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2012 NFL Team Needs: NFC East

By: Roshan Bhagat

Dallas Cowboys: CB, Interior OL, DL depth, S depth, 3-4 OLB depth, 3-4 ILB depth
The Cowboys are starved for talent and desperately need more consistent play from the secondary if they stand a chance to continue stride for stride with the Eagles and Giants in the division. They're fond of their safeties if they can re-sign Abram Elam, but at corner, Terence Newman appears to be fighting a losing battle with age and may be a cap casualty while Mike Jenkins has been much too up and down in his short career. In the defensive front, the team could use more depth and potential across the board where they could hope to somehow land another impact player through quantity. Offensively, the Cowboys have to improve on the offensive line if the unit is going to reach its potential. Bill Nagy and Kyle Kosier are below average at the guard positions, while center Phil Costa had more than his share of struggles. As the young unit comes together there should be some internal improvement, but the talent level will have to be addressed at some point. Besides the talent in the middle of the line and depth at tackle, the Cowboys roster seems strong on that side of the ball. Laurent Robinson's breakout season and contributions in Dallas will probably be short-lived due to those ahead of him on the depth chart, so receiver is another potential area where the Cowboys may be looking at this offseason.

New York Giants: OL, MLB, DL depth, CB Depth, WR depth, TE depth
With expiring contracts up and down the depths of their roster, the Giants will spend the majority of the offseason trying to re-sign their own and ensuring they have back-ups capable of starting if their fallen players from 2011 can't be nursed to full health in time. But all things considered, if they're looking at the unit that needs to improve the most headed into next year, it's the offensive line. The group is old and underperformed in both the pass protection and in the run game. Typically age and declining performance tends to lend itself to young replacements being brought in. Elsewhere on offense both the receiving corps and the tight ends groups may be hit hard. The receivers may lose Mario Manningham and Devin Thomas to free agency, which would open up a minor need. At tight end, both Jake Ballard and Travis Beckum underwent late season knee surgeries which will limit them in the upcoming season. On defense, the Giants improved by leaps and bounds in the postseason to lead the team to a Championship. Still, there are ways the unit can improve as a whole over the course of the season. Coming back from the injured reserve, the Giants may sign Jonathan Goff to a low risk contract, but may be even better off with an upgrade. At corner, the return of Terrell Thomas could be a huge lift for the secondary, but the problem lies in trying to re-sign him. Aaron Ross is also a free agent. If the Giants can improve the consistency in this unit, the defense can be a dangerous unit when coupled with the ferocious pass rush. Of course this means keeping this pass rush ferocious in the future, which means planning for potential losses in Osi Umenyiora and Mathias Kiwanuka after this season.

Philadelphia Eagles: MLB, OLB, WR, DT, Interior OL, SS
An offseason after breaking with history and surprising the sports world with one high-profile move after another, the Eagles will probably look to play a smaller role in free agency this year and let the team mature. Of course that's not to say the Eagles will neglect their needs, particularly on defense where it starts in improving the play in the box. At middle linebacker, the current crew won't fit with the team's desire to be elite defensively. If their pass defense is to improve, they also need better production and consistency at strongside linebacker. Further, at defensive tackle, Trevor Laws and Derek Landri are set to become free agents. Cullen Jenkins was an underrated pick-up last year with how he freed up the ends to get after the quarterback, but he's most explosive when played in a rotation. At strong safety, Kurt Coleman was the weak link in the secondary and second-round pick Jaiquawn Jarrett struggled to even challenge him for playing time. It's a position that may depend upon an internal improvement, but the right opportunity to could push for external help. On offense, the Eagles could improve up front, particularly in the middle. If they could find a strong right tackle, they could kick Todd Herremans back inside, but otherwise help inside will do. Of course they're young there so internal improvement may also be relied upon at these positions. Finally, at wide receiver, the Eagles will need to run through their options with DeSean Jackson and make decisions at the position surrounding that. At a minimum, depth seems likely to be pursued.

Washington Redskins: QB, WR, RT, DB, Interior OL, DL, 3-4 ILB
he Redskins absolutely cannot go another offseason without addressing the quarterback situation and with a number of viable options available, they have chosen to mortgage their future on Robert Griffin, If they plan to give him all the tools he needs to be successful, the offense will need more help, but with resources now limited, the Redskins will have to be diligent in how they go about doing so. At wide receiver, the unit lacks explosiveness and a focus. They have several complementary pieces in place if they're all bumped down a peg, starting with Santana Moss to a #2 and down the ranks. On the offensive line, there's plenty of room for improvement beginning at right tackle. Jammal Brown has no guaranteed money left on his contract and will be a candidate to be released if health doesn't soon return to him. The middle of the line features players that are neither exciting nor great. With a defense that features a great pass rushing tandem, the quickest road to success would be getting an explosive offense that can put teams in a hole early, but that seems a few years out. Improving the defense should continue with improvements in the secondary. LaRon Landry is set to be a free agent and not expected back, which opens a sizeable void at strong safety. At corner, they could stand to get better and deeper. In the front seven, Adam Carriker and Kedric Golston are free agents, which could leave some holes at defensive end. At inside linebacker they have 3 free agents, including their leader London Fletcher who will be 37 by next year anyway.

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