It is easy to see that the NFC East was the most dominant division last year. Three of the four teams made it to the postseason, and two of the four made it to the second round.

It is also one of the steadiest, at least on the defensive side of the coaching carousel. Except for the Philadelphia Eagles, all of the defensive coordinators from last year remain. Two of the defensive coordinators were interviewed for head coaching positions, and the newbie in the defensive coordinator’s role is the first Indian American to have a coordinator position (he held the same position in Chicago for one year).

Change is inevitable. But will it be a change for the better or the worst? What remains to be seen is, after an off-season of losses and gains, will the East remain King of the Mountain?


Statistically Speaking 2023


Rush Yards Allowed/G

Pass Yards Allowed/G

Yards Allowed/G

Points Allowed/G















New York Giants





































Philadelphia Eagles Defense & Defensive Coordinator – Sean Desai

Desai is the new kid on the block. Last season he was associate head coach with the Seattle Seahawks. From 2013-2021, Desai was in Chicago. In Chicago, he was the safeties coach, defensive quality control coach, and in the 2021 season, the defensive coordinator.

Desai will follow defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon, now Arizona’s head coach. Desai inherited a Philadelphia defense that was top-ranked pass defense, had the most sacks in the NFL, and was the second-ranked defense overall.

It is also a defense that lost pivotal players in free agency. Javon Hargrave and Kyzir White are gone from the defensive line, in addition to TJ Edwards. Gone in the secondary are CJ Gardner-Johnson and Marcus Epps.

Desai’s defenses follow Vic Fangio’s defensive schemes. That means a 3-4 base with lots of zone coverage, two-high safety shells, stopping the explosive plays, and producing sacks without blitzing. That should sound familiar.

When Desai was the defensive coordinator in Chicago, the Bears blitzed 123 times which was 29th in the league. Last season in Seattle, the Seahawks blitzed the second-fewest amount in the league, 95 times.


New Eagles defensive coordinator Sean Desai (beige hat) and new OC Brian Johnson talk before practice #Eagles pic.twitter.com/CHxOKvmu9q

— Chris Franklin (@cfranklinnews) May 5, 2023 “>ch Nick Sirianni has stated regarding what he expects from the defense, “I really believe in the turnover differential. I really believe in the explosive play differential. Then there’s going to be things that are non-negotiable…whether it’s third-and-long, whether it’s tight red zone, whether it’s two-minute end of game plays, or whether it’s four-minute defense backed up.”



The Eagles can expect much of the same defensive style with a few twists but with a different array of players on the field.

Free Agency

Free agency wasn’t kind to the Eagles’ defense. They lost safeties Gardner-Johnson and Epps, linebackers Edwards and White, and defensive tackle Hargrave. All pivotal to the defensive success the Eagles had last season.

They acquired the services of safety Terrell Edmunds and Justin Evans for one year. Cornerback Greedy Williams also signed a one-year contract to be in Philadelphia. And on the line, they have Nicholas Morrow and Kentavius Street.

The Eagles 2023 NFL Draft.

  • Round 1, Pick 9, Defensive Tackle Jalen Carter
  • Round 1, Pick 30. Linebacker Nolan Smith
  • Round 2, Pick 65, Offensive Line Tyler Steen
  • Round 3, Pick 66 (from Arizona) Safety, Sidney Brown
  • Round 4, Pick 105 (from Houston) Cornerback Kelee Ringo
  • Round 6, Pick 188 (from Houston) Quarterback, Tanner McKee
  • Round 7, Pick 249 (from Detroit) Defensive Tackle Moro Ojomo

Fantasy Relevance

The Eagles still have Brandon Graham, Fletcher Cox, and Haason Reddick returning from the defensive line that led the league (by a large margin) in sacks. Expect Nakobe Dean to get more playing time on the line and improve on his 13 total sacks from last year.


New York Giants Defense & Defensive Coordinator- Don “Wink” Martindale

Although one of the more experienced coordinators in the league, this will only be Martindale’s second season as the defensive coordinator for the New York Giants. Before that, he was the defensive coordinator in Baltimore from 2018-2021.

Although statistically not great, the Giants were fifth on third down (35.1%) and fifth in red zone touchdown rate (49.2%). The Giants played to Martindale’s defensive philosophy, which includes an aggressive blitzing style all season. It was partly the reason for the bend don’t break defense.

Per Martindale, “We like to attack…and pressure breaks pipes on those offenses as well. I don’t want to sit back and say, ‘Okay, let’s see what you’ve got.’ I want them to sit back and see what we have.”

It is a style that helped the Giants reach the postseason. And a style that landed Martindale in the cycle of interviews for head coaches last season.

Free Agency

In free agency on the defensive side of the ball, the Giants lost free safety Julian Love and defensive end Henry Mondeaux. They acquired the services of linebacker Bobby Okereke, defensive tackle Rakeem Nunez-Roches, and cornerbacks Bobby McCain and Amani Oruwariye.

The Giants 2023 NFL Draft.

