It’s always sunny in Philadelphia when the Cowboys lose. Or something like that.
Dallas lost a meaningful game to Buffalo on Thanksgiving. It doesn’t do a lot to the immediate NFC East standings from an aesthetic standpoint, other than dropping the Cowboys’ record to a disappointing 6-6.
The 5-6 Eagles were already in control of their own destiny thanks to a tie-breaker. Their Oct. 6 win over the Jets gave Philadelphia the edge in the area of common opponents since Dallas lost to the Jets.
Following the Cowboys 25-16 loss to the Bills Thursday, the Eagles are now clearly in the driver’s seat. Their records might be similar but the Eagles technically have a huge advantage in the race for the NFC East crown.
Why? Well, assuming the Eagles take care of business and win their final five football games down the stretch — easy tests versus Miami, Washington, New York Giants twice, Dallas — they can punch their own playoff ticket due to identical 5-1 records within the division. Beating Dallas on Dec. 22 is a must-win game.
Analyzing the Eagles-Cowboys Rivalry Down the Stretch
The combined record of the Eagles’ opponents down the stretch is 14-41. Vice versa, the Cowboys are up against a combined 19-26 record. It had been 27-26 before the Bills’ loss on Thanksgiving day.
More importantly, the Eagles get a home date with Dallas on Dec. 22. The NFC East showdown was already going to determine the division winner but the Eagles have a slight cushion now following the Cowboys’ loss to Buffalo.
Dallas has a stiff test versus Chicago (6-6) this week and another tough match-up against the Los Angeles Rams (6-5) next week. They could drop both of those games and be sitting at 6-8 in Week 17.
Meanwhile, the Eagles have cupcake contests versus Miami (2-9) followed by the New York Giants (2-9) and Washington (2-9). They really have no business losing any of those games and should enter Week 17 at 8-6.
If the Eagles were to lose to the Cowboys in Week 16 and then beat the Giants in Week 17, they could still win the NFC East at 9-7. They would just need the Redskins to beat the Cowboys in the final game of the regular season.
Yes, Washington stinks. Yes, the game is in Dallas. No, it’s not impossible. There’s a chance. There’s always a chance.
Jerry Jones Criticizes Cowboys Coaching Staff
Dallas is facing its own turmoil after dropping a winnable game in New England. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones didn’t name names, but he took some not-so-thinly veiled shots at the coaching staff in his post-game remarks.
Jones, who has been a long-time supporter of head coach Jason Garrett, pointed out that the loss was unacceptable. The Cowboys roster is talented enough to make a lengthy playoff run, so the ax has to fall on the coaches.
“We all saw why we didn’t win it,” Jones told reporters. “It was pretty glaring as to why we couldn’t get it done.”
Jones wasn’t done with his critique and specifically cited a lack of execution on special teams.
“I think you’re going to get outcoached during this era when you come to New England,” said Jones, via USA Today. “Special teams was really, probably, the determining difference … To me, special teams is 100% coaching. It’s 100% coaching.”