Pop quiz, hot shot. Which NFL division has the longest active streak without a repeat division champion?
It’s the NFC East! The division hasn’t had a repeat winner since the Philadelphia Eagles‘ four-year run from 2001-04.
So will the Dallas Cowboys repeat in 2022?
Odds for the NFC East squads on FOX Bet (with 2021 regular-season record in parentheses)*
WIN NFC EAST
WIN SUPER BOWL
* = odds as of 8/4/2022
There has not been a repeat division champion since the Eagles did it 15-plus years ago. This is the longest active drought among divisions in the NFL and the longest in league history.
How long has it really been? Eagles starting quarterback Jalen Hurts was 3-years-old in 2001 when Philadelphia started its run of four straight NFC East titles.
Since 2004, Dallas has won the East six times, once more than the Eagles. The Giants have won it four times in that span, one more than the Commanders.
The NFC East has been the most successful division since the 1970 NFL merger. With 21 NFC championships and 13 Super Bowl victories, the NFC East has the highest marks of any division.
With such a competitive division, only three teams have swept the NFC East rivals in a season — the Cowboys in 1998 and 2021 and the Eagles in 2004.
Why Dak Prescott’s Cowboys are in trouble this season | SPEAK FOR YOURSELF
Dak Prescott may be in trouble heading into the season. The Dallas Cowboys not only lost Amari Cooper and Cedric Wilson but will also be without James Washington for 6-10 weeks due to a fractured foot. Michael Gallup is also starting the season on the PUP list. Emmanuel Acho explains why America’s Team is in trouble.
FOX Sports NFL writer Eric Williams and FOX Bet associate trader Steven Hemke have differing views on how the NFC East will play out.
“The lack of a dominant team in the NFC East mirrors the division’s inconsistent play at the most important position on the field — quarterback,” Williams said. “The last team to win the division in back-to-back years was the Eagles, led by a quarterback who received some Hall of Fame consideration in Donovan McNabb.
“Fast-forward to this season, and Dak Prescott is the best quarterback in the division — one of the reasons the Cowboys won the NFC East last season. Dominant football teams need productive, consistent play from the quarterback position, and that’s been lacking in the NFC East.”
Williams’ instincts say the Cowboys end the drought and repeat as the beast in the East.
“With the Cowboys returning Prescott and a pretty good defense led by Micah Parsons and Trevon Diggs, look for Dallas to break that streak this season, winning the NFC East for the second year in a row,” Williams said.
We present Hemke to provide an alternative.
“Even though the Cowboys won the division by three games last year, the Eagles have made major improvements and will look to return to the top of the NFC East standings,” Hemke said. “Meanwhile, the Cowboys lost some key players – G Connor Williams, WR Cedric Wilson, DE Randy Gregory and obviously WR Amari Cooper.
“Pair that with the Cowboys having, at least on paper, the hardest schedule in the division and we should see some regression from this team. We all know the Eagles had a great draft adding Jordan Davis, Cam Jurgens and Nakobe Dean plus trading for A.J. Brown on draft day. They also added some depth players via free agency with CB James Bradberry, WR Zach Pascal and linebackers Kyzir White and Haason Reddick.
“The Eagles won six or their last eight games and look to build on that momentum heading into this season with an improved passing game to go along with the best rushing attack in the league.”
Eagles (+175 at FOX BET) to win NFC East (bet $10 to win $27.50 total)
Eagles (-149 at FOX Bet) to make the playoffs (bet $10 to win $16.71 total)
Eagles (+1300 at FOX Bet) to win NFC championship (bet $10 to win $140 total)
Some NFC East betting nuggets courtesy of FOX Sports Research:
– Team that has paid off nicely for bettors? Washington, which won the division three times with preseason odds of +1000 or higher — 2020 (+2200), 2015 (+3500), 2012 (+1000).
– The only NFC East teams that have not reached the Super Bowl since 1996 are the Cowboys and Commanders.
– Do you like to bet team win totals? The average number of regular-season wins for the NFC East champion since 2001 is 10.9.
Which team are you backing to win the NFC East this season? Head over to FOX Bet and place your bets now!
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