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Early look at Eagles' 2015 opponents

Making note of some interesting questions, stats and quotes from each team on next season’s schedule.

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) throws in the pocket against the Philadelphia Eagles at AT&T Stadium. (Matthew Emmons/USA Today)
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) throws in the pocket against the Philadelphia Eagles at AT&T Stadium. (Matthew Emmons/USA Today)Read more

WE WON'T know until April when the Eagles will play, but we do know who they will meet next season.

Here's a quick look at their 2015 opponents and what those teams are up to these days.

The Eagles will play these teams once at home and once on the road.

Dallas Cowboys (2014 record: 12-4)

Season in a sentence: Whaddaya mean that's not a catch?

Questions, questions

* Dez or DeMarco? Or both? Star wide receiver Dez Bryant and breakout star DeMarco Murray both are free agents. If Dallas only signs one, it likely will be Bryant.

* Why not Murray? One school of thought is that plenty of backs can run behind a Cowboys offensive line that has three Pro Bowlers.

* What was Rolando McClain drinking, and can he share some with Ryan Howard? McClain, the eighth overall pick in 2010, was out of football at 23 before the Cowboys revived his career. He really bailed the Cowboys out after Sean Lee's latest injury. He, too, is a free agent.

Stat to note: Counting the playoffs, DeMarco Murray had 497 rushing attempts/receptions. His previous career high for offensive touches was 270.

First-round pick: No. 27.

He said it: " . . . fraud, theft and gross stupidity in the face of an undeniable catch." - from the frivolous lawsuit filed by a Cowboys fan upset that the Dez Bryant fourth-down play in the playoff game at Green Bay was ruled incomplete.

New York Giants (6-10)

Season in two sentences: The Giants' defense was 29th in yards allowed. It's the third time in 4 years they've been 27th or worse.

Questions, questions

* Is it hot in here? It is if you're Tom Coughlin. Despite guiding the Giants to two Super Bowl victories, same as Bill Parcells, Coughlin needs to end a 3-year skid of missing the playoffs.

* Were those growing pains? Eli Manning and the Giants' offense stumbled early adjusting to new coordinator Ben McAdoo after 7 years with Kevin Gilbride.

* What can he do for an encore? Rookie wide receiver Odell Beckham had 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns in 12 games.

* What's the biggest concern? Fixing the defense.

Stat to note: In the first 10 games, Manning had 18 touchdown passes and 11 interceptions. In the final six, he had 12 TDs and three interceptions.

First-round pick: No. 9

He said it: "Let's face it, in the NFL, you're almost always a lame-duck coach," team president John Mara said. "All it takes is 1 bad year and you're out on the streets."

Washington Redskins (4-12)

Season in a sentence: Three quarterbacks started games and Robert Griffin III had the most wins with two.

Questions, questions

* Is Griffin a star who simply can't stay healthy? The Redskins seem intent on giving him 1 more year. They have until May 3 to pick up his option for 2016, which is expected to exceed $15 million. That's probably not going to happen, however. In a letter to season-ticketholders, Griffin was omitted from a list of key players for 2015. Yo.

* Who's the new GM? Scot McCloughan, who was a personnel executive for the Seahawks from 2010-13.

* Who's running the defense? The Redskins parted ways with defensive coordinator Jim Haslett and replaced him with Joe Barry, whose previous job as a DC was with the Lions in 2007-08. Those 2008 Lions went 0-16 and were last in yards and points allowed. Barry had been coaching linebackers in San Diego.

* Is it all bad? Well, DeSean Jackson was the Redskins' most effective weapon on the outside. He led the league with 20.9 yards per catch. He also did not get his house robbed, which is good.

Stat to note: The Redskins have finished in last place in the NFC East 6 of the last 7 years.

First-round pick: No. 5.

He said it: "We're going to make sure that the status quo is gone. We're going to change the way we do business," said Bruce Allen, the former general manager who is now team president.

The Eagles will play these teams once at Lincoln Financial Field.

