Are you worried about the Dallas Cowboys not reaching the playoffs this season? In a weak NFC East, any remaining doubts about the Cowboys not reaching the postseason should be erased.
The NFC East is mediocre at best with the combined records of every team at 5-12. Actually, I am not too sure I would even call this laughable and watered-down division mediocre. Perhaps, forgettable or uninspired better suits the description of a division that appears nobody wants to win.
As of right now, the Cowboys are sharing first place with the Philadelphia Eagles with an identical record of 2-3 and 2-0 in conference play. The Washington Redskins are 1-3, but will be seeking their first against a conference foe this Sunday at Dallas. The additional reminder of the dismal 0-6 New York Giants squad is the warranted theme around the division of being average with the sheer possibility of a 7-9 team representing the NFC East in the playoffs.
So, what makes the Cowboys stand out among their peers? Right now, you can eliminate the Giants to win the division for obvious reasons, and eventually the same can be said with the Redskins. In the next three games, Washington goes to Dallas, stay home against the Chicago Bears and travel once again to face the Denver Broncos. It’s a tough three-game stretch for the Redskins who can easily fall to 1-6 to begin the season.
Therefore, when it is all said and done, it will ultimately come down to the Cowboys or Eagles for the right to punch their ticket for the playoffs, and these teams are more identical to each other. The Cowboys are ranked 31st against the pass, but the Eagles are 30th. As bad as the Cowboys are against the pass, the Eagles are equally worse against the run. Eagles are allowing 108 rushing yards per game as opposed Dallas who possess the fourth-best rush defense by allowing only 85 yards per game.
Their offenses are very similar, too. The Cowboys are averaging 285 passing yards per game while the Eagles are averaging 268. However, the Eagles are ranked first in the league with rushing yards per game while the Cowboys are ranked 20th. It’s going to be a contest of who flinches first, but why do the Cowboys deserve the advantage even if the Eagles remaining schedule has them playing against only three teams with a winning record?
Michael Vick is the answer to this sought out question by the scholars of the NFL universe. Vick is the straw that stirs the drink for the Eagles’ offense, but he still has the ability to create headaches for his coaches by throwing interceptions and fumbling the ball. Still, without him, it is hard to envision them contending for a playoff spot. Granted, the Eagles managed to defeat the lowly Giants last week to a tune of 36-21 with backup quarterback Nick Foles, but all expectations about a team defeating New York needs to be tampered. If the ever-brittle hamstrings of Vick forces him to miss any additional games, it will be very hard to imagine Foles, with his surfer-dude attitude, being able to guide the Eagles to promise land.
The NFC East is there for the Cowboys to take and run away with even if it means keeping their fingers crossed that a Vick injury arises.
Ryan Neiman writes for Rant Sports covering Dallas Cowboys Football. Follow him on Twitter @FantasyUSports.