Commentary

Plugging the Holes: NFC East

Important offseason questions about the Cowboys, Giants, Eagles and Redskins

Originally Published: February 14, 2011
By Bill Barnwell | Football Outsiders
Tom Coughlin, Matt DodgeAlan Maglaque/US PresswireMatt Dodge helped Tom Coughlin's Giants complete yet another second-half collapse last season.

Last Wednesday, Football Outsiders began its Plugging the Holes series, in which it will target the offseason issues facing each team in the NFL by division. Aaron Schatz continues with the NFC East.

In this edition, Outsiders looks at the Cowboys' CB situation, the Giants' problems with second-half collapses and the Eagles' and Redskins' QB dilemmas.


Dallas Cowboys: Is it time to move on from Terence Newman?

ESPN Insider draft experts Mel Kiper and Todd McShay don't often agree, but their first mock drafts of the year concurred on one topic: The Cowboys should draft Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara with the ninth overall pick. With Mike Jenkins a year removed from the Pro Bowl, it's very clear who Amukamara would replace in the lineup: veteran corner Newman, who was the most expensive starter in a pass defense that ranked 28th in DVOA last season.

Newman's numbers in 2010 weren't pretty. Among the 68 defensive backs with 50 targets or more, he was 63rd in yards per attempt (9.1) and 61st in Success Rate (43 percent). There is one complicating factor, though. Newman played through most of the season with an extremely debilitating rib injury, suffered during the same Week 7 loss to the Giants that produced Tony Romo's broken collarbone. Before he suffered the injury, Newman averaged 7.1 yards per attempt and had a 58 percent Success Rate on 26 targets; afterward, he was a different player, allowing 10.0 yards per attempt with a 37 percent Success Rate.

Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) is a staff writer for Grantland.