants

In reply to by pauldemet

yep, not any even close to consideration for my 2019 All-nfl team

7 I know you're having fun, but . . .

Dallas placing three members in the secondary of the all-division team is maybe the best argument against doing these all-division teams. Also, if Jaylon Smith was the standout LB this season, good lord.

And having read through all of these, the second ILB seems really unnecessary. Sean Lee had one great game and a whole lot of something between meh and stank.