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Cowboys news: Dallas projected to win NFC East heading into week 13

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The Monday morning links.

NFL: Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys sit atop NFC East, but one projection reveals if they’re favored to win it - Peter Dawson, The Star-Telegram
According to FiveThirtyEight, your Dallas Cowboys are the current favorites to take home the NFC East crown.

Both teams possess a record of 6-5, but Dallas currently owns the tie-breaker.

The two split their regular-season series, but the Cowboys have a better record (3-1) in the division.

And according to the latest projection from fivethirtyeight.com, Dallas is the team that is most likely to win the NFC East at 55 percent.

The Redskins have the next-best chance at 24 percent, while the Philadelphia Eagles (who trail the two teams by one game in the standings), have a 22 percent chance.

The projection states that the the Cowboys, Redskins and Eagles have a 61, 39 and 24 percent chance to make the NFL playoffs, respectively.

Week 12 NFL playoff picture: Cowboys in first in NFC East - Kevin Seifert, ESPN
Dallas is now in the postseason mix after a win against division foe Washington.

A third consecutive victory, coinciding with the Redskins' third loss in four games, has the Cowboys in first place for the moment. It'll get tougher in Week 12, when the Cowboys host the Saints. But the Redskins look cooked. Backup quarterback Colt McCoy inspired no confidence on Thursday that he can pilot this team to the playoffs. If the Redskins' fall continues and the Philadelphia Eagles fail to catch fire, do the Cowboys win the division by default?

NFL Playoff Picture: Eagles’ win over Giants sets up big NFC East matchup against Washington - Brandon Gowton, Bleeding Green Nation
The NFC East has a huge game with big implications next Monday night. Cowboys fans will certainly be tuned in.

The Cowboys could easily be staring 6-6 in the face given their Week 13 matchup against the 10-1 New Orleans Saints on Thursday Night Football this week.

As for Washington, the Eagles will host them on Monday Night Football in Week 13. Beating Colt McCoy and co. would allow Philadelphia to 6-6 while dropping Washington to the same record. It’s another big, must-win game for the Birds.

Assuming everything goes the Eagles’ way, which surely cannot be safely assumed, the Eagles and Cowboys could both be at 6-6 heading into their Week 14 matchup in Dallas. The winner of that game would take the NFC East lead with just three games remaining.

Dallas Cowboys: Hold up, NFC East race not over - Dink Kearney, SportDFW
Despite the current projections, the division is far from clinched.

But before we crown the Cowboys the NFC East champs, this division race is far from over, regardless of the other teams’ records.

When you look at Dallas’ divisional foes (Washington Redskins, Philadelphia Eagles, and the hapless New York Giants), all three of those teams have a realistically and mathematically chance of winning the NFC East.

Yes, you read that sentence right. The hapless Giants could still win the division with its dismal 3-3-7 record. So can the evil 4-6 Eagles and the same goes for those 6-4, miserable Redskins. Now before you chew me out and call me crazy, let me explain in the simplest terms why I feel this way.

Quite simply, the reason this division is still up for grabs is because there isn’t a dominant team in the division who will run away with the title. That goes for our beloved “Boys” called “America’s Team.


Amari Cooper: Saints game can be measuring stick for Cowboys; ‘If we can beat them, then that says a lot about us’ - Jon Machota, SportsDay
Thursday night could give the Cowboys a huge jump in the divisional race — and Amari Cooper knows it.

A three-game winning streak has put the Cowboys atop the NFC East and ignited playoff talk. A win Thursday night over the 10-1 New Orleans Saints would take things to another level.

To many, this game will be looked at as a measuring stick to see where the Cowboys stack up among the NFL’s best entering the final month of the season.

”Why not look at it that way?” Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper asked. “They’re one of the best teams in the league. So if we can beat them, then that says a lot about us.”

Scout’s Eye: Assessing The Secondary - Bryan Broaddus, The Mothership
How did the secondary look against Washington? Bryan Broaddus breaks that, and much more, down.

I have to give the Cowboys’ secondary some acknowledgement for the way they were able to hold the Redskins’ running game in check. One of the big reasons that the Redskins had been having success with Adrian Peterson was due in large part was his ability to attack the edges and get to the outside. As a unit, when Peterson attempted to bounce the ball to the outside, someone from the secondary was right there to take him on. Both Byron Jones and Chidobe Awuzie took on blockers all day and didn’t give an inch. Jeff Heath and Xavier Woods were able to clean up the play when Jones and Awuzie took on those blocks. The key to this game was going to come down to how well they tackled Peterson and they were able to accomplish that.


How Kliff Kingsbury could fit into the Dallas Cowboys - David Howman, BTB
Kliff Kingsbury to Dallas? Our own David Howman wrote about how the former Texas Tech coach could fit in with the Cowboys.

Kingsbury parlayed his success into the head coaching job at Texas Tech, where he coached three different quarterbacks who are now in the NFL: Davis Webb, Patrick Mahomes, and Baker Mayfield. Kingsbury’s teams consistently had some stellar offenses, but the biggest on-field problem was that the defenses were always terrible.

Kingsbury also seemed to have trouble juggling the responsibilities of recruiting with running the team. The general consensus seems to be that he’s a schematic mastermind but isn’t quite ready to run a program. Perhaps a few more years working specifically with the offense might help grow his skillset.

This is where America’s Team enters the picture. The fit with Kingsbury almost seems too perfect. He’s a Texas native and has only worked with the Texas schools thus far, and his track record of building offenses around the players’ best skills, as well as developing quarterbacks and getting the best out of them, should make Dallas jump up and down. The only thing in the way of Kingsbury calling plays for the Cowboys right now is that, unlike the college football season, the NFL season isn’t close to being done yet.