Commanders Rival Cowboys Named Least Secure Division Champion

The NFC East Division has had a rotating seat at the top and the Dallas Cowboys are likely to be ousted by the Washington Commanders or another rival this season.
Oct 2, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA; Washington Commanders defensive tackle Daron Payne (94) in action during the game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Commanders AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 2, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA; Washington Commanders defensive tackle Daron Payne (94) in action during the game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Commanders AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Some might find it hard to remember given all that's gone on with the Washington Commanders in recent years, but the franchise last won the NFC East Division title in 2020. It was their ninth division title, and first in 2015.

READ MORE: Commanders Rookie Projected to Produce Less Than His Peers

Since then, two different teams have won the NFC East, neither being the Commanders, as the Dallas Cowboys took the title in 2021, had it taken by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2022, and regained the crown in 2023.

In fact, since 1970 the Cowboys have won 22 NFC East Division titles to lead the group that includes the Eagles, Washington, and the New York Giants, and previously also housed the St. Louis Cardinals now in Arizona.

Oct 2, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA; Washington Commanders defensive tackle Daron Payne (94) in action during the game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Commanders AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 2, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA; Washington Commanders defensive tackle Daron Payne (94) in action during the game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Commanders AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

"If (Dallas quarterback) Dak Prescott and (receiver) CeeDee Lamb and (linebacker) Micah Parsons propel Dallas to another playoff run, no one will be surprised...But this is a team that's consistently struggled to get over the hump..."

Cody Benjamin, CBS Sports

Despite that overall dominance, neither Dallas nor any other team has won back-to-back division championships in the NFC East since Philadelphia enjoyed a four-year run of dominance from 2001-2004.

Since then, each team in the division has won the title at least three times. According to CBS Sports' Cody Benjamin, this trend may continue as he names the Cowboys the least secure defending division champion in the 2024 NFL season.

"If (Dallas quarterback) Dak Prescott and (receiver) CeeDee Lamb and (linebacker) Micah Parsons propel Dallas to another playoff run, no one will be surprised," Benjamin says. "But this is a team that's consistently struggled to get over the hump, a team that could end up applying added pressure to Prescott in a contract year, and also did precious little to actually improve the roster this offseason. The rival Philadelphia Eagles, meanwhile, are coming off a historic collapse but still tout all-world talent, plus a new play-caller that could spark a leap back into title contention. The New York Giants are still rebuilding, but the Washington Commanders could also have more juice with ex-Cowboys assistant Dan Quinn inheriting a dynamic young signal-caller in (quarterback) Jayden Daniels."

READ MORE: Jayden Daniels Could Spark a Wild Card Run for Washington?


Stick with CommanderGameday and the Locked On Commanders podcast for more coverage of the Washington Commanders throughout the 2024 season.


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David Harrison

DAVID HARRISON

David Harrison has covered the NFL since 2015 as a digital content creator in both written and audio media. He is the host of Locked On Commanders and a graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University. His previous career was as a Military Working Dog Handler for the United States Army. Contact David via email at david.w.harrison82@gmail.com or on Twitter @DHarrison82.