The Dallas Cowboys will visit the Philadelphia Eagles on Saturday night and interestingly the regular-season finale means relatively little for both teams. As the final week of the season unfolds the playoff picture will crystallize and Dallas will find out who they are hosting in the Wildcard Round while the Eagles will figure out just where they are headed. It makes sense for both teams to consider resting players ahead of what they both hope is a historic run in the tournament.
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 lives on all four feeds of the SB Nation sites for Dallas, Philadelphia, Washington, and New York. Remember to subscribe to the Blogging The Boys podcast network so you get access to it and to all of our wonderful shows. Apple devices can subscribe here and Spotify users can subscribe here.
While the Cowboys and Eagles are playing each other and both have more football to look forward to, both Washington and New York are eliminated from playoff contention. That should make their game against one another super exciting this week!
How are each of our three division rivals feeling entering Week 18, though? Let’s take a look.
Philadelphia Eagles (9-7)
When the Cowboys were in contention for the number two seed it seemed very possible for them to host the Eagles in the Wildcard Round. As Dallas is likely headed for the four spot now that scenario has taken a massive hit in probability.
As a result this week will very likely be the last Cowboys/Eagles matchup of the season, and considering it isn’t a true and authentic contest like normal, it won’t exactly have the same feel that the rivalry traditionally does. It remains to be seen how much each team even plays their starters, something the Eagles are giving serious thought to.
Sirianni talked about how they are still working through their plan for the starters in Week 18, and nothing has been decided yet. They are going to prepare like they normally do for now.
“I know there is a thing about resting and there is a thing about staying sharp. No doubt we’re taking everything into account, and we’ll discuss that later on today.”
As for whether they’ll look ahead and start preparing for their expected opponent in Round 1, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and he emphasized that his philosophy is to take things one day at a time, one game at a time, and they have to go out and play well on Saturday against the Cowboys.
Later on, the head coach said that they had heard rumblings about the game possibly being flexed to Saturday night from Sunday afternoon, but they learned for sure about five minutes before the league broke the news.
Sirianni also talked a bit about the different playoff situations he’s been in, and only recalls one time that they had clinched before the end of the season, so he’s going to draw on the experience some, and reach out to different coaches to get their insight on possibly resting some players this week.
“Again, we’ll keep everything on the table. Not sure what we’re going to do quite yet.”
Tampa is the most-likely opponent that the Eagles will face, but again anything can happen. Considering that Dallas/Philly will take place before either team knows their Wildcard opponent it does provide a little bit of an incentive to play, but whether or not the reward is worth the risk is up to each team’s coach.
Up Next: Dallas Cowboys (11-5)
Washington Football Team (6-10)
The Football Team has been a mess over the last month as the most exciting thing involving their squad has involved controversies over benches.
To be crystal clear, Washington saw the Cowboys bring benches to their stadium only because the ones that they provide opposing teams are not adequate. Washington lost and then lost two games where they tried to copy this move and then lost again to the Eagles who became the latest team to bring a bench to FedEx Field (which partly collapsed after the game and almost did so on Jalen Hurts by the way).
Washington has played four division games in a row and lost every single one of them. Needless to say they are just about all the way moved on to the 2022 season.
Ron Rivera: "This offseason is going to be very important, very vital to [the big picture]. ... It's time we see this team start to take that big step forward."— Sam Fortier (@Sam4TR) January 3, 2022
This offseason is expected to bring a new name and re-brand for Washington’s organization so it appears that this week could be the last time that the Football Team ever plays a game.
A historic moment to say the least.
Up Next: at New York Giants (4-12)
New York Giants (4-12)
We live in a day and age where passing is all the rage in the National Football League. Yards, touchdowns, and points come in bunches in just about every NFL game in a given week.
In spite of this reality the New York Giants somehow had -10 net passing yards on Sunday. For real.
Times are tough for the G-Men and so much so that head coach Joe Judge (who the team leaked that they were supporting and bringing back prior to Week 16) went on an 11-minute rant after getting destroyed by the Chicago Bears.
“I can tell you we got more players here who are going to be free agents next year, all right, who are in my office every day begging to come back. Okay? I know that.”
“There are players who we coached last year that still calling me twice a week talking about how much they wish they were still here and they’re getting paid more somewhere else. Okay?”
“So I know we’ve got the right foundational pieces there. I know we have some players in key positions who are guys that you can build with and keep carrying on. All right?”
“I know we got the right temperament. I know we got the right culture in terms of teaching the players. Okay, which is why I don’t come up here and try to assassinate some player because I think it’s going to save my ass. Okay?”
Who on earth is calling Joe Judge every week while making more money elsewhere and begging to be a part of this team?!
Stay around as long as you like, Joe.
Up Next: Washington Football Team (6-10)