New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur said that he believes his football team has a chance to be the best in their division. He also made it clear that they will not and should not compete with Dallas Cowboys for NFC East supremacy, but instead hope to beat them on occasion.

The “nfc east” is a division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League. The Cowboys have won this division for over 20 years, but the question remains if there will be a change in the near future.

Can the Commanders Compete With the Cowboys in the NFC East?

Make no mistake: the Washington Commanders acquired Carson Wentz in order to compete in the NFC East against the Dallas Cowboys.

Washington is taking a shot at the defending NFC East champions after rebranding and focusing on the future rather of an often humiliating past. They’re doing it by fortifying the most essential position on the field: quarterback.

Will Wentz, on the other hand, be Washington’s missing piece in 2022?

With Taylor Heinicke, Washington was at least competitive last season.

One thing to say about Taylor Heinicke: He was never seen as a potential quarterback, but what he’s accomplished, from where he came to demonstrating he can start all season, has been extraordinary. Flawed? Yes, of course. Competed. It has the potential to be a high-quality backup. In any case, he’ll be a good fit in the room, which is crucial.

— John Keim (@john_keim) March 10, 2022

Last season, the Commanders, then known as the Washington Football club, had to have felt near.

Washington was more competitive than it should have been despite having Taylor Heinicke as quarterback, ending with a 7-10 record.

They won 2-0 against the New York Giants after playing difficult games against the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys. Washington was a difficult out, even though they were just 2-4 in the division.

In Week 16, the soon-to-be Commanders had a 20-16 lead against the Eagles until a fourth-quarter collapse cost them the game. Washington came back from a 27-8 third-quarter hole in the first meeting against the Cowboys to give Dallas a fright. The Cowboys eventually won 27-20, but Washington made it extremely interesting with a pick-six by Dak Prescott with 4:13 remaining.

Washington was feisty in the end, but it lacked the necessary firepower. Injuries were at blame for a lot of it. Some of it was due to the fact that, although the tale was fantastic, the team stole the identity of its quarterback.

Heinicke put in a lot of effort, but he wasn’t good enough up the end. He threw for 3,419 yards and 20 touchdowns while also throwing 15 interceptions.

Carson Wentz is a huge step forward for Washington.

Carson Wentz, now with the Washington Commanders

Carson Wentz, now with the Washington Commanders The Indianapolis Colts’ Carson Wentz #2 warms up before their game against the San Francisco 49ers | Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Wentz may no longer be the MVP-caliber quarterback he once was with the Eagles, but he showed in 2021 that with the correct system in place around him, he can still be an above-average starter.

Wentz has been plagued by injuries throughout his career, but he appeared in all 17 games for Indianapolis last season. He threw for 3,563 yards, 27 touchdowns, and just seven interceptions on 62.4 percent of his throws.

The Colts struggled towards the conclusion of the season, putting a damper on Wentz’s otherwise successful season. In terms of touchdowns and passer rating, he was tenth among all quarterbacks (54.7).

He wasn’t flawless by any means. He threw two interceptions in two of the three games in which he threw three touchdown passes. He had a sluggish 209.6 yard per game average (27th in the league) and almost vanished in the last two games of the season. Indianapolis was eliminated from the postseason race after two defeats, including an inexcusable loss on the road to the two-win Jacksonville Jaguars. Wentz couldn’t even guide the Colts over the lowly Jaguars in a win-or-go-home scenario.

That was the problem, and it was serious. Particularly towards the end.

Wentz, on the other hand, had some redeeming qualities, which is presumably why Washington made the deal. What good are two third-round selections and a second if you don’t have a quarterback capable of winning postseason games? Heinicke was not such kind of person.

The good was exceptional, and Wentz shown that he still possesses glimpses of the quarterback he once was. Sure, he’ll never be that quarterback again, but he’s unquestionably an improvement than Heinicke, and that’s exactly what Washington needed to get over the hump in a quarterback-centric league.

Wentz can assist Washington in winning the NFC East, but he won’t be able to accomplish it alone.

Carson Wentz and Dak Prescott

Carson Wentz and Dak Prescott After the Dallas Cowboys defeated the Philadelphia Eagles, Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys meets Carson Wentz #11 of the Philadelphia Eagles at midfield | Getty Images/Tom Pennington

When everything is said and done, the arrival of Wentz will not be enough to catapult Washington over the Cowboys, and the Eagles will have a say in the NFC East as well.

At the very least, the Commanders now have a chance.

Last season, Heinicke went 18-of-47 for two touchdowns and three interceptions in two games versus Dallas. That’s not to suggest Wentz will be able to perform much better against the Cowboys in 2022, considering Micah Parsons and Trevon Diggs will still be lurking on what should be a formidable Dallas defense, but Wentz does know his way around the NFC East.

He’s also more suited than Heinicke to use the weaponry available to him. Terry McLaurin could have a nice season in 2022 if he can stay healthy, since Wentz has a thing for quick wideouts. Having a threat like Carson Wentz at quarterback should make things simpler for Antonio Gibson since defenses will have to respect the pass a little more. Gibson ran for 1,037 yards and seven touchdowns in 2021, even with Heinicke as quarterback. It’s possible that his third NFL season will be his finest ever.

However, on the defensive side of the ball, Washington’s greatest chance of passing the Cowboys in the division comes on defense. The good news for Ron Rivera’s team is that the defense will almost certainly improve.

Due to a torn ACL, Chase Young only participated in nine games last season. Due to injuries, Montez Sweat only appeared in 10 games. Having those two back for the whole season would be a huge boost for Washington’s defense.

The Commanders also have the 11th overall choice in the 2022 NFL Draft to deal with. That’s a position where they can go all-in on assembling an exceptional defense by selecting the greatest defender available. They may also choose from a deep wide receiver class to provide Wentz with a legitimate No. 1 option.

In the end, Wentz is just the first stage in the renovation process; he’s only a component of what Washington is constructing.

Given the importance of having a true starting quarterback in today’s NFL, he’s perhaps the most critical component. Nonetheless, his arrival, along with a resurgent defense and a solid draft, will give Washington a serious danger to the Cowboys and the rest of the NFC East.

ESPN and Pro Football Reference provided the statistics. Spotrac provides contract information.

RELATED: How the Carson Wentz Trade Will Affect the Indianapolis Colts’ NFL Draft Picks in 2022

  • nfc east standings
You May Also Like

Bill Belichick Predicts a ‘Hard Decision’ at Quarterback Despite Naming Cam Newton His Starter

With Tom Brady already out for the season, the New England Patriots…

Ian Rapoport Reports That Bringing Aaron Rodgers Back Is the Green Bay Packers’ Top Offseason Priority, and It Should Be

Aaron Rodgers is one of the most spectacular quarterbacks in NFL history,…

‘They’re Going to Get Beat Down’

The Phoenix Suns are the defending ‘Greatest Show on Court’ champions. They…

Ron Rivera Does Playoff-Caliber Trolling of Rival NFC East Coach Jason Garrett a Month Before the NFL Season Starts

Ron Rivera and Jason Garrett have a rivalry for the ages. The…