Cory's Corner: Stability Matters, Just Ask The Packers

The NFC East has become a joke by not being mindful of quarterback stability. 

We all know that the AFC East has been a joke for over a decade. 

But now it may have company. 

The NFC East, which used to be known as a very reputable division, is turning into lot of bad — both on and off the field

The Giants have been to the playoffs one time in the last eight years, the Redskins have been to a couple in that span, the Cowboys have been to three and the Eagles have been to four. 

However, the Cowboys just gave out their first franchise tag to Dak Prescott. The four-year pro will make $31.4 million in 2020 after both sides were unwilling to make a contractual compromise. Comparatively, the Redskins were in the same position with Kirk Cousins. In 2016, Cousins was paid $19.9 million by being franchise tagged and then Washington made Cousins the first quarterback to be franchise tagged in back-to-back years with a salary of $23.9 million in 2017. Prescott will have the No. 1 salary in 2020 in terms of quarterback cap number, but is Prescott the best quarterback in the league? I would argue that Prescott isn't even the best NFL quarterback in the state of Texas. Prescott is around No. 12, but in order to keep him, Dallas will have to massively overpay which will put them at a severe disadvantage for other positions.  

The Giants have the best running back in the league, but they are still waiting to see if they have a franchise quarterback. The Eagles appear to be the most secure team in the division. However, Carson Wentz, the guy that will count 16.1 percent against Philadelphia's cap in 2021, has been either hamstrung by injuries or is just throwing to inadequate talent. 

The reason this is interesting is because the Packers host Philadelphia Dec. 6. By then we will know if Wentz and Co. can be trusted or just if they are at the gates of salary cap hell. Which is just where the Cowboys and their Jerryworld circus will be after not paying Prescott last year. 

This division has become a microcosm of landing the most important position in sports — and what it means to your organization when you don't. 

Look at the Redskins. Going back eight years, their leading passer each year was Robert Griffin III (2012-2013), Cousins (2014-2017), Alex Smith (2018) and Case Keenum (2019). Conversely, in the last 28 years, the Packers have had only three quarterbacks lead the team in passing. (Brett Hundley led the team in passing in 2017 when he started nine games.)

The Packers have taken stability for granted, while the NFC (L)east is still searching for that winning continuity.   

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Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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Comments (13)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Turophile's picture

July 18, 2020 at 11:14 am

I'm going to concentrate on just one of those NFC East teams.
Dallas is a team I've always enjoyed disliking. They were the Packers kryptonite back in the early 90's while the Packers were steadily transforming themselves from a poster boy for futility, to having the best offense defense and special teams (1996). I also was a little annoyed at the excessive publicity Dallas got (and still gets). Fast forward to today and Dallas has had a very talented team for a few years, but the (former) head coach never made the most of the quality.

The days of that division being the beast from the East are well in the past. While the Packers old head coach might significantly improve the Cowboys fortunes, the opposite side of that coin of fortune is Dak Prescott. At the moment he is sitting behind an awesome O line, has a high quality RB in Ezekiel Elliott and talented WRs in Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and CeeDee Lamb. Dak has already turned down a huge five year deal that would have netted him $35m pa. I think he is a colossal idiot for doing that - chasing crazy money is likely to land him on a different and much poorer team, with far less talent around him..........and that is going to rapidly find him out, as a QB closer to average than special.

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blacke00's picture

July 18, 2020 at 07:10 am

Agree!

Talk about "Greed" on the part of Prescott. Stupid! All this angst over "one" year. Foolish

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

July 18, 2020 at 07:49 am

I am still trying to figure out the reasons for the two downvotes. The most likely thing is Dallas eventually ponies up the money (depending on how Prescott performs). Yes, there is a decent chance Prescott ends up a rich guy on a bad team. He probably ends up a UFA if Dallas doesn't sign him, so it will be his choice.

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Turophile's picture

July 18, 2020 at 11:16 am

Maybe the downvotes came from Dak and his mum ?

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PhantomII's picture

July 19, 2020 at 09:00 pm

You nailed it. I have not seen a QB fall into such a picture perfect complete team since.....Aaron Rodgers became our starting QB with talent all around the offense. But Dak is no Rodgers. His owner knows it and that's the sticking point. He will get overpaid and the team will start shedding talent soon after. You really have to draft well and often to keep things moving in the right direction. Dallas has done a pretty good job at it. They paid out big contracts to Cooper and Zeke though. Dallas has not paid Dak much yet, maybe he thinks 4 yr contract to squeeze Jerry for more $$. It's almost like Dak has a silent animosity towards the owner for not paying him sooner instead of table scraps that he has had since being drafted. I expect Dak to come out highly motivated and stick them in their wallet.

