FanPost

Why the New York Giants Hold the Cowboys' Key to the NFC East

With their abysmal record, it seems absurd to think that the Giants will go on a tear and challenge for the division, but they are the biggest players in how the final tally will shape up.

The Giants became relevant with a win over the Eagles prior to their bye week. Still remaining on their schedule, are two games against the Redskins and a game against Dallas. Adding to the drama, that second game against he ‘skins comes at home for the Giants on the final game of the season--while Dallas is playing at home versus the Eagles.

The Redskins desperately need to sweep the Giants to keep their playoff hopes alive, because the ‘skins are currently 0-2 in the division and 1-4 in the conference. Sweeping the Giants would get them to 2-2 but they would still need to beat the Cowboys and the Eagles to have a winning division record.

Dallas is currently 3-0 in the division and 5-1 in the conference. They would need to lose all their remaining division games to open the door for the Eagles or Redskins, and their game against the Giants looms large as one of the key final match-ups.

If Dallas wins in New York, their chances of winning the division skyrocket. It would give them a 4-0 record within the division and move them to what would most likely be a record of 6-5 (assuming a loss to the Saints on Nov. 10). With five remaining games, they would most likely need only two wins to clinch the division and three wins to finish with a winning record.

With the Eagles sitting at 2-2 within the division and the Redskins at 0-2, one thing is assured by their meeting on November 17: either the Eagles will move to 3-2 and begin pressuring Dallas even further, while dropping the ‘skins to 0-3, which would all but eliminate them for contention—or the Eagles will fall to 2-3, meaning that Dallas gets a little more room in their division lead, while keeping a wary eye on the Redskins.

Again, it comes back to New York. With two games left against Washington, the Giants could easily derail any late charge made by Redskins, even if the ‘skins prevail over Phildelphia. And by splitting games with the Eagles, the Giants have already greatly reduced the birds' margin for error.

Finally, the timing of the Giants game is critical to the Cowboys as they gear up for a late season push. It's far too optimistic to think that the 'boys defense can slow down the Saints offense enough for Romo to outscore them next week. So the Giants game will be crucial for getting back on track. But after the Saints Dallas gets their much-needed bye week.

This gives Dallas twice as long to game-plan and practice for New York. It allows them time to get healthy and focused. With any luck, Dallas will have DeMarcus Ware, a healthier DeMarco Murray and Miles Austin all ready for battle in that game. A win against the Giants would send Dallas home to prepare for the very beatable Oakland Raiders and a chance to begin building momentum.

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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