Arizona Cardinals (11-5)

Season in a sentence: We're No. 1 . . . until mid-November.

Three points

* Their two losses to the Seahawks were by a combined score of 54-9. Surely, they're rooting that the ridiculous Super Bowl loss melts the Seattle locker room.

* Larry Fitzgerald is due an $8 million roster bonus in March. In the likely event he walks, who will torture the Eagles secondary? Oh yeah, John Brown.

* The Cards could be an edge rusher away from being serious contenders, provided they don't get tsunamied by injuries like they did in 2014.

Stat to note: The Cardinals were 6-0 with Carson Palmer quarterbacking, 5-6 (including playoffs) without him.

First-round pick: No. 24.

He said it: "I don't look at 'What if?' I look at what can be," said Bruce Arians, the NFL's coach of the year. "And what can be is a great football team with a few new pieces next year, but the core is here now."

Buffalo Bills (9-7)

Season in a sentence: Anybody seen our coach?

Three points

* After leading the Bills to a winning record for the first time since 2004, Doug Marrone abruptly walked out on them. He's now the Jaguars' offensive line coach. Buffalo and Jacksonville are playing in 2015, but over in London. Too bad.

* Given who the new coach is, this could be a landing spot for Mark Sanchez if he doesn't re-sign with the Eagles?

* The Bills' defensive line is among the best in the league. Mario Williams had 14.5 sacks and Jerry Hughes and Marcell Dareus had 10 each

Stat to note: The Bills have played in Philadelphia just once in the last 19 years - a 2007 Eagles win. Marshawn Lynch ran for 105 yards that day for Buffalo.

First-round pick: No. 19, traded to Cleveland.

He said it: "I know it's been 15 years since the Bills made the playoffs. Well, get ready, man. We're going," new Bills coach Rex Ryan.

Miami Dolphins (8-8)

Season in a sentence: Changing our name to the Mediocre Dolphins.

Three points

* Miami has been 8-8 or 7-9 in five of the last six seasons. In that other year, they were 6-10.

* The 'Fins improved to 11th in points scored under first-year offensive coordinator Bill Lazor, a Chip Kelly disciple. They were 26th in 2013, 27th the year before that.

* Defensive end Dion Jordan, the No. 3 overall pick in 2013, has three sacks in his 26-game career. He was selected immediately ahead of Lane Johnson.

Stat to note: The Dolphins had just four passing plays of 40 yards or more, something that does not sit well with speedy outside receiver Mike Wallace, who might not be back with Miami despite scoring 10 touchdowns.

First-round pick: No. 14.

He said it: "You want to be a team player," Wallace said. "But as a big-play player I want to make big plays."

New Orleans Saints (7-9)

Season in a sentence: The Saints have $73 million in cap space committed to a defense that finished 31st in the league in yards allowed.

Three points

* They are bringing back defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.

* Junior Galette, a key outside linebacker, is looking at a six-game suspension in the wake of a domestic-violence incident at his home. He has a court date on Feb. 26

* Jairus Byrd, the top safety on the free-agent market last season, sustained a knee injury in September and missed the final 3 months of the season.

Stat to note: Drew Brees turned 36 last month.

First-round pick: No. 13.

He said it: "It's 'Dallas, 'Jerry Springer' and 'Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous' all rolled into one," is how Jeff Duncan, of the Times-Picayune, of New Orleans, described the ugly battle for control of Saints ownership by Tom Benson and his family.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-14)

Season in a sentence: We've been on the (draft) clock since training camp.

Three points

* Marcus or Jameis?

* Despite the inconsistency at QB, Mike Evans (1,051) and Vincent Jackson (1,002) became the first Bucs' teammates with 1,000 receiving yards in the same season.

* Ten of the Bucs' 14 losses were by one possession.

Stat to note: Former Falcons assistant Dirk Koetter is Tampa Bay's fifth offensive coordinator in 6 years.

First-round pick: No. 1

He said it: " . . . It's a work in progress," Koetter said. "But, trust me, Tampa Bay, personnel-wise, is in better shape than one on the outside might think."

