Free agency doesn’t even start until next week, but that doesn’t mean that the NFL is about to take any sort of day off. Tuesday saw a couple of notable dominoes fall within the National Football League, most notably at the quarterback position. After months (really a year) of speculation, the futures of Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson were finally formalized.
Stephen Serda of Arrowhead Pride and I jumped on an emergency edition of The SB Nation NFL Show on Tuesday afternoon to discuss all of the action and the fallout that the rest of the league has to live with. A reminder that there is a new show every day on this feed touching on all things related to the NFL. You can listen right above this, and make sure to subscribe to the feed. Apple devices can subscribe here and Spotify users can subscribe here.
Obviously our primary concern around here is how these things impact the Dallas Cowboys. Let’s take a deeper look.
The landscape of the NFC has definitely shifted, but it isn’t dramatically different
First things first, the Green Bay Packers stayed rich as they are officially going to return quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The details of his new deal with the team remain a bit mysterious, but the fact that he is back certainly keeps them among the top contenders in the conference.
The Packers also spent Tuesday elsewhere as they officially placed the franchise tag on wide receiver Davante Adams. Their top connection remains strong and has owned the Cowboys before, it is fair to assume that it will again in the future.
Speaking of, the Cowboys are set to visit the Packers this season. The entire NFC East will square off against the NFC North so all four teams in the division will have to endure another bout with Rodgers and Adams, although this will be the first time that the Cowboys are attempting it with Mike McCarthy leading their team which should certainly add some theatrics.
It was the Los Angeles Rams who won the conference this past season and they obviously went on to win the Super Bowl. Logic would put them, the Packers, and the San Francisco 49ers all ahead of the Cowboys (especially given that Dallas lost to San Francisco in the playoffs), the only real contender in the conference taking a step back this season figures to be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the heels of Tom Brady’s retirement.
The Seattle Seahawks weren’t a contender last year, but they definitely won’t be one moving forward
While the Seahawks have been one of the better teams in the conference for the duration of Russell Wilson’s career, the fact that he is now absent from their organization and a part of the Denver Broncos changes relatively little in the Emerald City.
It will be fascinating to see what kind of career resurgence Russell has with the Broncos, but the Cowboys just played the AFC West and won’t see Denver this season (no NFC East team will either). Unfortunately the Cowboys will also avoid the Seahawks this season although the New York Giants do play them and could potentially win given that they won at Seattle back in 2020 with Colt McCoy at quarterback.
If the Cowboys did see Wilson’s Broncos, it would only be in the Super Bowl. Again it is highly likely that he turns in a stellar year with a new team, but he finished outside of the top 10 in a lot of notable metrics: DYAR (15th), YAR (16th), DVOA (12th), PFF Offensive Grade (19th). Wilson was a big factor in Seattle’s win over the Cowboys back in the early days of 2020, but a lot of that had to do with an incredibly poor Cowboys defense.
All told the landscape of the NFC is really now just void of Russell Wilson as far as the Seahawks are concerned. Seattle figures to be out of the running for the time being, but as mentioned they weren’t exactly a threat in 2021. Wilson did miss some games for the first time in his career, but they finished 7-10 overall and 6-8 in games that he played.