I was having a discussion/argument with a few neighbors who are Eagle fans, and we were discussing who were the best players to ever play in the NCFE. Of course, I pointed out that the Cowboys would have the best team overall out of all the teams (Philly, NY, Washington, St. Louis), which led to some additional heated, but fun, discussion.
Anyway, here are my picks for the best offensive players who ever laced them up for the NFCE. Some teams are not represented well, but that doesn't mean that they didn't have great players–they simply weren't as good as others on the list.
Criteria used included length of prime years, All-Pro nods, Pro Bowl nods, how the player was actually used, and contributions to team success. There were a few players who has incredible 2-3 year stretches, but couldn't sustain that production.
PB=Pro Bowl, AP=All-Pro, HoF=Hall of Fame (when I decide to include those stats. I didn't for each player).
I may do defense later on down the road. Feel free to disagree and discuss without flames. After all, there are a lot of Eagle fans here, and we should them how civilized people can discuss opinions without resorting to violence.
QB–Roger Staubach. HM: Troy Aikman, Sonny Jurgensen
I can hear the howls now about Troy not being my QB. Okay, I get it, but hear me out. Roger lost four years of playing, as he served in the Navy, including a year of active duty in Vietnam. He made his debut as a 27-year-old rookie. He didn't have the benefit of those years between the ages of 22-26 of prime QB development. But did that stop him? No. He delivered the goods. Was there any better on-field leader during his playing years? He had the IQ, the arm, the legs, and the guts to get it done. He won a whopping 75% of his starts, and even had a better TD/INT ratio than Troy, amazing for his era of play.
RB1: Emmitt Smith
Need I explain myself? The all-time leading rusher and one of the game's great RB's. If you have a problem with Emmitt being my first choice, put down the crack pipe and walk away.
RB2: Lesean McCoy
Shady was a beast in him prime and is probably going into the HoF. He was a better Brian Westbrook, which is saying something because he was damn good.
HM's: Tony Dorsett, John Riggins, Tiki Barber
WR1: Michael Irvin.
The eye test didn't lie. All-1990's team, 5x PB, 1x AP. He was that good, and an absolute nightmare for defensive coordinators.
WR2: Terrell Owens. Stop your crying. His stats are just about equal to those of Randy Moss. Probably the third best receiver to ever play. He did play for two teams in the division, so he's in.
WR3: Dez Bryant. He accomplished much in his shortened eight-year career, 3x PB, 1x AP.
HM's: Roy Green, Harold Carmichael.
TE: Jason Witten. One of the best to ever play the position. 11x PB, 2x AP…how did he not get a ring??? (I know…). Not the most physically gifted, but the best on the field.
HM: Jackie Smith
Left Tackle: Tyron Smith
You can argue Jason Peters here, but I took Tyron because he has accomplished almost the same in fewer years. Not as strong as Peters but quicker. Excellent technique, one of the best I ever saw (Peters in his prime too was quick, but his size hurts him).
HM: Peters, Trent Williams
Left Guard: Russ Grimm
The Hogs were great as a unit but not the best as individual players. Russ Grimm is the exception. The best of the Hogs, he was a brick wall waiting to hit people.
HM: Conrad Dobler, even if he was a scumbag.
Center: Jason Kelce.
He's going into the HoF when his playing days are done. 5x PB, 4x AP, could be the most athletic at his position ever. All centers with his stats are in the Hall.
HM: Fredbeard. Let's not forget how good he was.
RG: Zack Martin.
Incredible technique and strength at the point of attack. The 7x PB and 5x AP Martin is also going into the HoF when his career is over.
HM: Larry Allen.
RT: Lane Johnson.
His career is a strange one. 3x PB, 1x AP for a player his peers across the league say is an absolute beast. Injuries and a suspension for PED's that is somewhat controversial (because of the PED in question) have pulled him down, but his on-field impact is unquestioned. How good is he? Since 2019 he has player 1,088 snaps and given up two sacks. No defender rushing Johnson has even hit Jalen Hurts this year.
HM: Rayfield Wright. If you want to put him over Johnson based on accolades go ahead, but Johnson is simply the better player.
***Special shoutout to Dan Dierdorf. He played tackle, guard, and center, so I didn't know where to put him. He can back up the entire line***
K: David Akers. He is #17 on the all-time scoring list. Great leg and consistent.
P: Reggie Roby
Return: Brian Mitchell
Wife is home, gotta run!