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Eli Manning, DeMarco Murray lead All-NFC East Team

When it comes to highlighting top NFL talent, league-wide evaluations are the norm -- meaning some of the better players in each division are often overlooked. With his divisional all-star series, Dave Dameshek will be taking a deeper dive into the NFL's elite, putting together the best squad possible from each division -- continuing with the All-NFC East Team below.

For additional analysis on this topic -- and a whole lot more -- listen to The Dave Dameshek Football Program.


I know Cowboys fans will be displeased here, but as "Move The Sticks" host Daniel Jeremiah said to me this week, "Romo had one of his best seasons ever last year. Why? Because they took the ball out of his hands. Eli had one of his best seasons, too, specifically because they put more on him."

Some things don't change: The best running back in the division last year remains the best running back in the division this year.

He's the guy who made that catch!

Wide receiver: Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys

Although he dropped off a bit from his final season in Philly (a career best) to last year with D.C., the wee gamebreaker's speed causes massive problems for opposing defenses no matter what uniform he's wearing.

The end of the road appears near for the 10-time Pro Bowler, but he's still the most consistent producer at the position in this division.

There are few guys at any position in the league whose talent is held in higher regard than the Eagles' dominant left tackle.

A dearth of talent at guard in the division forces us to flip a coin between Kelce and Cowboys center Travis Frederick -- both of whom played some guard in college -- to slide one spot over on our line.

The most frightening aspect of Dallas' O-line is how young it is. This 24-year-old former Wisconsin star went to his first Pro Bowl last season -- and he hasn't even peaked yet.

Savvy picks like this rookie All-Pro (the 16th overall selection in the 2014 draft) make it increasingly difficult for cynics to accuse Jerrah of not being a good talent evaluator.

An embarrassment of riches at left tackle (D.C.'s perennial Pro Bowler Trent Williams doesn't even crack the starting lineup!) pushes this Cowboys great to the right side.


Defensive end: Greg Hardy, Dallas Cowboys

I know he's only played in one game over the last year and a half, and I know the reason for that involves some dark stuff, but if we're focused purely on his ability to get to the quarterback, there are few in the league who do it better than him.

Much like his belly, "Pot Roast" isn't just full of hot air when he refers to himself as the biggest steal of free agency. All right, maybe that's a little extreme ... but D.C. landed one of the game's best run stuffers.

After a down 2013, JPP bounced back last season with 12.5 sacks. Not bad for a guy who's still just 26 years old.

Outside linebacker: Brandon Graham, Philadelphia Eagles

Some in Philly might still lament the old regime selecting Graham over Earl Thomas in the 2010 draft, but the former Michigan defensive lineman has been a high-end performer since getting past some injuries early in his pro career.

Inside linebacker: Kiko Alonso, Philadelphia Eagles

Shady McCoy was a steep price for the Eagles to pay, but in Alonso they got another dynamic presence at LB (to go along with DeMeco Ryans and Mychal Kendricks).

Inside linebacker: Rolando McClain, Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys' 2014 defense -- expected by many (including me) to rank among the worst in NFL history after Sean Lee's preseason knee injury-- instead was a pleasant surprise thanks in large part to the former Raider's improbable career resurrection.

Outside linebacker: Sean Lee, Dallas Cowboys

Just like defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli is doing in real life, we'll bounce the Cowboys' one-time star middle linebacker over to the weak side, where he'll have fewer blockers with which to contend.

The burner out of Tennessee State, who's played for four teams during the previous five seasons, edges out division newcomer, Byron Maxwell.

High-profile acquisitions Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne haven't worked out as well as Jerrah might've hoped, but the one-time fifth-round pick has at least partially picked up the slack.

The former Saints CB-turned-safety provides a stabilizing presence for Bill Davis' volatile secondary.

Curmudgeons won't like a rookie in this spot, but his upside outstrips the reality of what's available among the NFC East vets at the position.


Ten seasons in and he's still as big a threat as there is on punt returns, as his two TDs last season prove.

The Giants kicker made 92.3 percent of his attempts in 2014, including 17 of 18 from 30-plus.

His 40-yard net punting average was tops among NFC East punters last season.

Follow Dave Dameshek on Twitter @Dameshek.

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