Oct 20, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Terrance Williams (83) celebrates scoring a touchdown with wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) during the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys are First in NFC East - But for How Long?

With Sunday’s 17-3 victory against the Philadelphia Eagles the Cowboys now hold sole possession of first place in the NFC East. Not only that but they are the only team in the division with even a winning record. The question at hand is, “Can the Cowboys stay in first place?”

Being a fan it seems it’s almost our obligation to get excited and overreact to everything and anything Cowboys. It’s really quite natural. So how excited should we be after Sunday’s win? Be excited. But check yourself because this is far from over.

If you would have told me before the season began that by week 7 Dallas would have the only winning record in the division and hold a 3-0 division record, I probably wouldn’t have believed you. You see, this division was supposed to be really good. Not as good as the NFC West but still pretty good.

Oct 20, 2013; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) runs with the ball as Chicago Bears defensive end Corey Wootton (98) chases in the third quarter at FedEx Field. The Redskins won 45-41. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

In fact, the NFC East was supposed to be the most competitive division. Every team was either a proven winner or a team on the upswing. It was going to be a bloody knuckle battle royale to win this division. But projections are far from reality. The Giants sit with one win after beating on the hapless Vikings. The Eagles returned their now-healthy O-Line this season only to see major injuries everywhere else. The Redskins aren’t quite as dynamic now that RGIII has been forced to run less and read coverage more. And even our beloved Cowboys haven’t lived to our expectations on defense, losing almost the entire D-Line and struggling in all aspects of pass coverage.

The NFC East is almost a joke now. And the Dallas Cowboys are king.

With all of their problems, the Cowboys have a great chance of holding on and winning the division. Next week is a very tough matchup in Detroit against the Lions. The Lions also hold a 4-3 record and similarly have an explosive offense of their own. This game will be important in keeping the division lead and holding off the Eagles (who face the one-win Giants next).

It’s all about the division now. The NFC East will not have a Wild Card team. There will be the division winner and nothing else. With a 3-0 division record the Cowboys are guaranteed not to have a losing division record. That may be the biggest item in their favor of all.

There is an excellent chance the Cowboys will enter the bye week with a 5-5 record. There is also a strong possibility they will once again finish 8-8 (Dallas Cowboys schedule from Go Tickets.) The difference this season is the rest of the division. They all stink.

They all also have a chance.

At the end of the day the best record wins. The Cowboys have an excellent chance at keeping that top spot but don’t be surprised if the road remains bumpy and the race stays close. The Cowboys aren’t good enough to run away with this thing but they have shown they are good enough to compete for it.

3-0 in the division is a good start.

Do you have questions or comments regarding Dallas area sports? Email Reid at [email protected]. You may be included in the next weekly mailbag. Follow Reid on twitter @ReidDHanson



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Tags: Dallas Cowboys Dallas Cowboys Schedule NFC East Standings

  • Jack Farguson

    I totally disagree with the comment that the Cowboys aren’t good enough to run away with this thing. What you left out are these things.
    The defense has steadily gotten better.
    Look at the games against Denver, and KC. They almost won both.
    This Dallas team can play with any team in the league. They need to get up for every game like they did for Denver.

    Because of being one of the top Superbowl winners in the league, being Americas team, and being the most valuable sports franchise, I think Dallas wears a Target on it’s back. Other teams come to Dallas wanting to take them down a notch. If Dallas prepared for every team like they did the Broncos they would come out on top of most, and would run away with this thing. Question is Will they?

    • Reid Hanson

      Hey Jack thanks for the input! I hope you are right and they really do run away with the division. If they can make week 17 irrelevant (because they already clinched) we would all breathe a sigh of relief!
      The defense is playing better but the QB’s we’ve faced have been terrible. RGIII and Nick Foles couldn’t hit a target if their life depended on it when we played them. Our defense gets my respect but I have to factor in the opponent’s performance too.
      Dallas has long shown they can beat ANYONE. I stand by that. You are correct – they could have beaten Denver and KC. But Dallas just doesn’t stay motivated week to week- historically speaking. If we saw the same Dallas team that played the Broncos every week, Dallas would definitely run away with the division, and possibly home field advantage. But they just don’t play that motivated week to week.
      I think they WILL win the division but only with a 8-8 or 9-7 record. Frankly, I’d be fine with that because once the playoffs begin anything can happen, right?
      If you get the chance I’d like to hear your prediction on their final record.

  • edwardrynearson

    For how long? > all season is my prediction > and then will be eliminated by the Seahawks or 49ers