Few would’ve expected the Cowboys to close the gap with the Eagles in the NFC East last week, but surprises are rarely lacking in this league. Coming out of Week 6, Dallas is now a game out from Philadelphia in the NFL’s most-watched division race.
This unexpected opportunity came Sunday when the Eagles shockingly lost to the New York Jets. Held to just 14 points by the Jets’ impressive defense, Philly made uncharacteristic mistakes. Jalen Hurts threw three interceptions and D’Andre Swift had a lost fumble to allow New York to pull off the upset.
The Cowboys then handled business on Monday night against the Chargers. In a tough, sloppy game marred by overzealous officials, Dak Prescott, CeeDee Lamb, Micah Parsons, and others made enough critical plays to get the road win and positive momentum going into their bye week.
Washington had an arguably bigger road victory over the Falcons. In a battle of possible NFC wild card contenders, the Commanders pulled even with Atlanta at 3-3 and picked up a potential head-to-head tiebreaker. If nothing else, staying at .500 early in the year helps Ron Rivera survive the fragile morale of the organization.
Speaking of morale, it couldn’t be lower for the New York Giants. Even a gritty 14-9 road loss to the Buffalo Bills doesn’t help; moral victories don’t really work for a team that had playoff aspirations. While Brian Daboll has nothing to fear this season, especially given his quarterback issues, this is hardly the follow-up that the reigning Coach of the Year envisioned.
Here are the NFC East standings after Week 6:
- Philadelphia Eagles 5-1 (1-0 in division)
- Dallas Cowboys 4-2 (1-0 in division)
- Washington Commanders 3-3 (0-1 in division)
- New York Giants 1-5 (0-1 in division)
Again, it can’t be understated what a crucial week this was for the division race. The Cowboys’ win in Los Angeles was hardly guaranteed, especially after their recent flops against the 49ers and Cardinals. It was a big win in its own right and was enhanced by Philadelphia’s upset loss.
Now the Cowboys enjoy their bye week while the Eagles face one of their toughest matchups this year, hosting the Miami Dolphins on Sunday night. We already knew that the Week 9 game between Philly and Dallas was big, but at this rate it could very well be for the division lead.
Washington staying frisky in the short term could benefit Dallas. They have a chance for another confidence booster this Sunday against the Giants before a rematch with Philadelphia in Week 8. The Commanders pushed the Eagles to overtime a couple of weeks ago and will soon see them again as the home team. A loss there for Philly, especially within the division, would be huge for the Cowboys.
Like Dallas this week, we’ll sit back and watch as the rest of the NFC East remains in action. Hopefully, their fortunes favor the Cowboys.