  • Round 1, Pick 24, Cornerback Deonte Banks
  • Round 2, Pick 57, Center John Michael Schmitz
  • Round 3, Pick 73 (from LAR via Houston) Wide Receiver Jalin Hyatt
  • Round 5, Pick 172, Running Back Eric Gray
  • Round 6, Pick 209 (from Kansas City) Defensive Back Trey Hawkins
  • Round 7, Pick 243, Defensive Tackle Jordan Riley
  • Round 7, Pick 254, Safety Gervarrius Owens

Fantasy Relevance

Okereke was the highest-scoring defensive player in fantasy points. He finished as LB12 averaging 13.1 fantasy points per game—the defense, as a whole, finished with the 18th most fantasy points for the season. The defense averaged 6.3 fantasy points per game.

Rookie Banks has an opportunity to be fantasy relevant.


Washington Commanders Defense & Defensive Coordinator- Jack Del Rio

Del Rio will be in his fourth season as the defensive coordinator in Washington. Even with an uneven statistical season, Washington was third in total defense, fourth in pass defense, and 11th in run defense.

Statistically speaking, the defense was 22nd in defensive efficiency in their first three weeks. Then from Weeks 4-13, they were the fourth most efficient team on defense, only to fall back to being the 30th in defensive efficiency in the three weeks that followed their bye week.

On the positives, Washington’s defense allowed the fewest completions (308), had the second-lowest completion percentage (59.9%), and held opponents to the 10th-lowest net yardage per passing attempt (5.8). But the secondary also allowed the eighth most passing touchdowns.

The secondary was anchored by safety Darrick Forrest. Forrest had four interceptions, nine passes defended, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, and 88 tackles after being moved into a starting position.

But the defense as a unit was poor in takeaways. They ranked 26th in total takeaways (18), 28th in interceptions (9), and 29th in the percentage of drives ending in an offensive turnover (7.6%).

The front line, with defensive tackles Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne and defensive end Montez Sweat excelled. The pass rush was 12th in total sacks (43), sixth in the percentage of dropbacks resulting in sacks, and 10th in pressure rate, pressuring on 23.1% of dropbacks.

Free Agency

Washington was busy during free agency, but their ‘major’ acquisitions were on the offensive side of the ball. While their major losses were on the defensive side of the ball. They lost linebacker Cole Holcomb, cornerbacks Danny Johnson and Bobby McCain, and defensive end Efe Obada.

They acquired linebacker Cody Barton and defensive end Abdullah Anderson.

Washington did not pick up Chase Young’s fifth-year option.

Washington 2023 Draft Picks

  • Round 1, Pick 16, Cornerback Emmanuel Forbes
  • Round 2, Pick 47, Safety Jartavius Martin
  • Round 3, Pick 97, Center Ricky Stromberg
  • Round 4, Pick 118, Offensive Line Braeden Daniels
  • Round 5, Pick 137, Edge K.J. Henry
  • Round 6, Pick 193, Running Back Chris Rodriguez Jr.
  • Round 7, Pick 233, Linebacker Andre Jones

Fantasy Relevance

Washington’s defense finished with the 11th most fantasy points last season, averaging 6.9 per game. Darron Payne finished as DL8 averaging 10.3 fantasy points per game. No other IDP player for Washington finished in the top 20.


Dallas Cowboys Defensive Coordinator, Dan Quinn

The Cowboys’ defense has been historically good since Quinn’s (and Micah Parsons’s) tenure. How good? They are the first team since the 1972-1974 Pittsburgh Steelers to lead the league in turnovers in back-to-back seasons.

Last season they led with 33 turnovers. Their 16 interceptions tied for the fourth most in the league, and their 17 fumble recoveries were first. (In the 2021 season, they led the league with 34 turnovers). The Cowboys also ranked third in sacks (54) and fifth in points per game (20.1).

The Cowboys’ defense relies on their nickel defense with the regular use of 11 personnel. They match the extra receiver with a cornerback leaving only two starting linebacker positions. Hence the importance of retaining linebacker Leighton Vander Esch in free agency.

Free Agency

The best acquisition for the Cowboys was retaining their defensive coordinator. It also helped in free agency that the Cowboys retained linebacker Vander Esch and safety Donovan Wilson after allowing them to test free agency. They also added cornerback Stephon Gilmore.

Cowboys 2023 Draft Picks

  • Round 1, Pick 26, Mazi Smith, Defensive Tackle
  • Round 2, Pick 58, Luck Schoonmaker, Tight End
  • Round 3, Pick 90, DeMarvion Overshown, Linebacker
  • Round 4, Pick 129, Viliami Fehoko, Edge
  • Round 6, Pick 178, Eric Scott Jr., Cornerback
  • Round 6, Pick 212, Deuce Vaughn, Running Back
  • Round 7, Pick 244, Jalen Brooks, Wide Receiver

Fantasy Relevance

Parsons will always be that player of the field but only so-so in fantasy. Last season he finished as LB20 in fantasy points. Demarcus Lawrence finished as DL18, and Wilson finished as DB7.

The Cowboys’ defense as a unit was the second-best fantasy defense for the 2022 season.

So, You Tell Me, What Defense in the NFC East Will Regress This Year?