There’s a lot on the line today as the Dallas Cowboys host the Philadelphia Eagles. The biggest items you’re already aware of; taking control of the NFC East, staying above .500, and picking up a valuable head-to-head tiebreaker. A lesser issue, though one Cowboys fans certainly care about, is maintaining the team’s recent dominance over their biggest rival.
The Cowboys are currently on a three-game win streak over the Eagles, going back to the regular-season finale of the 2017 season. They have a 4-2 record over Philly since Dak Prescott and Carson Wentz became the quarterbacks in 2016.
One of those Eagles victories was in the 2016 finale, when Dallas was resting starters in preparation for the playoffs. To be fair, Philadelphia was also not that invested in the 2017 finale.
Throwing those two games out, that means the Eagles only have one meaningful victory over the Cowboys in the last three seasons. That means a lot to some, especially those invested in seeing Prescott prove himself in comparison to Wentz.
Prior to 2016, which is also when Doug Pederson became Philadelphia’s head coach, Jason Garrett had a 6-6 record against the Eagles. Garrett would certainly like to keep the recent wins going as well, especially with his job security currently a hot issue.
Historically, the Cowboys are 68-52 against the Eagles in their long-standing rivalry.
While the Giants and Redskins can make a little noise from time to time, the modern era of NFC East play has been dominated by Dallas and Philadelphia. They own seven of the last ten division championships, four of which belong to the Cowboys.
Dallas entered 2019 as the reigning NFC East Champions. One challenge facing the Cowboys this year is overcoming the 14-year history of no repeat division winners. The Eagles were the last team to do it back in 2004.
But all this talk of history and streaks is more for our benefit as fans than anything. The two teams facing off tonight are only concerned about those few hours of football.
While a loss today would only put either Dallas or Philadelphia a game back of the other in their overall records, the head-to-head tiebreaker essentially creates a two-game advantage. The loser would have to wait until Week 16 to try to eliminate the tiebreaker in the rematch.
Things are especially critical for Jason Garrett, whose team is heading into their bye week following tonight’s game. A loss puts the Cowboys on a four-game slide and could leave Jerry Jones wondering if a major shakeup during the bye week is needed to turn things around.
After a week of waiting, we’ll finally get to see the current and historical impacts of this 121st meeting between the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday Night Football.