The NFC East is a disaster in 2020. Actually that is sort of offensive to disasters. It’s hard to define just what the NFL’s most storied division is this year, but it isn’t anything worth writing home about (please pay attention as I am writing about it). Consider that the division collectively has less wins (10) than the number of the week that we are on (11) if you somehow don’t believe this thing to be a dumpster fire.
The Dallas Cowboys, like their rivals, have lost a lot of players this season. This truth has certainly contributed to how difficult the season has been and to the ever-perpetuating idea of tanking for a higher draft pick in 2021.
As silly as it will end up being, the reality of the way that the rules work in the NFL is that one of these four teams is not only going to make the postseason but even host a playoff game. We have watched them all be their own unique messes just about every week of the season, but none of them have more than three wins or less than two. They are all squarely in it, the Cowboys included.
The Cowboys could be in first place in the NFC East on the Monday night after Thanksgiving
Time has stood still in this particular calendar year, but amazingly by next Friday the Thanksgiving holiday will be in the rearview mirror.
Of course, this means that between now and then the Dallas Cowboys (2-7) will play two professional football games, assuming you want to call what they have been doing “professional”. The group showed something in their last outing against the Pittsburgh Steelers two weeks ago and so it is obviously possible that we see that translate past the bye week when the coaching staff had even more time to plan, prepare, and all of that jazz. Plus, the Cowboys have two low-quality opponents coming up in the Minnesota Vikings (4-5) and Washington Football Team (2-7).
Consider that of the seven remaining games for the Cowboys, six of them are against teams with a record below .500. This is looking a bit down the road and past the two week point that we are currently talking about, but perhaps it helps you understand how some are reluctant to toss in the towel on the 2020 season. The point is that, to quote the great philosopher Kevin Garnett, anything is possible here.
We previously noted that the NFC East has fewer wins than the number of the week that we are on, but do you know how many of those have come outside of the division? Of the 10 victories that NFC East teams have tasted so far this season, only two have come outside of these four teams. One of them belongs to the Cowboys as they beat the Atlanta Falcons off of a miracle ending (the Philadelphia Eagles beat the San Francisco 49ers earlier in the season).
This isn’t about false optimism, but that number is rather unlikely to grow as the season rides through November and December. Consider the non-NFC East games that all four teams have to play and it’s hard to talk yourself into any of them winning a single one.
So now let’s talk about just these next two weeks for a second. The New York Giants are on bye and we won’t see them again until after turkey has been consumed, but they will have to take on a Cincinnati Bengals team that has looked solid in Joe Burrow’s first year. That’s who Washington will face this week. It is possible that Cincy beats them both. Likely even.
The Philadelphia Eagles have to visit the Cleveland Browns this week and look incapable of putting anything together offensively. Myles Garrett will likely complicate those matters all the more and after that game is all said and done things will hardly get easier for Philly when the host the Seattle Seahawks on the Monday night after Thanksgiving.
It is for this reason that it is legitimately possible that on the morning of December 1st that the Dallas Cowboys could be the lone NFC East team with at least four wins. All that stands in their way is a Minnesota Vikings team that barley did enough to beat the Chicago Bears and a Washington Football Team that broke them beyond oblivion a month ago. No big deal, of course.
We have spent the last week talking about how we saw legitimate progress from Mike McCarthy’s group against the Pittsburgh Steelers. If that group returns with some more momentum on top of it thanks to the bye, then it is possible that they beat two lowly teams over the course of the next week or so, and that we are in the middle of ultimate chaos for the final month of the season.
Wouldn’t that be the true and total 2020 way?