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NFC East Could Be Active In Free Agency

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When the NFL owners and players reach an agreement on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, the 2011 season is expected to kick off almost immediately with a free agency signing period.

All 32 teams will look to add talent in free agency, and the four NFC East teams are no exception. The Redskins, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles are each striving to bring new competition to the division.

Here's a look at all four of the NFC East teams pre-free agency:

-- DALLAS COWBOYS (6-10 in 2010)

The Cowboys should look at free agency as a way to improve a secondary that ranked 26th in the league in passing defense. As a unit, the Cowboys allowed 57 plays of 20 yards and surrendered 100-yard receiving games to nine players.

Strong safety Gerald Sensabaugh had five interceptions, but miscommunications with free safety Alan Ball made the secondary vulnerable. Ball could move back to his natural position of cornerback, opening a spot to fill at free safety for the Cowboys.

Cornerbacks Mike Jenkins and Terrence Newman allowed 112 completions out of 181 passes thrown their way, so adding a corner accustomed to playing their zone defense may come from free agency.

The Cowboys have a young secondary that needs leadership, and new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan could be the man to pull the defense together as a unit. The Cowboys could attract a veteran cornerback or safety from free agency.

-- NEW YORK GIANTS (10-6)

The Giants finished last season with the seventh best defense in the NFL as well as the seventh best offensive scoring team.

With offensive linemen Shaun O'Hara, Rich Seubert and Adam Koets all returning from 2010 injuries, the Giants may add someone to help keep quarterback Eli Manning on his feet.

On defense, the Giants were led in tackles by two defensive backs. The Giants could be looking for a middle linebacker to help stuff the run closer to the line of scrimmage and complement a defensive line that features Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora.

-- PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (10-6)

With Ellis Hobbs unlikely to return, the Eagles are expected to add a cornerback to complement Pro Bowler Asante Samuel.

The Eagles have done a great job of mixing up blitzes in years past, so another elite-level corner would allow more freedom for the rest of the defense.

Protecting quarterback Michael Vick is critical to Philadelphia's success in 2011. The Eagles' 50 sacks allowed last season is a season-high under head coach Andy Reid. Addressing the right side of the line is key in protecting Vick's blindside.

-- WASHINGTON REDSKINS (6-10)

The Redskins' 31st-ranked defense needs improvement. Players and coaches have had a full season to work together to establish what needs to be done.

In the 3-4 defense, the Redskins need a big body at nose tackle to attract attention and allow the linebackers to make big plays. The team addressed linebacker in the draft with Ryan Kerrigan, but a top-level nose tackle would transform the defense.

On offense, wide receiver and offensive line appear to be priorities, particularly if Santana Moss and Jammal Brown do not return to the club.

The Redskins frequently make a splash, or a tidal wave, in free agency. A nose tackle, a wide receiver and an offensive tackle would be great fits.

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