Eagles Still Alive and Well in NFC East after Cowboys Lose Again

Ed Kracz

The Eagles had a little something extra to be grateful for as Thanksgiving Day ticked into the early evening hours and the final seconds melted away in a 26-15 loss by the Dallas Cowboys at the hands of the Buffalo Bills.

Incredible as that may seem, the Eagles are still not out of the NFC East race even at 5-6.

The Cowboys’ loss left them at 6-6, but the record feels worse.

Thursday was a game they simply had to win, because a) they were playing at home, which they do every Thanksgiving and b) they needed to prove to the rest of the league, their fans and, more importantly, to themselves that they are capable of beating a team with a winning record.

They failed on all accounts. 

Dallas hasn’t beaten a team with a winning record all season and, after winning its first three games against vastly inferior competition, they have managed a 3-6 record.

At least the Eagles have beaten two teams with winning records this year, beating both the Bills and Packers, two teams that beat the Cowboys.

Those two wins against teams Dallas couldn’t beat, as well as Eagles’ win over the New York Jets – another team the Cowboys couldn’t conquer – could be the difference in winning the NFC East.

Let’s play it out and assume the Eagles beat a 2-9 Miami Dolphins team in South Florida on Sunday.

Certainly, it’s not a layup game, especially the way the Eagles have been so up-and-down this season and can’t seem to ever get fully healthy. It is a game that they should win, and if they don’t, well, they don’t deserve to win the NFC East.

A win and the Eagles are 6-6 just like Dallas.

While it is true that the Cowboys hold the head-to-head advantage at the moment, the Eagles can remedy that by winning their Dec. 22 game against Dallas at Lincoln Financial Field.

The assumption is the division will come down to Dec. 22, when the Eagles and Cowboys will play a rematch of their game earlier this season won in a romp by Dallas, 37-10.

There is still work to be done to make that one count, though.

Dallas still must go to Chicago next week to play the Bears then return home to face the Los Angeles Rams before heading to Philly three days prior to Christmas Day. The Cowboys wrap up the regular season at home against Washington.

After their trip to Miami, the Eagles will host the New York Giants on Monday Night Football then go to Washington to play the Redskins before welcoming the Cowboys and ending in New York on the final weekend of the season.

If the teams finish with the same record and split their season record, the next tiebreak is record against the division.

Assume the Eagles beat Dallas, the Giants twice and the Redskins again, they would be 5-1 in the NFC East. The Cowboys are already 4-0 in the division and will likely beat Washington in the season finale to end at 5-1.

The next tiebreaker is best record against common opponents.

The Cowboys at the moment are 2-5 against the same teams the Eagles have played, with the Chicago Bears on deck next week at Soldier Field. The Eagles have already beaten the Bears.

The Eagles’ record against the same opponents the Cowboys have played right now is 3-3. If they beat the Dolphins that record goes to 5-3 and will remain that way because they don’t play anymore common opponents.

The Bears are the final common opponent Dallas will play, so the Eagles would win the division based on this tiebreaker because they would be 5-3 and best the Cowboys can do is go 3-5.

Of course, it all has to play out in this scenario, and the way this season has gone for both the Eagles and Cowboys, that is a shaky assumption.

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