How the New York Giants Got Better Without Making a Move


New York Giants: Addition By NFC East Subtraction

The Philadelphia Eagles have agreed to trade running back LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills for linebacker Kiko Alonso, and in the process, made the chase for the NFC East that much easier.

McCoy was among the top running backs in the NFL, and twice a year, would show Giants fans why. This season, he was struggling though the first few games of the season, up until the Eagles played the Giants. In Week 6, McCoy shredded the Giant defense for 149 yards en route to an Eagles 27-0 shutout. Also, in Week 17, McCoy ran for a respectable 99 yards against a “streaking” Giants team. Not having to face LeSean McCoy twice a year should automatically give Giants fans a sigh of relief.

Jan 4, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back

DeMarco Murray

(29) celebrates his touchdown run during the third quarter against the Detroit Lions in the NFC Wild Card Playoff Game at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles losing arguably their best player is only the tip of the iceberg. The Dallas Cowboys are on track to lose the NFL’s leading-rusher, DeMarco Murray. Murray was simply a beast this past season, racking up 1,845 total rushing yards (on 392 regular season carries). However, the Cowboys seem unwilling to pay him what he believes he deserves. If Murray walks from the Cowboys (or more accurately, is pushed out the door by Jerry Jones), then their running game takes a complete 180. The strength of the Cowboys’ season revolved around their running game and keeping their opponents off the field for as long as possible. Removing Murray from the equation is a significant loss. No matter how good your offensive line is, you still need a capable back to exploit the holes created. With the Cowboys losing their best weapon, the Giants are in a much better position to surpass them on their journey to the playoffs.

Fans know how bad the Giants run-stop defense was over the course of the past few years, and now can be relieved that they will not see two of the top five running backs two times each during the season. This takes a huge burden off the defense and coaching staff, and makes their workload much easier.

Assuming the Giants have a good offseason themselves, they can assert themselves as the favorites to win the NFC East (if Murray does indeed leave). The Eagles and Cowboys would have to tremendously adjust their offenses without McCoy and Murray, respectively. In a short 16-game season, a bad start can leave you in the dust. From the end of last season, it seemed like the Giants have promising players developing, and if they continue to do so, can make the team very competitive.

The Cowboys won the division this past season, and the Eagles finished with double-digit wins. Their win totals can be figured to drop, and can allow the Giants to overtake the NFC East crown. Losing elite running backs clearly sets you back talent-wise (no matter how good your system is), and the Eagles and Cowboys may come to a harsh reality check. The Giants must take advantage of their losses and become the dominant team in the division.

Regardless, the trade of McCoy makes the Eagles a worse football team. Losing Murray will make the Cowboys worse. The smell of blood in the water should alert the Giants. These notable losses by division foes makes the Giants better by not having to worry about stopping their running games at least four times a year total, and gives the Giants other areas to focus on. However, it seems like the Eagles and Cowboys are attempting to make other big splashes in the offseason, so now it is up to the Giants to blow them out of the water.

Next: 10 possible running backs for the Giants to add this offseason

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