2014 PFF All-NFC East Team
The NFC East was hotly contested by the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys for much of the season. The Cowboys eventually earned the division crown and won a playoff game before falling to the Green Bay Packers.
In the end, they were the only team in the division to make the postseason and, while the rest of the division will be doing their best to change that in 2015, all four teams are represented in this 2014 All-Division Team. So, with that in mind, let’s break down the best of the best in the NFC East.
Quarterback: Tony Romo (DAL)
Romo was particularly impressive on deep passes, throwing the most touchdowns in the league with 14, and with an Accuracy Percentage of 50.8% on throws 20 yards or more downfield.
Running Back: DeMarco Murray (DAL)
Tough to bring down, Murray finished the year with 85 missed tackles forced as a runner and receiver, and averaging 2.54 yards after contact per carry.
Fullback: Henry Hynoski (NYG)
On his comeback from a season-ending injury a year ago, Hynoski had the second-highest run blocking grade of any full back in the league.
Wide Receivers: Dez Bryant (DAL), Odell Beckham Jr. (NYG), Jeremy Maclin (PHI)
Bryant was the main recipient of Romo’s deep throws, securing all 15 catchable targets for 539 yards and eight touchdowns. Odell Beckham Jr. was a revelation as a rookie, finishing the season third among wide receivers with an average of 2.74 Yards Per Route Run. Maclin makes the team as our NFC East slot receiver, with a league-best 2.41 Yards Per Route Run and six touchdowns from the slot.
Tight End: Jason Witten (DAL)
Witten was as reliable a target for the Cowboys as ever, dropping just two of the 66 catchable passes thrown his way for a Drop Rate of 3.03, tied for third-best among tight ends.
Tackles: Jason Peters (PHI) and Lane Johnson (PHI)
It’s no surprise that the Eagles’ tackles make the All-NFC East squad, with Peters finishing third among tackles with a Pass Blocking Efficiency Rating of 97.0. Johnson missed the first four games through suspension but looked good on his return, grading negatively in just two games.
Guards: Evan Mathis (PHI) and Zach Martin (DAL)
Mathis missed seven games in 2014, but still finished the season as our second-highest graded guard. Martin may have been a rookie, but he more than held his own, with only two right guards finishing 2014 with a higher grade.
Center: Travis Frederick (DAL)
Rounding out our offensive line, Frederick had a fine second season, with the highest run-blocking grade among centers for the second year in a row.
Edge Defenders: Jason Pierre-Paul (NYG) and Ryan Kerrigan (WAS)
Grading positively against the run and as a pass rusher, Pierre-Paul finished the season with 13 sacks, nine hits and 38 quarterback hurries. Kerrigan had his best season as a pass rusher, with the fourth-highest pass rushing grade among 304 outside linebackers.
Defensive Interior – Ends: Fletcher Cox (PHI) and Tyrone Crawford (DAL)
Fantastic against the run, Cox had the third highest Run Stop Percentage among 3-4 defensive ends, with 39 tackles resulting in defensive stops. Crawford did his damage as a pass rusher, with a Pass Rushing Productivity rating of 7.6.
Defensive Interior – Nose: Johnathan Hankins (NYG)
A phenomenal second season from Hankins, with only six defensive tackles finishing the season with a higher grade. Most impressive was that he proved himself to be an excellent all-around player, with 35 total pressures to go along with his work against the run.
Linebackers: Mychal Kendricks (PHI) and Rolando McClain (DAL)
Kendricks had a good season in coverage but his work as a pass rusher helped a lot too, with 27 total pressures from 122 pass rushing snaps. McClain had a strong return to action after ending his retirement, grading positively against the run, in coverage and as a pass rusher.
Cornerbacks: Orlando Scandrick (DAL), Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (NYG), Brandon Boykin (PHI)
Scandrick had one of his best seasons since entering the league, allowing just 516 yards in coverage and no touchdowns. Rodgers-Cromartie allowed just 492, though he did surrender five touchdowns through the air. Boykin had another good year from the slot, allowing no touchdowns from the 64 passes thrown into his coverage.
Safeties: Malcolm Jenkins (PHI) and Nate Allen (PHI)
Jenkins took well to his change of scenery in Philadelphia, finishing the year with 11 pass breakups. He’s joined by his teammate Allen, who had four interceptions and graded positively against the run.
Kicker: Dan Bailey (DAL): Connecting on 24 of his 28 field goal attempts, and going five of seven on attempts from 50 yards or more, Bailey was our second-highest graded kicker in that regard.
Punter: Tress Way (WAS): A solid season from the Washington punter saw him finish the year as the seventh ranked player at the position, with 24 of his 76 punts landing inside the 20-yard line.
Returner: Darren Sproles (PHI): Sproles lead the league in punt return yardage, averaged 13.0 yards per punt return and was one of just two players to score twice in that role.
Special Teamer: James Casey (PHI): Casey was one of the best in the league on kick coverage, and finished the season with seven tackles and four assists on special teams.
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