The NFL's website has been running several puff pieces during the break between OTAs and training camp. While the articles are all subjective and obviously are meant to engage debate, it is interesting to see what NFL pundits have to say about the Eagles with a new coaching staff in place and the team coming off its worst season in more than a decade. Dave Dameshek hosts a podcast on NFL.com as well as works on their fantasy football and NFL Top 100 countdown shows. During the offseason, Dameshek has been steadfast in producing feature articles on his blog. His latest entry in the "dead season" is a division-by-division Pro Bowl team list.
Dameshek's NFC East team includes six members of the Eagles. The Philadelphia representatives are LeSean McCoy, Jason Peters, Evan Mathis, Todd Herremans, Kenny Phillips and Fletcher Cox. McCoy and Peters are obvious choices for running back and offensive tackle, because when both are healthy, they are among the Top 3-5 players in the league at their respective positions. However, McCoy is coming of an injury-plagued 2012 and Peters didn't play at all last season. Both are due for a bounce-back season.
Mathis is definitely deserving of the Pro Bowl spot at guard, but Herremans is coming off an pretty up-and-down season and is converting back to guard. The NFC East is filled with relatively mediocre interior offensive linemen, so Dameshek likely pick Herremans on reputation. Both Mathis and Herremans have been considered NFL Pro Bowl snubs during their tenures with the Eagles.
Cox is the Eagles lone defensive representative from last year's team and after the way that unit performed, that's pretty understandable. The Mississippi State alum started nine games last season and had 5.5 sacks. He will look to build on his rookie year with a new coaching staff and a hopefully-better secondary giving him time to get to the opposing quarterback.
Speaking of the secondary, Dameshek apparently still thinks Kenny Phillips is a Giant, as his numbers breakdown says only five Eagles players are represented. Phillips has had trouble with injuries throughout his career, but is definitely the most talented safety in the division when healthy. Eagles fans hope Phillips can stay on the field and greatly improve the team's secondary.
Dameshek put four Giants (including Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz) and three Redskins (Ryan Kerrigan, Robert Griffin III and Trent Williams) on the team, but also played the "name game" and picked nine Cowboys (Dez Bryant and Jay Ratliff among them) for the divisional Pro Bowl roster. "A fascinating cupboard of offensive talent, yes ... but the worst secondary of the eight divisions is the team's undoing," said the NFL Host in reference to the team.
Dameshek's assessment of the division somewhat parallels the outlook of Eagles heading into next season. While the Eagles feature plenty of talented offensive players, the defensive side of the ball is a likely work-in-progress.
What do you think of Dameshek's Eagles selections? Do you think nine Cowboys on the team is a bit much, considering they didn't make the playoffs? Is three players for the Skins a bit short-sided, considering they did make the playoffs?