With the Eagles and Redskins sitting at 4-3, all eyes in the NFC East turn to tonight's matchup in Dallas between the 4-2 New York Giants and the 1-4 Cowboys. Because of circumstances, the matchup poses an interesting question to Eagles fans - who should you root for?
The Case For The Cowboys: Simply, a Cowboys win would put the Eagles back in a tie for first place in the division. The Giants, Redskins and Eagles would all be sitting at 4-3 and with five division games still ahead for the Eagles, destiny, as they say, would be in their control. The Giants don't come to Philadelphia until Week 11, one week after the Eagles play the Redskins for the final time in the regular season. Meanwhile, the Cowboys are already sitting in the division cellar at 1-4, and would still face a long uphill battle at 2-4. Although the Cowboys are considered by some to be the most talented team in the division, they also have a first-place schedule that still offers trips to Indianapolis and Green Bay and a home game against the New Orleans Saints, in addition to their divisional slate. The road to the playoffs for the Cowboys would still be a long shot, even with a win tonight.
The Case For The Giants: Eliminate the Cowboys. While a 2-4 Dallas squad would still have hope, falling to 1-5 would likely put the Cowboys down for the count. And with the Super Bowl set for Dallas this season, the schadenfreude for Eagles fans would be off the charts if the Cowboys season continued to roll downhill. As for the Giants, the Eagles would still only trail New York by a lone game, with two head-to-head matchups remaining.
The Verdict: It comes down to two main factors. Fear, or lack thereof, of the Cowboys and confidence in the Eagles. If you're confident that the Eagles have what it takes to pull out the division in 2010, then you pull for the first-place tie and don't worry about a Cowboys team two games behind. If you're worried that the Cowboys could rise from the dead and make a run to the top of the division, then you hope for the knockout blow tonight. The vote here is for a Cowboys win and a first-place Philadelphia Eagles heading into the bye week. Who are you pulling for?
UPDATE: The Giants beat the Cowboys to improve to 5-2 on the season. At least the Cowboys are 1-5.
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 5:35 p.m., October 25