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NFC East update: Eagles rise to challenge while Commanders fall flat

The Cowboys were on bye last week, but the NFC East kept on moving.

NFL: Miami Dolphins at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

It was a quiet weekend for the Dallas Cowboys as they enjoyed their bye week, but the rest of the NFC East was in action. How did the division standings change after Week 7?

A marquee game for the entire league saw the Philadelphia Eagles host the Miami Dolphins on Sunday Night Football. While Cowboys fans hoped that Miami’s high-octane offense would help hang a loss on their rival, Philly handled their business in a 31-17 victory. With the Dolphins missing multiple starters to injury, the Eagles’ advantages in talent and playing at home came through despite two more turnovers from QB Jalen Hurts.

Elsewhere in the division, the Commanders maintained their up-and-down play in 2023 with a surprising loss to the woeful New York Giants. Washington can’t seem to decide who they are week to week. In their last four games, the Commanders have taken the Eagles to OT, been routed by the Bears, beat the Falcons on the road, and then dropped this last one to the previously 1-5 Giants. A glaring issue is their inability to protect QB Sam Howell, who took six more sacks in New York and has been sacked a league-leading 40 times already this season.

These two results only increased the margins for the Cowboys’ second-place status in the NFC East. Here are the division standings after Week 7:

Dallas now has two fewer wins than first-place Philadelphia but two fewer losses than Washington. Unless the Commanders find some consistency immediately, it seems safe to call it a two-horse race between the Eagles and Cowboys.

Thankfully for Dallas, the Dolphins were far from the biggest challenge left on Philly’s schedule. There is still a road game in Kansas City and home games against the 49ers and Bills, not to mention the two rivalry games with the Cowboys themselves.

The Eagles are certainly capable of winning any of these. But after watching them flop against the Jets two weeks ago, you never know what else could happen over the course of the year. Maybe the up-and-down Commanders have a good week this Sunday when they host Philly, or perhaps less familiar opponents like Arizona or Seattle surprise them.

This highlights the need for Dallas to not squander games like the one they have coming up against the Los Angeles Rams. These aren’t the Super Bowl Rams of recent memory; this should be a victory for any legitimate playoff contender. The Cowboys already blew a winnable game this year with their meltdown in Arizona. They can barely afford another one.

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