The Dallas Cowboys are the defending NFC East champions. No team has won the NFC East in back-to-back seasons since the Eagles did back in 2004. Hall of Fame wide receiver and NFL Network analyst Michael Irvin thinks the trend will continue in 2015. The former Cowboy believes that the Eagles are the team to beat.
"Philly is the favorite in the NFC East," Irvin said on The Ron Jaworski Show on 97.5 The Fanatic. "I have to be able to separate my head from my heart."
The main reason is the Eagles' addition, and Cowboys' subtraction, of running back DeMarco Murray.
"I want to upchuck sometimes when I hear the thoughts of others and (they say), 'Oh, you can put any running back behind that offensive line of the Dallas Cowboys. I say, 'Really? Why did they hand the ball off to DeMarco Murray 392 times? Why didn't they stick anybody back there last year?' Because they already knew," Irvin said. "That's not the case. I've said this and I'll say it now, Philadelphia upgraded immensely in that department."
Of course, the Eagles traded LeSean McCoy to Buffalo and signed Murray and Ryan Mathews in free agency. Irvin explained that Murray is a better fit for what the Eagles want to do because of his running style. Irvin said that the Eagles' offense spreads the defense out forcing more defensive backs on the field. Those defensive backs can stop McCoy, but in Irvin's eyes they want no part of Murray.
"I call LeSean McCoy a guy that beats defenses. I call DeMarco Murray a defense beater. That's a difference," Irvin said. "He ain't running around nobody. He's running through you and now you've got all of these defensive backs on the football field trying to tackle a defense beater, not a guy that beats defenses? There's a huge difference in that."