- The Philadelphia Eagles are only one game behind the Dallas Cowboys for first place in the NFC East.
- The Dallas Cowboys have won the NFC East two out of the last three years.
- Dak Prescott leads the NFL in passing yards with 3,433.
DALLAS – The NFC East divisional race going into the final stretch of the season will be one of the key storylines to follow as the season reaches its conclusion.
With the Washington Redskins (+100000) and New York (+50000) Giants both at the bottom of the division with 2-9 records, the race for the NFC East crown is only between the Dallas Cowboys (6-5) and Philadelphia Eagles (5-6).
The Cowboys and Eagles played against each other in Week 7 with Dallas coming out on top in that game 37-10. Getting that early win head to head against the Eagles could be vital for the Cowboys, especially if these two teams ended up in a tie for the division crown.
The pressure will be on the Cowboys and Eagles to win the NFC East because that is the only way into the playoffs for these teams in a stacked NFC.
Dallas Cowboys (-180)
Going into Week 13, the Dallas Cowboys have a slim one-game lead over the Philadelphia Eagles. The Cowboys will have to play some tough teams to close out the season. With remaining games against the Buffalo Bills (8-3), Chicago Bears (5-6), and Los Angeles Rams (6-4) before an inevitable Week 16 road meeting with the Philadelphia Eagles, that game will ultimately decide which team will win the NFC East.
That’s a tough four-game stretch for a team barely hanging onto their lead in the division. The Cowboys do have the talent to beat these teams as quarterback Dak Prescott is having a career year, leading the NFL in passing yards through 12 weeks with 3,433 yards.
The Cowboys control their own playoff destiny, and if they win the rest of their games, they’ll be the first team to win back to back NFC East titles since the Philadelphia Eagles did it in the 2004-2005 seasons.
If they lose a game, they’ll still have one final matchup against the Eagles to get that loss back. The Cowboys have little room for error and if they fail to make the playoffs this season head coach Jason Garrett will likely be fired. The Cowboys do have an advantage over the Eagles, and that is from the fact that they have a better record within the division (4-0) and have a better conference record (5-3).
In the event of any tiebreaker, the Cowboys would have a slight edge. US sportsbooks also have given the Cowboys the edge in the division race as the -180 odds are the shortest among any team in the NFC East.
Philadelphia Eagles (+120)
Despite losing to the Seattle Seahawks in Week 12, the Philadelphia Eagles playoff hopes are still alive. The only way for the Eagles to make the playoffs is to win the NFC East because their six losses already prevent them from claiming a wild card spot.
An advantage the Eagles have over the Cowboys is that they don’t have a hard schedule to end the season. The Eagles have games against the Miami Dolphins (2-9), New York Giants twice (2-9), and Washington Redskins (2-9) before their crucial Week 16 matchup against the Cowboys. The Eagles can easily go on a three-game winning streak against some of the worst teams in the NFL and that will help them make up some ground in the NFC East race.
The Eagles will have to lean on fourth-year quarterback Carson Wentz to lead them back into the playoffs. On the season, Wentz has been less than spectacular, throwing for 2,530 yards, 17 touchdowns, and only six interceptions. He’ll still have to play well to keep a struggling Eagles team afloat against some weak teams.
The Eagles have been a team plagued by injuries all season long but if they can get healthy along the offensive line and at the wide receiver position, it would provide a major boost to their offense. Add in their easy schedule to end the season, and it seems like the Eagles have a better shot at winning the division than the Cowboys.
The +120 odds would currently provide a nice return should the Eagles climb to the top of the division. However, just like the Cowboys, the Eagles must win their final games and they’ll also need some help from Dallas if they are going to take over the top spot in the NFC East.
All in all, the Eagles have the perfect storm brewing to take over the top spot in the NFC East, but the Cowboys still have the best chance at winning the division because they’re the better team. The Cowboys should be able to remain in control of the NFC East and win the franchise's 23rd division title.
The race for the NFC East crown will continue to unfold as the Cowboys have their next game on Thanksgiving Day against the Buffalo Bills. The Eagles will travel to Miami to take on the Dolphins in a game that Philadelphia should win easily on Sunday.