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NFC East Week 5 preview: Road tests for the division leaders

The Cowboys, Eagles, and Giants will all be challenged as visiting teams against legitimate competition.

Washington Commanders v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

In one of the more shocking developments this season, the NFC East is the winningest division in football after four weeks. But with the Cowboys, Eagles, and Giants all having three challenging road games this Sunday, balance may soon be restored in the NFL standings.

It’s clearly a three-horse race right now in the NFC East based on the records. And with Washington already taking two divisional losses and having major quarterback concerns, they’re fairly easily dismissed at this point as a threat.

Every week we discuss the state of the NFC East as a whole on a cross-podcast project with our friends at Bleeding Green Nation, Big Blue View, and Hogs Haven on the NFC East Mixtape. Make sure to subscribe to the Blogging The Boys podcast network so you don’t miss any of our shows! Apple devices can subscribe here and Spotify users can subscribe here.

Questions still linger about Dallas and New York as well. While the Cowboys’ three-game win streak with QB Cooper Rush is impressive, their opponents so far during the run haven’t been. One of those was the Giants, who could barely function offensively in that meeting and have mostly eked out wins against mediocre teams.

There’s rarely much you can knock about a 4-0 team, especially when you look at the Eagles’ performance so far. After a tough road opener in Detroit, they dominated the Vikings and Commanders at home. Last week, Philadelphia came back from an early 14-0 deficit and reasserted their will against Jacksonville.

Now we head into Week 5 and all three of the division’s winning teams face some legitimate tests of their mettle. While the outcomes will only impact the standings so much, we could have a better sense of just who Dallas, New York, and Philadelphia are after Sunday.

The Giants start things early over in London as the “road” team against the Green Bay Packers. There’s no real home-field advantage in this international event, but it still projects to be an inhospitable environment for New York. The Packers have won three straight, taking down the Bucs along the way, and Aaron Rodgers appears to be back in his bag after an ugly Week 1.

The G-Men have made it to 3-1 so far by doing just enough to win some ugly games. But if the current Cowboys offense can put up 23 as it did in Week 3, Rodgers is probably about to put on a show for the Brits.

Thankfully, Dallas’ offense is stronger now with Michael Gallup and Dalton Schultz back in the lineup. They’ll be needed as the Cowboys head to Los Angeles to meet the defending Super Bowl champions.

The Rams haven’t been great so far, losing big to the Bills and 49ers on the way to a 2-2 record. If that wasn’t motivation enough, we know all too well how teams get up for playing the Cowboys. This is still a legit opponent with some of the NFL’s elite at their positions. This will easily be the toughest test yet for Cooper Rush.

While the Eagles got the easiest draw of the week, the Arizona Cardinals won’t be pushovers at home. But they’ve lost both of their games at State Farm Stadium so far in 2022 against the Chiefs and Rams. With Philly coming in as the hottest team in football right now, it could be more than Arizona can handle.

Still, the Cardinals are coming off an 11-6 season and QB Kyler Murray is still a potent offensive weapon. They seem to be slow starters in 2022, both in games and in general, but could soon regain their playoff form from last year. The rest of the NFC East certainly hopes it happens this week.

In general, this will be a big week for perceptions. Dallas, New York, and Philly all have a chance to either prove or enhance their legitimacy with wins. With the Cowboys still having the Cooper Rush excuse and the Eagles being allowed to stumble once, their reputations can suffer losses better than the Giants’.

With a huge Cowboys-Eagles matchup looming next week, we’ll see how the division looks after Week 5.

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