‘Skins scoop: Longtime ESPN NFL analyst says NFC East division is a ‘toss up’ in 2019

Posted at 2:11 PM, Jul 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-22 14:11:43-04

Da'Ron Payne #95 of the Washington Redskins sacks Dak Prescott. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)

LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. - No team has repeated as NFC East division champs since the Eagles won three straight division crowns from 2001 to 2004. One high-profile NFL analyst believes the pigskin parity could continue in 2019.

"I think the division is still a toss up," former Cowboys star and longtime ESPN NFL analyst (2005-2019) Darren Woodson told News 3. "Who would've ever thought last year the Redskins would be in the running and lead the division midway through the year? Even with the injuries they had [in 2018], that Redskins defense stepped up and played incredibly well. If their defense steps up again this year, they'll be in the mix again."

Woodson, who is a member of the Cowboys Ring of Honor after playing 12 seasons with Dallas and being a part of three Super Bowl title teams, retired from ESPN earlier this year. While in town for an appearance with Make-A-Wish, News 3 Sports Director Adam Winkler asked Woodson to break down the NFC East division - including the Redskins' outlook.

Make-A-Wish kid Gideon Thompson shows off Darren Woodson's Super Bowl rings

"Are they hurting at the quarterback position? Is there some doubt there? Yes," Woodson noted. "They're young and there are some new guys there. Alex Smith probably won't be starting this season. They're going to be young at that position. But if their defense can play at the level they did last year, they can be right there in the mix again."

"We saw, through injury, what happened to the Philadelphia Eagles last year," Woodson added. "Carson Wentz goes down and it's a totally different team. The Cowboys ended up winning the NFC East and they have a lot of optimism there as well. I like what I'm seeing. I don't know where the Giants fit in all this, but I think it will be at least a two to three team race in this division."

The Redskins last won the NFC East title in 2015. They open their 2019 campaign at the Eagles before hosting the Cowboys week two.