Senior NFL Columnist

NFC East

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For those out there picking the New York Giants to take a step back, I bring you the All-NFC East team.

The Giants have 10 players on the team, the most of any the four teams in the division, which speaks volumes since the NFC East is one of the NFL's best divisions.

It starts with quarterback Eli Manning, and both of his receivers, and it includes two more on the defensive line, and that's not counting Justin Tuck or Osi Umenyiora. The Giants can throw it and they can rush the passer.

Who thinks they are taking a step back?

With the Giants and Eagles both playing a 4-3 scheme and the Cowboys and Redskins using 3-4 schemes, I went with a 4-3 look for this team because the Giants are the division champs.

Looking at this team, it's hard to argue that they are the class of the NFC East.

Offense

TE LT LG C RG RT
J. Witten T. Smith E. Mathis D. Baas C. Snee T. Herremans
WR QB WR
V. Cruz E. Manning H. Nicks
RB FB
L. McCoy H. Hynoski

QB -- Eli Manning, Giants: It's not a joke to call him elite anymore. He's that and more.
RB -- LeSean McCoy, Eagles: He can kill you with the run and catching the ball. He's one of the best in the game.
FB -- Henry Hynoski, Giants: He's a powerful blocker who should be even more of a factor as the running game improves.
WR -- Victor Cruz, Giants: Question with him now is can he do it again. I say he does.
WR -- Hakeem Nicks, Giants: He's big, strong and fast and the Giants' No. 1 receiver.
TE -- Jason Witten, Cowboys: He is Tony Romo's security blanket, an effective middle-of-the-field threat.
LT -- Tyron Smith, Cowboys: He is moving from the right side to the left side after playing at a high level as a rookie on the right side. Should be a Pro Bowl fixture for a long time.
LG -- Evan Mathis, Eagles: He bounced around for a few years before settling in and having his best season with the Eagles in 2011.
C -- David Baas, Giants: He missed time last year in his first with the Giants, and it showed. He's a tough run blocker.
RG -- Chris Snee, Giants: Snee, the son-in-law of coach Tom Coughlin, wasn't great early last season but came on late.
RT -- Todd Herremans, Eagles: He made a nice transition to right tackle from guard and gets the spot here at a weak position in the division.

Defense

LE DT DT RE
J. Babin L. Joseph J. Ratliff J. Pierre-Paul
OLB MLB/ILB OLB
B. Orakpo L. Fletcher D. Ware
CB FS SS CB
B. Carr N. Allen K. Phillips N. Asomugha

LE -- Jason Babin, Eagles: He had 18 sacks last season, validating his big contract. He gets the edge over Justin Tuck for this spot.
DT -- Linval Joseph, Giants: He was one of the unsung heroes of the Giants' Super run last season.
DT -- Jay Ratliff, Cowboys: He plays the nose for the Cowboys, but we slot him in as a 4-3 tackle.
RE -- Jason Pierre-Paul, Giants: Watch what he does this year. He is a force and he is still just learning the game.
OLB -- Brian Orakpo, Redskins: He is a 3-4 rush guy, but we slot him in here in the 4-3 as an outside linebacker.
MLB/ILB -- London Fletcher, Redskins: This veteran continues to play at a high level at an advanced age. He was also better in pass coverage in 2011 than in recent years.
OLB -- DeMarcus Ware, Cowboys: There is no better pass rusher in the game than Ware. He can dominate a game.
CB -- Brandon Carr, Cowboys: He will be one of the best free-agent pickups of the year, coming over from Kansas City.
CB -- Nnamdi Asomugha, Eagles: He didn't play as well as hoped last season, often miscast in the defense, but he's still one of the best.
Nickel -- Orlando Scandrick, Cowboys: He could start for a lot of teams, but it's nice to have a cover player this good as a nickel back.
SS -- Kenny Phillips, Giants: He had his best season in 2011 after he was able to finally stay healthy.
FS -- Nate Allen, Eagles: He has to stay on the field, but he has the chance to be a really good player at a weak spot in the division.

Special Teams

KR K P
D. Jackson D. Bailey S. Weatherford

K -- Dan Bailey, Cowboys: He was a pleasant surprise as a rookie last year.
P -- Steve Weatherford, Giants: The Giants made a great move picking up this veteran last year.
KR -- DeSean Jackson, Eagles: He's an explosive punt return man who can change a game quickly.

Honorable mention: Giants DE Justin Tuck; Eagles DE Trent Cole; Eagles WR DeSean Jackson; Cowboys QB Tony Romo; Redskins OLB Ryan Kerrigan.


Pete Prisco has covered the NFL for three decades, including working as a beat reporter in Jacksonville for the Jaguars. He hosted his own radio show for seven years, and is the self-anointed star of CBS Sports' show, Eye on Football. When he's not watching game tape, you can find Pete on Twitter or dreaming of an Arizona State national title in football.
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