Something stuck me in the 5 Questions post about how a team as clearly flawed as SF can be forecast at 8-8 while most pundits have a talented DAL team at 9-7. The answer, of course, is the strength of each team's division - with the East generally conceded to be 'The Best Division in the NFL'(apologies to AFC South) and the West considered 'The Worst Division in the NFL.' It's basically a no-brainer that the Cowboys would win the West outright with a virtual sweep of Division foes - conceding a Road loss to AZ just to temper any charges of homerism.
The larger point is this - during Divisional realignment a couple of years back, JJ insisted the Cowboys stay in the East - traditional rivalries and history as the reasoning. But the real motivation is, as it should be for an owner - dollars. Simply - ratings, merchandise sales and interest will be highest if these are maintained. But does this stand up in reality? Do theCowboys/NFL really need this to ensure ratings? Competitively, are the Cowboys served best in this alignment, taking into account this is all cyclical. Doesn't winning = playoff seeding = success? Wouldn't that produce the same if not better, commercial results as being less competitive in a traditional alignment? Travel would be less burdensome (and 'Greener'). Certainly, late season weather would be less of a factor as well.
I hate the Giants, having gown up in NY. I despise the Redskins and went to college in DC. And I absolutely loathe Philly and basically have left town as soon as I could whenever I went there(except for visits to Bookbinders). But do I need those rivalries - not so sure anymore. What say you?