NFL: The State of the NFC East

The final month of the NFL regular season has arrived. It’s the most crucial part of the season for most teams, especially the Dallas Cowboys.

Over the years, the month of December hasn’t been a great month for them. Since 2011, the Cowboys are 16-10 in December, including 0-3 in a season-finale that decided the winner of the NFC East.

At the moment, they seem to be in control and on they’re on their way to winning the NFC East. But the question is whether the Cowboys are truly good or is the NFC East just bad?

New York Giants

The New York Giants found themselves 1-7 midway through the season. For Eli Manning, it’s unclear how much more he has left in the tank. It’s probably safe to say that he plans to continue playing since there hasn’t been any talks about a possible retirement after this season.

The Giants have managed to go 4-1 in their last five games, however, their chances of winning the NFC East are extremely slim, but they have pride to play for.

Washington Redskins

The Washington Redskins at one point this season were certainly capable of winning the NFC East. Sitting at a 6-3 record and led by veteran quarterback Alex Smith, it seemed as though Washington was on their way towards a division crown.

However, Smith suffered a gruesome season-ending leg injury and soon after Colt McCoy got injured. Now, Washington is stuck with Mark Sanchez at quarterback.

The Redskins suffered a humiliating home loss to the Giants with a final score of 41-16. That probably shattered any hopes they had of making the playoffs.

Now that they’ve gone from 6-3 to 6-7, this is the exclamation point of their season. Smith’s injury has worsened as he’s suffering from an infection due to complications from the multiple surgeries he’s undergone. Reports indicate that he may not be ready for the 2019 season.

Philadelphia Eagles

The Philadelphia Eagles look absolutely nothing like the team that dominated last season en route to a Super Bowl title. The team is suffering a Super Bowl hangover.

Carson Wentz is healthy and playing effectively and the offense has picked it up a bit, but the defense is struggling as it is depleted with injuries. Getting swept by Dallas hasn’t helped at all, although they’re still in contention.

In order to win the division, the Eagles have to win their final three games and Dallas has to lose their final three. Philadelphia’s next two games are against division-leading teams in the Los Angeles Rams and Houston Texans. The odds are certainly not in the Eagles favor.

Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys were 3-5 at the midway point of this season. They have miraculously won five straight games.

During their bye week, Dallas acquired Amari Cooper and has gone 5-1 since then. The acquiring of Cooper has helped Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott. Elliott has rushed for over 100 yards in four of Dallas’ last five games. Prescott has thrown seven touchdown passes with only two interceptions and has thrown for nearly 1,500 yards. Long story short, Cooper’s presence has been felt and he is proving to be worthy those two first rounders.

Cooper has 40 catches for over 600 receiving yards and six touchdowns in a Cowboys uniform.

Dallas takes on the Indianapolis Colts this week. The Colts just ended Houston’s nine-game winning streak and Andrew Luck is second in the league in touchdown passes, so Dallas is in for a challenge.

At this point, Dallas is in control of the NFC East sitting two games ahead of the second-place Eagles. The Cowboys have to win their final three games to secure the division. Dallas can’t afford to lose at this stage of the season, especially when they’ve got momentum and potential. The worst part of it would be that if they lost out their final three, their five-game winning streak would ultimately become pointless. The Cowboys can’t afford to let their hard-earned wins be all for not. 

The NFC East is truly bad and here’s why; There are three teams with losing records. And there’s a possibility that the Giants can possibly win it with an 8-8 record if Dallas and Philadelphia were to lose their final three games. 

A mediocre team winning the division puts a very bad image on it as it would make the NFC East become quite irrelevelant. Since 2010, only one time has more than one NFC East made it to the playoffs in the same season and only three times in the past ten years. Furthermore, in the past ten years, only twice has an NFC East team entered the playoffs as a 1 seed. It’s safe to say that not only is the NFC East bad, it’s grown weaker in the past decade.

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