Sulzbach: The NFC East or NFC Least?

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With the playoffs in sight and division records being close, no team in the NFC East can sit comfortably.

Dallas Cowboys are atop the division at 6-5, as the Washington Redskins are right behind them with the same record, but have more divisional game losses. The Philadelphia Eagles are still in the playoff hunt with a 5-6 record. The New York Giants, at 3-8, don’t seem like they will turn their season around.

The Redskins, for most of the season, led the NFC East. But after Alex Smith suffered a leg injury in week 11, the team might be heading to a downward spiral. Though season-ending, it has not yet been determined if the injury could be career ending.

With the Redskins season coming to an early end, the Cowboys caught fire, now on a three-game winning streak. Weeks ago, they acquired wide receiver Amari Cooper and were highly questioned if he was really worth trading a first round pick for. But now, Cooper is starting to shine and seems to be the team’s new weapon that they so desperately needed to compliment Ezekiel Elliott. It also helps now that the Cowboys’ defense has proven to be one of the strongest in the league this season, allowing under 20 points per game and a bit over 93 yards on the ground to opponents per game as well.

This leaves a lingering question:

Are the Cowboys finally stepping up or did the Alex Smith injury practically hand over the NFC East?

Take it back a week to Thanksgiving, where the Cowboys defeated the Redskins 31-23. Some would say this win occurred only because of the Smith injury leaving Colt McCoy to start at quarterback, but it seems that Dallas is finally coming together after a rough start to the season.

The Philadelphia Eagles, reigning Super Bowl champions, seem to be one-hit wonders. Although they are still considered in the hunt for a playoff spot, their season is nothing compared to last.

Carson Wentz returned from an ACL injury this season in Week 3. Wentz is not the main problem for this team, but he doesn’t seem to be the playmaker he has been previously. Philadelphia also has a struggling secondary with many players out on injury. How the Giants didn’t exploit this more in the second half last Sunday is still a mystery to the league and its fans.

While the Cowboys, Redskins and Eagles are all neck and neck, the Giants have fallen behind. But with talent like Saquon Barkley and Odell Beckham Jr, their season could pick back up and they might be able to end it at least on a high-note at 8-8 if they so happen to win out. Considering the Eagles only defeated the Giants by a Jake Elliott 43-yard field goal with seconds left in the game, it left people wondering if the Eagles really won or if the Giants coaching lost them the game.

The Cowboys and Giants each have two divisional games left, while the Eagles and Redskins have three. Each game will play a pivotal role in this nip-and-tuck division.

Their schedules for the season end as follows:

Dallas Cowboys:

vs. New Orleans Saints (10-1)

vs. Philadelphia Eagles (5-6)

@ Indianapolis Colts (6-5)

vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-7)

@ New York Giants (3-8)

Philadelphia Eagles:

vs. Washington Redskins (6-5)

@ Dallas Cowboys (5-6)

@ Los Angeles Rams (10-1)

vs. Houston Texans (8-3)

@ Washington Redskins (5-6)

Washington Redskins:

@ Philadelphia Eagles (5-6)

vs. New York Giants (3-8)

@ Jacksonville Jaguars (3-8)

@ Tennessee Titans (5-6)

vs. Philadelphia Eagles (5-6)

New York Giants:

vs. Chicago Bears (8-3)

@ Washington Redskins (6-5)

vs. Tennessee Titans (5-6)

@ Indianapolis Colts (6-5)

vs. Dallas Cowboys (6-5)

This week is crucial for every NFC East team because it could make or break some of their records. Every team will need to go into this week fully prepared and ready to claim a win. This will be tough for the Cowboys and the Giants.

When it comes to the Redskins and the Eagles, the Eagles will either tie the records up or the Redskins will claim first place again.

The NFC East has great talent, but all four teams have been quite inconsistent this season. Not one of them has stood out over the others and that is proven with their extremely close records.

Will the east change to beasts or stay as the least?

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