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State of the NFC East: Dallas vs. San Francisco, Eagles at Buccaneers, Giants fire Joe Judge

A look at the NFC East as the playoffs begin.

Syndication: The Record Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com / USA TODAY NETWORK

The playoffs are about to begin and half of the NFC East is going to be participating in them. Both the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles will play on Sunday afternoon, and to be quite honest, wins from both would be beneficial for Dallas’ cause.

Obviously we want to see the Cowboys win, but if they do and the Eagles win then Dallas would host their Divisional Round matchup as opposed to having to go to Tampa Bay to face the Buccaneers. Games at home are always preferable.

Every week Brandon Gowton from Bleeding Green Nation and I discuss the state of the division on the NFC East Mixtape. This is a unique podcast as it is accessible on both ours and their podcast networks as well as over at Hogs Haven and Big Blue View (a heads up that we recorded this the day before Joe Judge was fired by the New York Giants). Remember to subscribe to the Blogging The Boys podcast network so you get access to all of our shows. Apple devices can subscribe here and Spotify users can subscribe here.

While Dallas and Philly are continuing their seasons things are over for Washington and New York. Here are how all of our foes are feeling this particular week.


Philadelphia Eagles (9-8)

All focus for the Eagles is obviously on the Buccaneers. The two teams did meet earlier in the season, in fact there were a lot of Cowboys fans rooting for Philly on that Thursday night so as to help Dallas’ potential hopes for the number one seed.

It is difficult to imagine the Buccaneers losing this game, but this is the playoffs where chaos happens. For what it’s worth Philadelphia has anticipated this game for some time.

From our friends at Bleeding Green Nation:

Sirianni explained that they are coaches and when they go to prepare for an opponent, they look at the percentages and chances of a team doing one thing or another — they took that same approach on Sunday, noting that there was a greater chance that they would be facing off against the Buccaneers in Round 1, so they spent most of their time preparing for that outcome. He acknowledged they did have a plan for their other potential opponents, but they put most of their energy into preparing for Tampa Bay, so it worked out.

“This is a playoff game, as we know, but we’re not going into this game saying this is different than any other game that we play. And, we’re not going to tell these guys that they have to do something extraordinary to win this football game, or extraordinary because it’s a playoff game now.”

“No, it’s going to take everybody’s best effort, but the process remains the same of how we go about our business. When it’s about the process — when you’re process-driven and you’re results aware, then you don’t ride the highs and lows of the season. Not only am I speaking of highs and lows after a win or a loss, but also highs and lows of what you deem a big game and what you deem a not so big game. They’re all big in this league.”

While I fully recognize that rooting for the Eagles in any capacity is an unnatural feeling and that we are talking about doing so in a playoff game of all things, a Philadelphia win would be rather nice if we are being honest.

The Cowboys are guaranteed to not have to face the Green Bay Packers until at least the NFC Championship Game, assuming they get there obviously, but being able to host a second playoff game with a ticket to it on the line would be a much friendlier thing than having to visit the reigning world champions.

Up Next: at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (13-4)


Washington Football Team (7-10)

There isn’t much to say about the Football Team other than that their season is over. What a shame.

We are so far removed from plenty of people picking WFT to win the division. To be fair they kept themselves in the mix for a bit, but they managed to embarrass themselves over and over and over again throughout the month of December (and plenty of times before that).

Like any NFL franchise the Football Team (who will have a new name on February 2nd by the way!) needs a quarterback in order to be legitimate. It seems they are focusing on that this offseason.

Do you, Washington. Do you.


New York Giants (4-13)

Unfortunately on Monday the New York Giants “let” Dave Gettleman retire which puts to an end one of our more favorite eras in Big Blue’s history.

The Giants are a total disaster and have effectively been one for a decade now (with the second half of it taking on new life). Much of the reason for their current dysfunction is head coach Joe Judge and, while again we recorded the Mixtape before this happened, the team ultimately parted ways with him as well.

From our friends at Big Blue View:

After a 4-13 season that tied a franchise record for losses in a single year, Giants owners John Mara and Steve Tisch deliberated for a couple of days before making their decision.

“Steve (Tisch) and I both believe it is in the best interest of our franchise to move in another direction,” said team president John Mara in a statement released by the team. “We met with Joe yesterday afternoon to discuss the state of the team. I met again with Joe this afternoon, and it was during that conversation I informed Joe of our decision. We appreciate Joe’s efforts on behalf of the organization.

“I said before the season started that I wanted to feel good about the direction we were headed when we played our last game of the season. Unfortunately, I cannot make that statement, which is why we have made this decision.

“We will hire a general manager and that person will lead the effort to hire a new head coach.”

The vibe from Giants brass has been reluctance to fire Joe Judge after two years simply because they don’t want to do that to a coach for the third time in a row. That was silly and it seems they have realized that they had to move on.

So ends Judge’s tenure at East Rutherford. A reminder that he was hired in the same cycle as Mike McCarthy and Ron Rivera. It will be interesting to see where he winds up next and who is the new point of leadership for the Giants.