2014 NFL free agency: Eagles keep the band together, Cowboys let go of talent

Ronald Martinez

Free agency has led to the comings and goings of some big-name players from the NFC East. While some were cut and/or signed elsewhere, new additions have been sprinkled around the once-dominant division.

The NFL free agency period started with a bang on March 11 and has continued to produce move after move. For a division like the NFC East, that has meant the addition and subtraction of several well-known players. The Eagles have re-signed several players, while the Cowboys have said goodbye to a handful of big names. The Giants have filled their roster with boom-or-bust talent, while the Redskins have chosen to sign smaller names with the potential for upside. After one week of fast and furious moves, the division looks a lot different.

Here is how SB Nation ranks the teams following the first week of action:

Philadelphia Eagles

Moves: Re-signed WR Jeremy Maclin, re-signed P Donnie Jones, re-signed WR Riley Cooper, re-signed S Nate Allen, signed S Malcolm Jenkins, signed S Chris Maragos, signed CB Nolan Carroll, signed LB Bryan Braman, traded for RB/KR Darren Sproles, released S Patrick Chung, released WR Jason Avant

The Eagles were the division winners last season and have put a large emphasis on continuity for their roster this offseason. The re-signings of Maclin, Cooper, Jones and Allen allow for head coach Chip Kelly to have even more players who know and understand his system and way of coaching. The Eagles also upgraded at safety with Super Bowl winners Jenkins and Maragos, while also addressing depth at linebacker and cornerback with Braman and Carroll. The team also added a chess piece on offense with Sproles. It seems the team is building on its success from last season and looking to continue that momentum moving forward.

New York Giants

Moves: Signed WR Mario Manningham, signed CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, signed OG Geoff Schwartz, signed S Quintin Demps, signed CB Walter Thurmond, re-signed FB Henry Hynoski, re-signed QB Curtis Painter, re-signed LB Jon Beason, signed RB Rashad Jenning, signed LB Jameel McClain

The Giants had a rough season this season but GM Jerry Reese has supplanted the roster with talented role players and potential starters this offseason. The team moved quick in free agency with the signings of Schwartz, Thurmond, Jennings, Demps and McClain. They then re-signed Hynoski, Painter and Beason. The big move of the offseason came when New York reached a contract agreement with Rodgers-Cromartie, who was a top cornerback this past season. Beason, Jennings, Schwartz and Rodgers-Cromartie are expected to start for the Giants next season. The team's boom-or-bust additions may or may not push the Giants to the top of the division, but on paper they have definitely improved.

Washington Redskins

Moves: Re-signed CB Tracy Porter, signed ILB Daryl Sharpton, signed DE Clifton Geathers, signed DE Jason Hatcher, re-signed WR Santana Moss, signed WR Andre Roberts, signed OG Shawn Lauvao, released OL Will Montgomery, released DE Adam Carriker

The Redskins have decided to go against their big spending ways this offseason. Instead of chasing the "big money" players, the Redskins front office has decided to go for role players that can make the team better. Instead of spending large cash on one or two players, the Redskins have added several overlooked talents to their roster. The additions of Sharpton, Porter, Hatcher and Roberts likely signal replacements for London Fletcher, Josh Wilson, Carriker and Josh Morgan. It will be interesting to see how this crop of free agents meshes for a team that has struggled to get much out of their free agents in the past.

Dallas Cowboys

Moves: Signed DT Terrell McClain, signed QB Brandon Weeden, signed DE Jeremy Mincey, released DE/OLB DeMarcus Ware, released WR Miles Austin, released OL Phil Costa

The Cowboys offseason has mostly consisted of dropping big-name players from their roster. The team released Ware, who was the team's all-time leading pass-rusher, and Austin, who was the team's former starting wide receiver. Ware signed with the Broncos and Austin is unlikely to come back on a lesser deal. The team has made a handful of small additions with former first-round pick Weeden likely serving as Tony Romo's backup. The team was close to making the playoffs last season, so fans are probably not thrilled with this apparent reworking of the roster thus far.

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