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NFC East roundup: Back-to-back divisional games for the Cowboys

It’s Dallas week.

Washington Football Team v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

NFC East Pick ’em record: (6-4)

Head coach Mike McCarthy believes winning the games against division opponents is most important. He feels that it’s like winning “two games.” With the Dallas Cowboys handling the New York Giants, they can potentially be up “four games” after taking on the Washington Commanders at home.

With the Philadelphia Eagles showing no signs of slowing down, this will be an important game for Dallas. Here’s a look around the NFC East for Week 4.

Dallas Cowboys (2-1) vs. Washington Commanders (1-2)

When the Commanders came to town in 2021, they not only left with their team benches but added an embarrassing loss on top of it. The final score wasn’t close as Dallas routed Washington 56-14.

Things will look different this time around for the Commanders. They now have an old division foe in Carson Wentz at quarterback, and Terry McLaurin is no longer the team’s only playmaker. Curtis Samuel seems to have finally found his groove after being injured for most of 2021, and Jahan Dotson is exceeding expectations as a rookie.

Running back Antonio Gibson was heading towards the exit before rookie Brian Robinson was shot during a car-jacking incident and could not start the season. Gibson has split time with J.D McKissic, who is more of a threat as a pass catcher than a runner. He could be a difficult matchup for the Dallas linebackers.

On defense, Washington is taking another step backward under Ron Rivera. For a unit that presented many problems in 2020, it’s been a shell of itself ever since. The defense sits at the bottom of the NFL in average yards allowed per game with 402.7. The Commanders are also dead last in the league with takeaways, having just one on the season.

Dallas can win this game by following the recipe that got them a win against the Giants. Protect the ball and establish a dominant rushing attack early and often. Cooper Rush has yet to make a mistake, while his counterpart in Wentz has turned the ball over four times. Daniel Jones presented more of a threat to run, so if the Cowboys’ pass rush can contain him in the pocket, they’ll be sure to get home a few times.

While the Commanders offense is better than last season, Dallas has already been tested by a talented Bengals team and won that battle. The Cowboys are also very familiar with Wentz as a quarterback, which gives Dan Quinn and the defense an advantage. Dallas should win at home 23-17.

Philadelphia Eagles (3-0) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-1)

This game could be the most entertaining matchup of Week 4. Not only is it the Doug Pederson revenge game against the franchise he guided to their only Super Bowl win, but it has a very David vs. Goliath feeling.

While the Eagles keep rolling against their NFC opponents, the Jacksonville Jaguars might be their most challenging matchup. The Jags offense ranks sixth in the NFL, averaging just over 375 yards per game, and their defense is +7 in the turnover margin, which is the best league-wide.

Trevor Lawrence has all the tools to be a great NFL quarterback and is finally in a system that supports him. Week 3 was his best game, completing 28 of 39 passes for 262 yards and three touchdowns. Lawrence also has the support of underrated backs in James Robinson and Travis Etienne.

This game will be big-on-big between the Eagles offense and the Jaguars defense. Both rank among the top five in the NFL and have star players across the rosters. Who has the upper hand? Jacksonville is still a young roster overall while it’s year two in Nick Siriani’s offensive scheme. Jalen Hurts also presents a problem for the Jags defense with his mobility.

If Jacksonville can find a way to beat Philly, that will be quite the statement heading into Week 5. However, the Eagles have better wide receivers and a more experienced quarterback and should win with that alone. The final score feels similar to the Week 1 matchup against the Detroit Lions. The Eagles go 4-0, beating the Jaguars 34-27.

New York Giants (2-1) vs. Chicago Bears (2-1)

This is truly an unwatchable game. Four weeks into the season, the NFL world assumed both these teams would be 0-3. Yet somehow, one of these teams will be walking away 3-1, a better record than the defending AFC Champion Bengals and San Francisco 49ers.

New York and Chicago are teams looking to rebuild with new coaching staffs. What will be the best thing their teams do by the end of the season? The first season is vital for Brian Daboll and Matt Eberflus to establish identity. Eberflus is a defensive coach keeping opponents under 20 points per game. That’s good. Daboll, an offensive coach, has the Giants offense averaging over 160 rushing yards per game. Also very good.

Where both teams can improve is in the passing game. Justin Fields and Daniel Jones have been two of the worst passing quarterbacks in the NFL, but it’s not entirely their fault. Bad offensive line play and lack of talented skill players will contribute to quarterbacks having subpar seasons.

Marc Sessler of and the Around the NFL Podcast made a bet before the season that fans would see the shortest NFL game ever played this season. The record is for 2 hours and 29 minutes. With a 50 percent chance of rain Sunday in the Meadowlands and offenses who are strongest running the ball, there is a chance the record is broken. New York is the better of the two teams and will keep their playoff hopes alive, winning 16-7.

NFC East Week 3 record prediction:

Philadelphia Eagles (4-0)

Dallas Cowboys (3-1)

New York Giants (3-1)

Washington Commanders (2-2)

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