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Fact or Fiction: Biggest threat in NFC East?

Dwayne Harris will post a career high in receptions.

JOHN SCHMEELK: Fact -Fact: Harris's career high in receptions is 17 for the Cowboys, back in 2012. I would expect him to be the Giants 4th wide receiver this season, and if I was a betting man, I would expect him to catch more than 20 passes. With his playmaking ability, he should get a few opportunities on quick throws outside and wide receiver screens.

DAN SALOMONE: Fact -When he wasn't doing special teams work in Dallas, he was blocking in the running game. And now he and the Giants think he can do more. "That

is exactly why I chose to come here," Harris said last month. Now it's just a matter of finding the right situations for him in Ben McAdoo's second season as the offensive coordinator.

LANCE MEDOW: Fact -Dwayne Harris' career-high in receptions is 17, which he set in 2012. As a means of comparison, seven Giants collected more than 17 receptions last season in the first year of Ben McAdoo's system. That group included two running backs, a tight end and the top four wide receivers, including Victor Cruz, who was limited to just six games. The best player to compare with Harris to determine his potential totals for 2015 is Preston Parker, considering they're likely in similar positions on the depth chart. Parker had 36 catches last season and all Harris needs this season is half that number to set a new career-high. I think that's more than doable and the fact that Eli Manning spreads the wealth in this offense bodes very well for Harris' cause.


The Cowboys are the biggest threat in the NFC East.**

JOHN SCHMEELK: Fact -The Eagles are a complete wildcard. They have a vastly different team on both sides of the ball and whether Sam Bradford can stay healthy is the million dollar question no one can answer.
The Redskins will try to improve in Jay Gruden's second season, but barring a huge jump from RG3, it will be hard for them to win the division. Dallas is coming off a 12-win season but, like all teams, they have had a lot of roster turnover, most notably the loss of DeMarco Murray on offense and linebackers Bruce Carter and Justin Durant on defense. They will try to replace Murray by betting that a committee of running backs featuring Darren McFadden, Joseph Randle and Ryan Williams can have similar success behind what might be an even better offensive line than last year (Zach Martin will be a year older and the team added La'el Collins). The real question is Dallas' defense. Greg Hardy was their big offseason addition, but he is facing a suspension of 10 games, which might get reduced pending his appeal. Randy Gregory is a 3-4 OLB being forced into a 4-3 scheme. Where will the pass rush come from? Sean Lee and Rolando McClain are both coming off knee surgery. The secondary has a lot of question marks and may be forced to lean on rookie Byron Jones. Right now, the Cowboys hold the crown, so they have to be considered the biggest competition, but the division is there to be had.

DAN SALOMONE: Fiction -The race rarely plays out like we think it will in June. I'll say fiction just because the division hasn't had back-to-back champions for a decade

now, and Dallas won it last year.

LANCE MEDOW: Fact -Although a lot can happen in training camp, as of right now, I'd lean toward the defending division champs as the biggest threat to the Giants, and that's mainly because their team, for the most part, is still intact from 2014. Last season, Dallas had the second-highest ranked offense and top-ranked defense in the NFC East thanks to one of the best rushing games in the NFL, which helped the offense dominate time of possession and limit the amount of plays for the defense. While the Cowboys lost DeMarco Murray to the Eagles in free agency, they still showcase one of the best offensive lines in the league, and on defense, they're getting back linebacker Sean Lee, who missed all of last season due to injury. Unlike Dallas, the Eagles and Redskins both have questions about the health of their quarterbacks given Sam Bradford and RG3's injury history. In addition, Washington has a brand new defensive coordinator in Joe Barry and Philadelphia has made major changes to its roster, most notably the losses of Jeremy Maclin and LeSean McCoy. By comparing all three division rivals, I'd say the Cowboys have the least amount of question marks heading into training camp.

The Giants' leading tackler this season will be a linebacker.

JOHN SCHMEELK: Fact -I'm going to roll the dice on a real wildcard and guess that JT Thomas will be the Giants leading tackler this year. I expect him to play in nickel situations and he has sideline-to-sideline speed to cover the entire field. I also think he has the best chance of staying healthy for all 16 games. Another sleeper in this conversation is Landon Collins, who could rack up a large number of tackles from the safety position.

DAN SALOMONE: Fact -Antrel Rolle at safety was usually the biggest non-linebacker threat to take that title for the Giants in recent years. But now that he's with Chicago,

there is a lot of production to fill. Meanwhile, the Giants believe they have bolstered the linebacker corps in free agency, and I think someone from that group will lead the team in tackles in Steve Spagnuolo's first season back as defensive coordinator.

LANCE MEDOW: Fact -Two of the last three seasons a linebacker has led the Giants in tackles (Jameel McClain in 2014, Chase Blackburn in 2012) and in Steve Spagnuolo's first stint as defensive coordinator (2007-08), linebacker Antonio Pierce led the team in tackles each season. Those numbers alone prove there's a very good chance that position will top the leaderboard once again. I think McClain, Jon Beason and Devon Kennard are all very strong candidates to lead the team in that category. Last season, not only did McClain lead the way, but fellow linebacker Jacquian Williams finished third in tackles.

The most iconic jersey number in football is 56.

JOHN SCHMEELK: Fiction -If the question was "in New York," this would be a fact, but Joe Montana's 16, Jerry Rice's 80, Deion Sanders' 21, Walter Payton's 34, Randy Moss's 84 or Brett Favre's 4 would be right up there nationally. Offensive players just get more attention. More modern day jerseys would also probably rank above LT's 56 with younger fans, like Peyton Manning's 18 or Aaron Rodgers' 12. It really all depends on what part of the country you are in.

DAN SALOMONE: Fiction -Baseball has 42. Basketball has 23. Hockey has 99. But there isn't really one number for football, which makes for a good debate. If you're

including college, you could go with 44, as Syracuse fans are well aware, or 55, which is an exclusive fraternity at USC. But including the NFL, it's tough to beat 56, a number worn by one of the most dominating players of all time. But I'm going with "fiction" here because when I'm split, I go to the numbers, which is fitting. The number "22" was worn by 11 Pro Football Hall of Famers at one point in their careers, the most of any jersey number. Meanwhile, 56 was worn by seven HOFers.

LANCE MEDOW: Fiction -It's very hard to say whether Lawrence Taylor's #56 jersey is the most iconic in football considering there have been so many great players associated with notable numbers, but it's not a stretch to say it's the most iconic in Giants history. Of the 12 jersey numbers retired by the team, Taylor's is by far the most identifiable. You mention 56 and just about every Giants fan will immediately know who you are talking about, which speaks volumes of the impact LT had on this organization as well as the NFL as a whole. takes a look at the New York Giants named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

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