Nothing went right in Dallas for the Cowboys in Week 9. But while their blowout loss to the Denver Broncos was demoralizing, the damage was mitigated by other happenings in the NFC East.
The division's top two teams going into the week were the Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles. Both teams suffered home losses yesterday; a field goal in the final seconds lifted the Los Angeles Chargers to a 27-24 victory and dropped the Eagles to 3-6.
With Washington on its bye week the New York Giants were the only other NFC East team in action. They took advantage of three Derek Carr turnovers to win 23-16 at home, improving to 3-6 and getting out of the division basement.
But even with the Giants' victory, Dallas' cushion in the division remained the same thanks to the Eagles' loss. Still an impressive 6-2 midway through the regular season, the Cowboys are the only team above .500 and still have three more wins than the next-closest rival.
NFC East Standings
(Division Record in parentheses)
- Dallas Cowboys 6-2 (2-0)
- Philadelphia Eagles 3-6 (0-1)
- New York Giants 3-6 (0-2)
- Washington Football Team 2-6 (1-0)
The Week 10 schedule sets up for the Cowboys to keep and even improve their lead. Assuming they figure out what went wrong against Denver, Dallas has a very winnable home game against the 4-4 Atlanta Falcons.
Washington returns to action with a much tougher opponent. They will host Tampa Bay in a rematch of last year's Wild Card game. Both teams will be coming off a bye, and the Football Teams is much shakier opponent this year than when the Bucs last defeated them.
Meanwhile, the Eagles head west to face the Broncos. Will yesterday's big win give Denver some momentum to ride? We certainly hope so!
The Giants will be on their bye this week.
Cowboys fans may still be licking their wounds a bit, but take comfort in what the team's accomplished so far. Their ticket to the playoffs is still looking good as the rest of the division flounders.