NFC East

What the Cowboys' Loss Means for the 1st-Place Eagles

What the Cowboys’ loss means for the Eagles originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

As battles for first place go, this one is pretty lame. Nonetheless, Eagles-Cowboys Sunday night at the Linc will be exactly that.

The Eagles are 2-4-1 after their win Thursday night over the Giants. The Cowboys dropped to 2-5 Sunday with their loss to Washington.

The winner will take command of the NFC East at the midway point of the 2020 season with a whopping THREE WINS.

Washington ended a five-game losing streak Sunday and improved to 2-5 with its 25-3 win over Dallas Sunday, but they have a bye next week, so they’re stuck with two wins for at least another week.

The Giants are 1-6 but only 1 1/2 games out of first place in the worst division in NFL history.

The NFC East has a composite 2-15-1 record in games against teams from outside the division.

That’s two wins in 18 games.

The Eagles and Cowboys meet for the first time this year at 8:20 p.m. Sunday at the Linc in their second-straight prime time national TV game.

A win would give the Eagles a 1 1/2-game lead over the Cowboys plus a tiebreaker with the rematch to come two days after Christmas.

That means if the Eagles just went 3-5 the second half of the season to finish 6-9-1, the Cowboys would have to go 5-3 to get ahead of them.

Washington has a head-to-head win over the Eagles with the rematch coming on the last day of the season.

The Eagles are bidding to become the first team to win the NFC East two years in a row since the Eagles won four straight from 2001 through 2004. The Eagles and Cowboys have won the last four division titles.

Whoever wins the division — no matter what the record — will get a home playoff game on wild-card weekend.

The only team in NFL history to win its division with a losing record is the 2010 Seahawks, who went 7-9 to win the NFC West and then beat the Saints 41-36 in a wild-card game.

According to web site 538, the Eagles went into Sunday with a 59 percent chance of winning the division, the Cowboys had a 26 percent chance, Washington was at 11 percent and the Giants 5 percent.

With the Cowboys’ loss, the Eagles’ chance to win the division improved to 63 percent, the Cowboys dropped to 12 percent, Washington went up to 21 percent and the Giants stayed at 5 percent.

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