There are still two weeks remaining in the NFL season, but it seems that fate has already nearly decided that the Philadelphia Eagles will face the Dallas Cowboys in the final game of their season to determine who will win the NFC East. Each team has had sole possession of first place at some point throughout the season, but the ebbs and flows of a long football season have all been leading in the direction of a final showdown. The Cowboys have held the tie breaker for the entire season, still not having lost a game to a division opponent. However, the Eagles have been fighting to get ahead for the better part of the second half, only to see chances to shut the door slip through their fingertips and re-establish that they’ll need to beat Dallas to reach the playoffs.
Just last week, Philadelphia dropped a game to a last place opponent, the Minnesota Vikings, for a chance to keep their lead extended. Instead, they allowed the Cowboys an opportunity to climb closer to a deadlock atop the NFC East. The outcome changed dramatically when Dallas then dropped a heartbreaker to the Green Bay Packers, leaving the Eagles again as sole leaders of the division.
Now, heading into Week 16, it would seem that inevitability has reached its peak. Philadelphia and Dallas are on a collision course that has them meeting for the division title in the final game of their 2013 regular seasons.
Granted, the Cowboys still need to play a division opponent. However, the Washington Redskins are in turmoil. After running up a 3-11 record, benching their star quarterback and all but throwning in the towel, there seems to be little hope of an upset. Even with Tony Romo and his December jinx, it’s hard to imagine an outcome that favors the Eagles.
In Philadelphia, without a Dallas loss, Sunday against the Chicago Bears doesn’t even matter as far as the division is concerned. It solely matters for building continuity, timing and re-establishing a winning attitude. Even with a loss and a Cowboys win, the Eagles would be tied atop the division heading into the final week. Regardless, of a one-game lead or being even, Philadelphia would need to beat Dallas to win the division.
Time is running out quickly on the 2013 season, but the plot continues to thicken in an NFC East that is much different from any in recent history. Only time will tell if the new Eagles are ready to meet the challenge.