The good news is that the Eagles took care of business in yesterday’s win over the Washington Redskins. The bad news is, Dallas took care of business against the Rams and now face a schedule that makes the race for the divisional title a level playing field.
Philadelphia can still sail into the playoffs and now have a pair of wins pushing them into this weekend’s home fixture against Dallas, who are tied with the Eagles for the divisional lead. But how can the Eagles make the playoffs?
The Cowboys just had to make life difficult, didn’t they? A win on Sunday eliminated a scenario where the Eagles could technically win the division in week 16 and have a relaxed week 17 season finale against the Giants. But after they battered the Rams, every game counts.
Eagles:Week 16 vs Dallas Cowboys | Week 17 at @ New York Giants
Cowboys: Week 16 @ Philadelphia Eagles | Week 17 versus Washington
If the Eagles win both of their remaining games and Dallas lay an egg against a Washington team that’s playing with a lot of pride recently, keeping games close against the Eagles and Packers, then the Eagles will finish 9-7 and the Cowboys will finish 8-8.
This is the most plausible scenario, and one that Eagles fans should be crossing their fingers for. But naturally, the sense of urgency surrounding this game will be at an all-time high.
If the Eagles beat the Cowboys but are bested by the Giants, the only way they can make the playoffs is if the Cowboys still find a way to lose to the Redskins, which suddenly seems a lot bleaker than it did in the first scenario since we’re relying on an upset. The Eagles would finish 8-8, while the Cowboys would finish 7-9 in a situation that would see fans ripping their hair out in fear.
It’s worth noting that if the Eagles somehow tie the Cowboys and beat the Giants, and then the Cowboys lose, they’ll also clinch the division. The only thing they can’t afford to do is lose.
The uh-oh scenario
If the Eagles lose to the Cowboys, but the Cowboys lose to the Redskins while the Eagles win against New York, they’ll technically finish with the same record, but the Cowboys will have the head-to-head tiebreaker in their favor, with a 2-0 record against the Eagles. Eugh.
Basically, the hashtag #BeatDallas has never meant, and never will mean more than it does right now. It’s all or nothing for this Eagles team, and it begins and ends at the Linc.
Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports