Around the time the Tryptophan is going to kick in, the Dallas Cowboys will host the Washington Redskins at 4:30 p.m. in a Thanksgiving game that will have major implications on the race in the NFC East.
But who should Eagles fans be rooting for?
While either outcome provides the Eagles with an opportunity despite their 4-6 record, the favored Cowboys winning on Thanksgiving would give the Eagles the most hope for a run at the division.
It’s complicated, but here’s why.
At 5-5, the Cowboys are only one game ahead of the Eagles, and let’s say the Eagles win against the Giants this weekend, after Week 12 the Birds would be one game behind both the Redskins and Cowboys.
Looking ahead to Week 13, Dallas hosts the New Orleans Saints, while the Eagles host the Redskins on Monday Night Football. Should the Saints beat the Cowboys and the Eagles beat the Redskins, the three teams would all stand at 6-6, with Dallas holding the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Eagles and the Eagles owning the same tiebreaker over the Redskins.
Week 14 would bring the Eagles to "Jerry World" in Arlington, Texas, for a showdown that would not only give the Eagles an opportunity to nullify the head-to-head tiebreaker against the Cowboys, but also strengthen their division record to 3-1 and drop Dallas to 3-2.
This scenario, even with a loss to the Rams in L.A., could give the Eagles a win-and- you're-in chance at the division in Landover, Maryland, in the final game of the season.
Better than you thought, right? Well, this would all require the Eagles righting the ship and potentially needing to win all of their remaining games, outside of a split against the Rams or at home against the Texans.
Dallas has a far tougher schedule than the Redskins, having to host the Saints and play at Indianapolis, allowing for the Eagles to match it every week more easily and maintain the division record tiebreaker.
The Redskins winning on Thursday provides a much more difficult path and it means that Colt McCoy and the rest of a battered Redskins team could be ready for a stretch run at the NFC East.
Should Washington win, the Eagles would find themselves two games behind the Redskins with five to play. Even with a sweep of Washington in their two remaining games, putting the teams on level terms, Washington’s games outside the division against Jacksonville and Tennessee are easier than the Eagles playing at the Rams and home against the Texans, especially for a team that was able to go into Dallas and come away with a victory.
Not to mention a team that can beat the Cowboys on the road will be tougher to sweep than a team that looks lost without its starting quarterback.
While both outcomes don’t put a nail in the Eagles’ coffin, Dallas beating the Redskins and Washington looking abysmal should give the Eagles the most hope for a 9-7 record and an NFC title earned on the final day of the season.
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