Entering the 2020 NFL Draft last Thursday, the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles were both +120 (win $120 on $100 wager) at William Hill sportsbook to win the NFC East this season. Philadelphia won it last year with a 9-7 record thanks largely to a Week 16 win over the visiting Cowboys, who finished 8-8. Now, however, the Cowboys are the +110 favorites with the Eagles at +135. What caused the shift? Most draft experts agree that Dallas got a terrific haul, while the reactions were mixed at best on the Eagles.
CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco gave Dallas a grade of B+ for its draft class. The Cowboys weren’t in major need of a receiver, but when the top-rated wideout in the class, Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb, was there at No. 17 overall owner/general manager Jerry Jones pounced.
Lamb was the sixth wide receiver selected in the first round in Cowboys history, and the first since Dez Bryant in 2010. Dallas now has a stellar trio of Lamb, Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup to go with one of the NFL’s best running backs in Ezekiel Elliott and quarterbacks in Dak Prescott.
Dallas also added guys who “slipped” in Round 2 in Alabama cornerback Trevon Diggs and in Round 3 with Oklahoma defensive tackle Neville Gallimore. The Cowboys and Eagles made a rare trade during the draft, the first draft-day trade between the bitter rivals since 2010.
Dallas moved up to No. 146 in the fourth round to take Wisconsin center Tyler Biadasz. Pro Bowl Cowboys center Travis Frederick, also from Wisconsin, retired this offseason. Philly got the Cowboys’ 164th selection in this year’s draft and a fifth-rounder next year.
Some thought the Eagles made puzzling choices with their top two picks in Baylor wideout Jalen Reagor at No. 21 overall and Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts at No. 53 – one of the biggest surprises of the draft. Hurts is very talented, but obviously Philly has its young franchise quarterback in Carson Wentz. Then again, he hasn’t been able to stay healthy.
Reagor is a good player with plenty of speed but was ranked 41st on the CBS Sports Big Board and a few receivers ranked higher were available at No. 21. Many Eagles fans were ticked that GM Howie Roseman didn’t take LSU’s Justin Jefferson there. Prisco gave the Eagles a C+ grade.
No team has repeated as NFC East champions since the Eagles won their fourth straight division title in 2004. The Giants are +750 to win it and the Redskins +1100.