We have reached Week 4 of the 2021 NFL season and for the first time the Dallas Cowboys sit atop the NFC East. All feels right in the world.
Dallas has a perfect record within the division (they are only 1-0 so no need to freak out) and has made it through their toughest two-game stretch of the season with a .500 record. The fact that the tough stretch was literally their first two games has led to a point where the schedule is starting to soften up for them.
It is especially hard not to draw this conclusion after the Cowboys’ drubbing of the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night. This has been a really fun game to talk about and it was particularly fun to discuss with Brandon Lee Gowton from Bleeding Green Nation. Every week he and I talk about the state of the division on the NFC East Mixtape, a podcast that can be heard on both the Blogging The Boys and Bleeding Green Nation airwaves.
Listen to the latest episode of the NFC East Mixtape right here! And make sure to subscribe to the Blogging The Boys podcast network wherever you get your podcasts. Apple devices can subscribe here and Spotify users can subscribe here.
BLG and I actually made a wager last week pertaining to Monday night’s game. He lost and now has to wear the greatest logo in the history of the world on his Twitter profile until the next Eagles game kicks off. You really hate to see it.
All told right now, things look very silver and blue within the NFC East (and not just on BLG’s Twitter). It seems as if the Cowboys are in the driver’s seat considering how things are looking with all three division foes.
Washington Football Team (1-2)
There were a lot of people who thought that this team was going to easily win the NFC East in 2021, which seems a little silly now. While they “won” it last year they did so in a season where the Cowboys were inhibited in a number of ways as far as their roster was concerned and the WFT’s one elite quality (their defense) is something that generally doesn’t stick year to year in the NFL.
Since Ron Rivera took over WFT at the beginning of last season the group has won eight games. Here are those teams and the quarterbacks that started for them during that game.
- Philadelphia Eagles (Carson Wentz)
- Dallas Cowboys (Andy Dalton)
- Cincinnati Bengals (Joe Burrow, who got hurt and was knocked out)
- Dallas Cowboys (Andy Dalton)
- Pittsburgh Steelers (Ben Roethlisberger)
- San Francisco 49ers (Nick Mullens)
- Philadelphia Eagles (Jalen Hurts)
- New York Giants (Daniel Jones)
The national media loves to bag on the NFC East for how low-quality it is. Well consider that of Washington’s nine wins in this stretch that five (over half) of them have come against the NFC East and that one of them (last year’s second win over Philly) happened when the opposing team threw the game to them.
Washington finished last season with the third-ranked defense by DVOA and currently sits at 29th through Week 3. Without that quality they simply don’t have the horses to run with anybody else in the NFL.
Next Up: at Atlanta Falcons (1-2)
Philadelphia Eagles (1-2)
They are licking their wounds, and as mentioned, it really is just such a shame to see.
Being serious here, it never made sense for the Eagles to be legitimately competitive this season given the massive overhaul their franchise made this past offseason. Some of their fans lulled themselves into believing in the team after a Week 1 win against the Falcons (which means Washington will likely win this week) but they have come back down to earth rather quickly.
This season is all about answering questions for the future in Philadelphia and right now there are only new questions with no answers. Jalen Hurts does not look like a franchise quarterback, and Nick Sirianni’s gameplan against the Cowboys didn’t make any sense.
Unfortunately for them their next challenge is a rather difficult one.
Up Next: Kansas City Chiefs (1-2)
New York Giants (0-3)
If it isn’t obvious to you by now the Atlanta Falcons are one of the worst teams in the NFL. Look no further than the fact that the Eagles, of all teams, had their way with them in Week 1 as mentioned.
As bad as Atlanta is they beat the New York Giants this past week. It is truly astounding how the G-Men manage to be so inefficient in so many ways. Head coach Joe Judge is in hot water with a lot of their fans, but he is keeping the same Football Guy™️ attitude up as the ship fills with water.
Joe Judge, asked about how analytics factors into his 4th down decisions: "Analytics is just a tool ... You can look at a stat sheet all ya want. I promise ya if Excel was gonna win football games, Bill Gates would be killing it right now. But you've got to take those numbers ...— Pat Leonard (@PLeonardNYDN) September 29, 2021
Looking at the Giants’ next seven games (at Saints, at Cowboys, Rams, Panthers, at Chiefs, Raiders, at Buccaneers) it is not at all unreasonable for them to get to double-digit losses before they earn a win this season.
In case you didn’t know the Giants are tied with the New York Jets for the most losses in the National Football League since the 2017 season began. Some things never change.
Up Next: at New Orleans Saints (2-1)