The Eagles will play these teams once on the road.

Atlanta Falcons (6-10)

Season in a sentence: We were awful - and we still almost made the playoffs.

Three points

* Getting blown out by Carolina in the season finale allowed for a housecleaning of the coaching staff.

* Dan Quinn, the former Seahawks defensive coordinator, is the new head coach.

* At least the Eagles shouldn't have to worry about artificial crowd noise being pumped into the Georgia Dome.

Stat to note: Running back Steven Jackson, 32 at the start of next season, has averaged under 4.0 yards per carry in both seasons with Atlanta.

First-round pick: No. 8.

He said it: "The way he can attack an offense, he's one of the hardest guys to coach against when you're coaching defense," said Quinn, talking about Kyle Shanahan, who he brought in to run the offense.

Carolina Panthers (7-8-1)

Season in a sentence: Somebody had to win the NFC South, why not us?

Three points

* Quarterback Cam Newton is not signed after 2015.

* The domestic-violence trial for defensive end Greg Hardy is slated to begin today.

* They could use another playmaker to complement wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin, who had a productive rookie year (73 catches, nine TDs).

Stat to note: Running back Jonathan Stewart, 28 in March, had three 100-yard rushing games – two in December, the third in January's playoff game win over Arizona.

First-round pick: No. 25.

He said it: "I think if we can take a big step we can put ourselves in position to win the Super Bowl. We're close. I think we can get even closer," said coach Ron Rivera, an honors graduate of the Andy Reid school of optimism.

Detroit Lions (11-5)

Season in a sentence: Wait, whaddaya mean that's NOT pass interference?

Three points

* After a key pass interference in their playoff loss to Dallas was called and then reversed, the Lions submitted a proposal to the league office to expand replay. As bad as Detroit got jobbed, the last thing this league needs is longer games.

* Suh, what now? Star defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh can become an unrestricted free agent on March 10. Certainly, Suh is hunting for something north of the 6-year, $100 million deal the Texans gave J.J. Watt.

* The Lions made it to the playoffs despite superstar wide receiver Calvin Johnson missing three games with an injury and being limited in two others (at least). Detroit, impressively, was 4-1 in those games.

Stat to note: Quarterback Matthew Stafford was sacked 45 times, easily the most of his 6-year career.

First-round pick: No. 23.

He said it: "I think there's a very, very good chance that we can get something done with [Suh] in the next few weeks," team president Tom Lewand told Detroit TV station WDIV during the Super Bowl.

New England Patriots (12-4)

Season in a sentence: Thanks for the title, Pete.

Three points

* Cornerback Darrelle Revis is due to make a $25 million cap hit in 2015, so some renegotiating will have to be done or he's likely gone.

* Kicker Stephen Gostkowski is a pending free agent. Mildly interesting what they do with him.

* For some reason, the Patriots are giving the ballboy a $6 million deal. Wonder what that's about?

Stat to note: Tom Brady is 4-0 against the Eagles, including the win in Super Bowl 39. He's thrown nine TD passes and no interceptions.

First-round pick: No. 32.

He said it: "I love doing it, so I don't want it to end any time soon," said Brady, who turns 38 on Aug. 3.

New York Jets (4-12)

Season in a sentence: No more train Rex.

Three points

* Dumped Rex Ryan as head coach and brought in Todd Bowles, the Temple product who had been the Cardinals' defensive coordinator.

* Have the sixth overall pick, so the new coaching staff can easily decide to end the Geno Smith era after 2 dismal years.

* Percy Harvin is due to make $10.5 million in 2015, which is awfully steep for a guy with 29 catches in eight games. They'll likely cut Harvin if they can't renegotiate.

Stat to note: The Eagles have never lost to the Jets, winning all five games in Philadelphia and four up in New York. This will be the Birds' first road game against the Jets since 2007.

First-round pick: No. 6.

He said it: "We're going to spend," owner Woody Johnson said. The Jets could have up to $50 million in salary- cap space.