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arthurl's picture

July 18, 2020 at 07:30 am

The NFC East is not a strong conference right now. The Eagles and Giants have won recent SBs, but overall this conference is over-rated by the media. Now the NFC West is stacked since the Cardinals are rapidly improving and the other teams are very solid. Back to the East, Dallas should be the favorite, Mike McCarthy should help them. The Eagles got a shot, Giants and Redskins aren’t contenders this season.

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marpag1's picture

July 18, 2020 at 10:05 am

The NFC East is far, far better positioned for the future than the NFC North. It's not close.

We all know Aaron Rodgers is not for long. The very Cutlerific Matt Stafford has been massively overrated, never won squat in the playoffs, and is coming off a broken back. And speaking of Cutlerific, Minny gave one of the most laughable contracts in NFL history to a guy whose only claim to fame is screaming "you like that" after his one impressive game. And then Minny doubled down on their stupidity for a few years more. And of course, Chicago's QB dumpster fire was long ago reduced to a smoldering heap of lime.

Say what you want, but Carson Wentz and Dak Prescott are "plus" players at the very least, and are definitely worth hefty contracts. The East has possibly the two best running backs in the league. Dallas and McCarthy definitely have a puncher's chance of winning the Super bowl this year. If they can get their defense at least respectable, their offense could steamroll everyone. The Eagles also look pretty good, and even signed Darius Slay, one of the leagues best cover guys, away from an NFC NORTH team. Daniel Jones looks like a player at least, even if we don't know if he'll be great. And if you're saying the Packers stocked up for the future by drafting Jordan Love, well the Eagles drafted Jalen Hurts. And financially, the four teams of the East look significantly better in cap space than the teams of the North.

If I have to place a bet on a division, I'm going with the east over the north every dang day.

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GLM's picture

July 18, 2020 at 08:14 pm

I can buy into your premise that the Cowboys' offense is primed for greatness. They have a plus O-line, plus running back, and a well-stacked receiving unit.... not sure about the TE position there, but Prescott is also a plus QB. Their defense will make or break them.

McCarthy has walked into a pretty good offensive scenario. We'll put them to the test.

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stockholder's picture

July 18, 2020 at 08:00 am

The only reason the packers have been so stabile is because of Brett Favre and Arron Rodgers. Same O, with the Patriots and Tom Brady. All the great QBs brought stability to their teams. Johnny Unitas, Bart Starr, Terry Bradshaw, Joe Montana,Roger Staubach. Troy Aikman? Yet, we had the same luck as the 49ers going from Montana to Young. But are the packers on the edge of going over the cliff. Something history has taught everyone. Life after these greats, took years to show respectability. Heck, the Colts and Raiders ended up moving. So yes, we've been blessed with great Qbs. And now is not the time to dump a Qb based on Salary. TIME! It's everything in the NFL. No Team has gone on to three great QBs. The NFL just isn't set up that way. The Odds are against the Packers and Love. So if we want to hold on to that stability. Rodgers is the only answer. (Until he's done.). The Packers shouldn't stop with The drafting of Love. The smart play now is to become the only team in History to have 3 great QBs in succession. Finding that third Qb; should require another being taken. AGAIN!! IMO, Love has TO earn IT! He won't be worth a tinker's Damn if he doesn't. The Packers can't push the wrong guy here. Love is the Guy to push. Not Rodgers. Draft another Gutey. I believe you can't beat history!

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murf7777's picture

July 18, 2020 at 08:25 am

I agree there is nothing more important in all sports then the QB of an NFL team. Since it is unlikely we got another one with our first stab, Keep drafting one till you find the franchise QB. And, for sure, hold onto Rodgers unless Love somehow shows he has similar potential greatness. Now that Danica is out of the picture we have a clear headed Rodgers again!!! GPG.

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GLM's picture

July 18, 2020 at 08:15 pm

R-E-L-A-X! 'Nuff said...

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Handsback's picture

July 18, 2020 at 10:46 am

Dak will have some monster stats this season or next, if the teams don't play this year, because he has the most talented offense in the league. That money he gets is going to impact the offense within the next two years and they will lose players off that offense.
MM isn't stupid, he knows the Dallas window is only going to be opened for a few years. I suspect that he wants to go all in and grab his second SB ring. It could happen.
Green Bay has been blessed with Favre and Rodgers. What are the chances that Love is effective as those two? I think pretty slim, but MLF seems to have a plan that's not so dependent on the QB being great but to be effective in running his offense. Love or Boyle may fit that role to a T.

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Handsback's picture

July 18, 2020 at 01:12 pm

A postscript to my message from above....Love has the arm talent, we just don't know his ability to see the field and make good decisions.

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