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December 09, 2022

NFC East roundup: Eagles and Cowboys are NFC's top-two teams

The Eagles and Cowboys are not just the two best teams in their division, but the two best in the NFC overall.

The NFC East has turned into the NFL's top division. Yeah, I don't totally get it either.

Here's the latest on what's happening for these teams ahead of Week 14...

Standings 📊

Place Team Record 
1st Eagles 11-1 
2nd Cowboys 9-3 
3rd  Giants7-4-1 
4th Commanders 7-5-1 

Going into Week 13, all four NFC East squads were in the playoff picture in the conference. After their tie to the Giants, Washington is now on the outside looking in, having given away their playoff slot to Seattle. They're not totally out of things, but I don't foresee a scenario where all four teams are playing in the postseason. Honestly, I still believe New York falls out, leaving a chance for the Commanders to play on the road during Wild Card Weekend and get smoked by some division winner. 

Week 14 matchups 👊

lines via DraftKings Sportsbook

Sunday, 1:00 p.m, Eagles at Giants (+6.5)

Sunday, 1:00 p.m., Texans at Cowboys (-18)

Commanders: BYE

In last week's roundup, I discussed that home underdogs in division games are always a juicy bet. I cautioned against betting on Daniel Jones, but the Giants ultimately covered the two-point spread in a tie to the Commanders rife with mediocrity. That same rationale could apply for Sunday, but give me the Birds with the points. 

As for the Dallas matchup, 18 is a lot of points even considering how well Dallas is playing against a basement-dwelling Texans squad. The largest spread in recent history I could find (and there could be others) is the 2020 Chiefs who were 20-point favorites over the Jets in Week 8. Kansas City prevailed 35-9. 

I'll assuredly get disinvited from Christmas dinner at my parents' place for saying this, but I think Dallas covers this, especially at home. Houston is just so, so bad. The Delaware Valley hopes that I'm wrong certainly. An outrageous Texans upset would make for one of the funniest regular season outcomes I can remember. 

If your favorite team is doing a dance between Davis Mills and Kyle Allen at quarterback, how can you look yourself in the mirror every morning? The Eagles have been down bad for brief moments in the 21st century, but, for Eagles fans' sake, at least it's never been that bad.

Storylines 📝

• The Eagles are destroying defenses either which way as of late. They rushed for 363 yards against the Packers, turning the clocks back to the pre-WWII era with the way their star quarterback torched Green Bay in the ground game. Jalen Hurts, the dude who should win the NFL MVP, followed that up with a 380-yard, three-touchdown performance through the air in a 25-point win over the Titans. Not too shabby for a guy the internet wants you to believe isn't good! 

How has the Giants defense been and how can the Eagles' O best exploit them? Here's how they stack up in a few different statistical categories:

Stat Rank 
Points Allowed  12th
Yds Allowed  23rd
Pass Yds Allowed 18th 
Rush Yds Allowed  26th
Defensive DVOA 28th 
Pass D DVOA 28th 
Rush D DVOA 27th 

"Oh brother, these guys stink!"

I foresee an afternoon where the Eagles get up early with their passing attack and cruise the remainder of the game with their elite rushing attack. Head coach Nick Sirianni has drilled in the idea that the Eagles want to be "multiple" since he arrived in Philadelphia. No NFL quarterback at this moment is more equipped to fit that edict than Hurts. 

• I don't know what stupid storyline I'm supposed to come up for this Cowboys-Texans game. Remember in Week 1 of the 2002 season, the Texans' first ever game as a franchise, when they upset Dallas as 8.5-point underdogs? That was great. That was just good for humanity, honestly. It would be the same case if Houston pulled this one off on Sunday. 

Anyway, it's becoming increasingly clear that the Eagles and Cowboys are 1-2 in the NFC hierarchy. What works in the Eagles favor is that they are currently the No. 1 seed in the conference, would have a first-round bye and home-field advantage in any NFC postseason game. Dallas would need to win three-straight road games to make the Super Bowl if the standings hold up as is. 

That's a rough break for Jerry Jones, who never has things go his way in life! 

Christmas Eve will either be a historic holiday for Eagles fans or one they will unfortunately never been able to forget when the Birds and Boys matchup down in Texas. 

News and Notes 📰

Daniel Snyder... what are you doing?

A new ESPN report from Tisha Thompson indicates that Snyder allowed the Commanders' longstanding toxic work culture to continue and obstructed a congressional inquiry into his wrongdoings. 

More from Thomspon:

Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder "permitted and participated" in the team's longtime toxic work culture and obstructed a 14-month congressional inquiry by dodging a subpoena, working to dissuade and intimidate witnesses from cooperating, and claiming more than 100 times in testimony that he could not recall answers to basic questions, according to the final report of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Reform.

The committee's 79-page report released Thursday also comes down hard on the NFL, concluding that the league was complicit in Snyder's efforts by not cooperating with the congressional inquiry and by burying a 2020-21 investigation of the Commanders' workplace led by attorney Beth Wilkinson, the results of which have never been fully released. [ESPN]

I'm not allowed to post what I really want to say about this dude! 

• Hmmm...

I had heard some stuff during this season about the Eagles not playing anyone. Makes ya think!

Cowboys pass-rusher Micah Parsons is taking heat for his comments regarding the release of Brittney Griner from Russia

Dallas activated the 21-day practice window on left tackle Tyron Smith and there appears to be optimism he could play against the Texans. Smith is an eight-time Pro Bowler and has had a decorated career, but isn't quite the player he once was. Still, that's a boost for the Cowboys no doubt. 

• In 176 games against the Giants in franchise history, the Birds are 88-86-2. That winning percentage (0.506) is the Eagles' highest against any divisional foe. 

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