The Dallas Cowboys will be walking into tonight's game against the Washington Football Team with one less thing to worry about. Thanks to earlier game outcomes, the Cowboys have officially become 2021 NFC East Champions!
While the Philadelphia Eagles handled their business against the New York Giants, that win wasn't enough to prevent the Cowboys from clinching the division. Though Philly still has a slim chance of matching Dallas' overall, division, and conference records, they would now lose based on the “strength of victory” tiebreaker.
The tiebreaker was clinched with losses today by the Lions and Broncos, both teams that the Eagles have beaten in 2021 but Dallas either didn't play (Detroit) or didn't beat (Denver). This lowered the “strength” of those victories and it is now impossible for Philly to match Dallas in that formula.
Even with that outcome, Dallas only needed two of six other games to go their way to clinch the division. But in the five games that kicked off at noon today, only the Atlanta Falcons' win over Detroit went in the Cowboys' favor.
It wasn't until the Las Vegas Raiders just defeated the Broncos that things became official for Dallas.
This is the Cowboys' first division title since 2018. It's also the 17th season since there's been a repeat champion in the NFC East.
Mike McCarthy now has his first division win as Dallas' head coach in his second season. It's the third time that the Cowboys have taken the NFC East since Dak Prescott became starting quarterback in 2016.
Dallas' work is far from done in the regular season. They still want to remain near the top of the NFC playoff seeding and potentially catch McCarthy's former team, the Green Bay Packers, for that number-one seed.
That means tonight's game against Washington is still one the Cowboys very much need to win.