1 Breakout Player From Each NFC East Team For 2024 NFL Season

Jalen Tolbert, Dallas Cowboys
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The NFC East is expected to be a two-team race between the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles heading into 2024, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be any intrigue.

Heck, the battle between the Cowboys and Eagles is compelling in and of itself, but the fact that the New York Giants and Washington Commanders should both be more interesting this coming season definitely adds some juice.

Oddly enough, the NFC East has not featured back-to-back division winners since 2004. That’s two decades. Dallas is looking to break the cycle, but it certainly won’t be easy.

Here is one player from each NFC East squad that could potentially break out in 2024.

Dallas Cowboys: Jalen Tolbert, WR.

The Cowboys don’t exactly have a lot of depth behind CeeDee Lamb at wide receiver. Brandin Cooks was a disappointment in 2023, and Dallas cut Michael Gallup due to his inability to recover from injuries.

Then, there is, well, not a single proven option.

Someone will have to step up, especially considering the Cowboys didn’t make any signings to address the issue in free agency, nor did they use a high draft pick on the position.

Enter Jalen Tolbert, Dallas’ third-round pick from 2022.

Tolbert only logged two catches during his rookie campaign, but last season, he flashed some potential, catching 22 passes for 268 yards and a couple of touchdowns in a limited role.

His role may increase exponentially next season, as Dak Prescott will need to find another reliable wide out aside from Lamb and Cooks.

Tolbert has solid size at 6-foot-1 and has decent hands. His route running definitely needs work, but he is only in his third season. Dallas can work with him in that area.

Look for a bigger season from Tolbert in 2024. It’s pretty much make or break for him, too. If he doesn’t do it this time around, the Cowboys may look to move on from him.

New York Giants: Deonte Banks, CB.

The obvious answer here would have been one of the Giants’ young receivers like Wan’Dale Robinson or Jalin Hyatt, especially considering the addition of Malik Nabers should open up the field for them.

But I’m rolling with Deonte Banks.

New York selected the cornerback in the first round of the NFL Draft last spring, and he ended up having a solid rookie campaign, playing in 15 games and registering 64 tackles, a couple of interceptions and 11 passes defended. He definitely had some growing pains, but he improved as the season progressed.

Banks is a very big cornerback at 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds, so he is very physical with jamming wide receivers at the line of scrimmage. That will certainly be needed in a division that houses freaks like CeeDee Lamb and A.J. Brown. Throw Terry McLaurin in the mix, too.

The 23-year-old still has a long way to go, but there does exist a reality in which Banks develops into one of the best cornerbacks in football. The Giants just need to be patient with him.

Banks could very well take a major step forward in 2024.

Philadelphia Eagles: Jalen Carter, DL.

Jalen Carter got off to a fantastic start during his rookie season last year, registering 3.5 sacks over his first five games. However, he tailed off as the season moved forward.

Then again, so did the entire Eagles team.

Philadelphia selected Carter with the ninth overall pick of the draft last year for a reason. He is a terrific athlete and is also a mountain of a man at 6-foot-4 and about 315 pounds. Carter can also play interior or on the outside of the defensive line, so he brings tremendous versatility.

On the 2023 campaign overall, Carter rattled off 33 tackles, six sacks, a couple of forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and a defensive touchdown.

The University of Georgia product certainly showed some pass-rushing chops this past year, but where he really excels is stuffing the run. Not surprisingly, that was the best part of the Eagles’ defense in 2023, as they ranked 10th in the league in that area.

We’ll see if Carter takes the next step and challenges for a Pro Bowl in 2024.

Washington Commanders: Jahan Dotson, WR.

Incoming rookie quarterback Jayden Daniels needs all the help he can get, and he certainly as it in the form of the aforementioned McLaurin, who is the Commanders’ No. 1 receiver.

But who will step up in the No. 2 role after Washington lost Curtis Samuel to free agency?

The answer is Jahan Dotson.

Dotson was selected by the Commanders in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft and has actually been somewhat of a disappointment thus far.

Injuries limited him to 12 games during his debut season, and that year, he caught 35 passes for 523 yards and seven touchdowns. He was able to stay healthy in participate in every contest in 2023, but his production stagnated, as Dotson logged 49 grabs for 518 yards and four scores.

Now that Dotson has a clear path to the No. 2 receiver slot, look for him to post bigger numbers in 2024.

The Commanders also have rookie Luke McCaffrey on the roster, so there is some pressure on Dotson to produce this coming season. We’ll see if he rises to the occasion.

Want the latest NFL analysis, breaking news, and insider information? Click here. Interested in reading storylines and analysis about the NBA? Check out our partner NBA Analysis Network.

New York Giants Could Cut Former 1,000-Yard Wide Receiver

The New York Giants signed wide receiver Allen Robinson to bolster their aerial attack this offseason, but the veteran may not even make it out

3 Massive Questions Facing Washington Commanders For 2024 NFL Season

The Washington Commanders didn’t exactly end 2023 on a high note, losing their last nine games to finish the season 4-13. The Commanders did, however,

Carolina Panthers’ Adam Thielen Sends Stern Warning To Chiefs

Veteran wide receiver Adam Thielen found himself in a peculiar position during the 2023 NFL offseason. The Minnesota Vikings had released him, making him a