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Cowboys & Giants rest while Eagles & Commanders face tests in Week 9

Dallas is looking for some help in the NFC East during their bye week.

NFL: Washington Redskins at Minnesota Vikings David Berding-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys must be feeling good heading into their bye week. Getting to 6-2 and moving back into second place in the NFC East, they now hope to watch their rivals falter while they rest up for the second half of the season.

Thanks to the Giants’ loss to the Seattle Seahawks last Sunday, Dallas pulled even with New York overall and currently holds the head-to-head tiebreaker from Week 3. The Cowboys’ victory over the Chicago Bears also helped them stay on the heels of the now 7-0 Philadelphia Eagles.

Even the Washington Commanders are getting back into this NFC East party, improving to 4-4 with their third-straight victory. If the playoffs started now, the division would send three teams to the tournament and Washington would only be knocked out by a conference record tiebreaker with the San Francisco 49ers.

It’s hard to imagine this situation holding much longer, but it sure is fun for now. And while the Cowboys and Giants sit out in Week 9, it adds more intrigue to the activities of their NFC East rivals in this week’s schedule.

On paper, the Eagles seem to have a gimmie coming up with the 1-5-1 Houston Texans. But while this is hardly the toughest opponent one might see in 2022, other factors could make this a trickier game for Philadelphia than you might think.

The Eagles are getting a very short week as they go on the road to play Houston on Thursday Night Football. Even if that doesn’t change the talent disparity between them, these Thursday games have rarely seen teams playing their best ball. If Philly’s off their game, a mad Texans team could make this a slog for them.

That undefeated record is something that will have the Eagles getting everyone’s best shot from now until it ends. For a team like Houston, it’s something to play for in the absence of any other reasonable goals.

Washington faces a much different kind of test, hosting the 6-1 Minnesota Vikings as they hope to preserve their current momentum. If the Commanders can pull off this upset, it will take the current craziness in the NFC East to another level.

Reasonably, the odds are that Washington will remain a middling team with limited hope for the postseason. Contrary to our general nature, rooting for them makes sense here as it would hang a conference loss on Minnesota and potentially help in eventual playoff seeding.

While the Cowboys and Giants can do nothing to help themselves this week but rest and retool, at least the other NFC East teams have some interesting matchups ahead. If the Texans could potentially catch the Eagles on a bad night, it could be an especially good off week for Dallas and New York.

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