Redskins ready to make move

The Redskins and Cowboys may finally have all the pieces in place, but don't overlook the Eagles, writes Gary Horton.

Originally Published: June 21, 2006
By Gary Horton | Scouts Inc.
This could easily be the most competitive division in the NFL in 2006, because there is very little to separate all four teams. The once-dominant Philadelphia Eagles could actually finish fourth in the division. Dallas, Washington, and the New York Giants have all been busy this offseason and upgraded their personnel, while Philadelphia is just trying to get healthy and forget a disastrous 2005 season.

All four teams have veteran head coaches who know how to win. We are likely to see a lot of close games that come down to coaching decisions and in-game adjustments.

Bill Parcells has an excellent young defense in Dallas and a potentially strong running game, but can he protect QB Drew Bledsoe and coexist with WR Terrell Owens? Joe Gibbs has an excellent defense in Washington and a potentially potent and balanced offense, but can aging QB Mark Brunell hold up for a full season?

Philadelphia's Andy Reid has a team with less controversy than a year ago, and the Eagles should be healthier and more balanced on offense. However, they must shore up an aging defense.

In New York, coach Tom Coughlin has an excellent offense, an underrated defense and a revamped secondary, but will young QB Eli Manning shake the mistakes and poor mechanics we saw in the second half of the 2005 season? As competitive as this division is, the most important players in 2006 may be the kickers, who will likely be the difference in a lot of close games.

Gary Horton spent 10 years in the NFL as a scout and another 10 years at the college level as an assistant coach and recruiter. He is the founder and most seasoned member of the Scouts Inc. staff, and his extensive experience at all levels of football make him an excellent talent evaluator.