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Sunday Redskins topics to discuss

A look at a couple Redskins discussion topics of the day

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

It's still a bit of a down time when it comes to NFL/Redskins news so there aren't any new stories for a daily slop so here are some topics to discuss today. Feel free to post any articles in the comments to talk about as well.

1. How do the Redskins stack-up vs the Cowboys and Giants?

-While anything can happen in the NFL, the Eagles are likely to be in more of a rebuild mode this season making the NFC East an intriguing 3 team race. The Cowboys were dead in the water last year when Tony Romo went down with injury, but if he can stay healthy they are a legit contender. The Giants tried to revamp their defense this offseason, but will it be enough?

Last year the Redskins passing attack gave them the advantage and helped win the division, but this year it could be their defense that is the deciding factor. If Romo and Dez Bryant are healthy the Cowboys will likely have the best offense in the division. Even if Cousins edges out Romo as the top QB, the edge isn't likely to be that great as Romo, Eli and Cousins could all be top 10-12 QBs in the league. All three teams have quality pass catchers with the Redskins having the deepest group. Where they Cowboys have the advantage is with their OL and running game which both could be the best in the NFL. The Redskins OL should be improved, but it's still likely a ways off from where the Cowboys will be. And it's unlikely that either the Redskins or the Giants have a running game that can challenge the Cowboys attack.

Where the Redskins could have an advantage is defensively. Now the Giants invested a lot this offseason and they should improve defensively, but the Redskins probably have an edge here. Between their pass rush group of Kerrigan, Smith and Galette and their revamped secondary and coverage units this defense should defend the pass really well. The Cowboys defense could be a liability and the Giants defense will probably be middle of the road at best (though they could come together quickly).

2. Who are three players that you think will make a big jump this year in improvement and who are 3 players you worry about struggling/regressing?

-My three that I think will make a big jump this year are Brandon Scherff, Stephen Paea, and David Bruton. I believe Scherff will build on how he ended last year and join Trent Williams as a foundation piece of this offensive line and a Pro Bowl caliber player. Paea I believe can have a bounce-back year as he struggled in a new defense while dealing with injuries. He could be really effective rushing the passer as so much of the focus has to be on the edge rushers and even Chris Baker that Paea could have some 1-on-1 match-ups that he can win. Bruton has been a capable back-up for years in Denver, but I think he could fit nicely into this defense. He won't be a star player, but I think he will prove to be a capable starter and solidify a safety group that has been horrible for years.

Three guys that concern me are Spencer Long, Matt Jones and Perry Riley. With Lauvao's health status up in the air Long is potentially the starting LG, I thought he did okay last year in his first real action, but the Redskins need him to be an above average guard to help strengthen that line and I have some doubts. Luckily Kouandjio is another option or perhaps Lauvao can return, so it wouldn't be completely dire if Long falters. Unfortunately the same can't be said if Matt Jones struggles this year as the Redskins lack a fall back option. Jones has to not only improve upon his lackluster yards per carry, but he's got to maintain the football better this year. His fumbles last year were just unacceptable and that can't be an issue this season for him to be the feature back.

It's a bit unclear what the Redskins are planning on doing at ILB this year, but it's likely that their decision not to cut Perry Riley means they believe he can start for them this season. His play has been pretty poor these past couple of years and the Redskins ILB group as a whole is a big question mark. For the Redskins defense to take the next step they need at least average play from the position and a lot of that falls on Riley improving this season.