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NFC East 2021: Cowboys Closing on Division-Clinching Scenario

Sunday’s big win over Washington left the Dallas Cowboys in some desirable real estate in the NFC East standings. In fact, it has now facilitated a scenario where Dallas can clinch the division with a victory in Week 15 and a loss by the Football Team to the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Cowboys’ 9-4 record now stands three games better than their closest division rivals, both 6-7. Dallas also enjoys a 3-0 record against their NFC East enemies with head-to-head wins against each of New York, Philadelphia, and Washington.

Without only four games left in the regular season, it would take the collapse of all collapses for the Cowboys to botch their current advantage. I don’t think even Jason Garrett could pull this one off.

NFC East Standings

(Division Record in parentheses)
  1. Dallas Cowboys 9-4 (3-0)
  2. Washington Football Team 6-7 (1-1)
  3. Philadelphia Eagles 6-7 (0-2)
  4. New York Giants 4-9 (1-2)

As most of the remaining schedule will be, it’s all happening within the division in Week 15. The Cowboys wrap up a three-game road trip against the Giants while the Eagles, coming off their bye, play host to Washington.

It’d be nice if a Cowboys’ win over the G-Men was all that was needed to secure the NFC East this week, but unfortunately that additional help from Philadelphia is required.

While both the Eagles and the Football Team are 6-7 overall, Washington has has a slightly better record in division games and against the NFC. If both Dallas and Washington win this week, it still leaves open the slim chance that WFT could catch up and steal the division crown.

Meanwhile, beating the Giants does put the Cowboys out of Philly’s reach for any tiebreaker scenario. At best, the Eagles could then only match Dallas in overall, division, and conference records. They’d even finish tied in records against common opponents.

It would ultimately come down to the complicated strength of victory tiebreaker, where the Cowboys’ wins over AFC contenders like the Patriots and Chargers give them a margin that Philadelphia can’t overcome.

The other interesting factor to track in all this is where their remaining outcomes put the Eagles and Washington in terms of the NFC wild card race. Right now WFT is clinging to the seventh and last playoff spot on tiebreakers but there are five other 6-7 teams, including Philly, all clamoring outside the gates.

If you don’t want to see either of our rivals in the postseason, they probably will need to split their two upcoming games and then have another letdown or two elsewhere down the stretch.

Thank goodness our Cowboys aren’t among the NFC desperate. They’ve overcome a lot this season to still stand proudly at 9-4 and potentially clinching the division with three weeks left to play.

Let’s hope for an early NFC East championship that allows them all the rest, recovery, and preparation needed for a memorable playoff run.

What do you think?

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Written by Jess Haynie

Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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  1. Just beat the Giants. They have so many players out due to Covid (protocol/close contact) and injuries that they will barely be able to field a team come Sunday.

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