It's starting to get lonely at the top in the NFC East, but I'm sure the Cowboys don't mind. With the rest of the division losing in Week 6, Dallas' overtime victory over the New England Patriots gave them a three-game lead going into their bye week.
While the Cowboys gutted it out against the Patriots and the officials in Foxborough, their rivals all lost home games against some of the NFL's other top teams.
The Eagles took their loss last Thursday night against Tampa Bay, falling short in a second-half rally. Washington and New York were less competitive, both getting handled yesterday by the Chiefs and Rams.
With about a third of the 17-game season now behind us, Dallas' lead in the division is becoming downright comfortable. Their bye week comes early but at an opportune time for some ailing players to heal and for the coaches to look at tweaking the roster.
And while the Cowboys rest, the Eagles, Giants, and Football Team may slip even farther.
NFC East Standings
(Division Record in parentheses)
- Dallas Cowboys 5-1 (2-0)
- Washington Football Team 2-4 (1-0)
- Philadelphia Eagles 2-4 (0-1)
- New York Giants 1-5 (0-2)
Philadelphia travels to Las Vegas to face the 4-2 Raiders. Despite the huge shakeup on their coaching staff last week, Vegas had an impressive road win against the Broncos yesterday. They should have several advantages next Sunday against the Eagles.
Washington's also on the road against the 4-1 Green Bay Packers. After getting lit up by Patrick Mahomes in their own house, having to face Aaron Rodgers at Lambeau is a daunting prospect.
New York has the best chance at winning with a home game against the 3-3 Panthers. We saw Carolina give Dallas a tough matchup in Week 4, but they've lost their last three and two of their early wins came against the Jets and Texans. But the Giants are arguably on the same bottom tier with those teams, so this could be the Panthers' opportunity to end their skid.
Even if New York gets a win, Dallas' grip on the division would still be fortified with likely losses by Philly and Washington.
A lot can still happen in 2021. But with the midseason turning point not far off, the Cowboys have one of the more commanding early leads that this division has seen.
Let's hope the bye week allows them to rest, retool, and continue dominating over the rest of the year.