NFC East standings: How Cowboys vs. Eagles results will impact NFL playoff picture, No. 1 seed

Either the Eagles or the Cowboys have won the NFC East title in five of the past six seasons. That trend will continue with one of them taking the division again in the 2023 NFL regular season.

There’s almost no doubt about both teams making the NFC playoffs again. The winner of the division can finish as high as the No. 1 seed, getting home-field advantage and the only bye in the tournament. But the runner-up will drop to No. 5 and the top wild-card spot, stuck with a opening road playoff game at whoever wins the weak NFC South.

Ahead of Philadelphia traveling to Dallas for “Sunday Night Football” in Week 14 and looking for a season series sweep after winning the first matchup at home in Week 9, here’s breaking down the latest edition of the two-team race:

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NFC East standings

Rank Team Overall record Division record
1 Eagles 10-2 3-0
2 Cowboys 9-3 3-1
3 Giants 4-8 2-2
4 Commanders 4-9 0-5

The Eagles hold a one-game lead going into Week 14, by virtue of beating the Cowboys at home in Week 9.

Should the Eagles win, they would open up a two-game lead with only four games left plus have the head-to-head tiebreaker. Should the Cowboys win, they will not only match the Eagles’ overall record, but go into first place with a better division record, 4-1 vs. 3-1.

Eagles playoff picture

The Eagles still hold the NFC No. 1 seed, a game ahead of 49ers (9-3), who lead the NFC West and beat them in Philadelphia in Week 13. The Lions (9-3), who lead the NFC North, also are one game behind in the standings.

Philadelphia can clinch at least a wild-card playoff berth in Week 14 with a win, if that would be combined with a Seahawks or Rams loss. They can also qualify with a win and combined losses by either the Packers and Lions or Packers and Vikings.

Cowboys playoff picture

The Cowboys go into Week 14 as the top wild card at No. 5, three games ahead of the No. 6 Vikings, No. 7 Packers, No. 8 Rams and No. 9 Seahawks.

Dallas can clinch at least a wild-card playoff berth with a win in three ways. The simplest, without factoring in ties, is combining that victory with losses by the Vikings, Seahawks, Packers, Buccaneers and Rams and a Lions win.

Eagles schedule vs. Cowboys schedule

Here are the opponents for Philadelphia and Dallas, besides each other, for the final five weeks:

Team Week 14 Week 15 Week 16 Week 17 Week 18 SOS*
Eagles at DAL at SEA vs. NYG vs. ARI at NYG .426
Cowboys vs. PHI at BUF at MIA vs. DET at WAS .623

*Strength of schedule based on opponents’ winning percentage

The Eagles are just ending a brutal stretch of games across conferences on Sunday. Then they don’t face a team with a winning record the rest of the way.

The Cowboys, on the flip side, still have their two toughest non-conference games crossing over to play the AFC East ahead of the Lions. The Commanders are the only sub-.500 team left on the slate.

Eagles vs. Cowboys division prediction

Should the Eagles beat the Cowboys a second time, then it would be an almost insurmountable two-game lead plus a tiebreaker. The Cowboys would need to then finish three games better in the final four games, which is near impossible.

Should the Cowboys win, they will be in first place by having one more division win, for now. But the Eagles, even with a road losses to the Cowboys and Seahawks, should finish at least 3-2 over the final five games.

The Cowboys are looking at a 3-2 in the same stretch. In that case, the Eagles win the division by a full game, regardless of the Week 14 outcome. While beating Philadelphia is huge to both stay in and eventually win the division race, Dallas still has a daunting task ahead.

Should the Eagles and Cowboys both end up 5-1 in division play after splitting their series in Week 14, it comes down to what Philadelphia does against Seattle and Arizona vs. what Dallas does against Buffalo, Miami and Detroit.  When looking at the remaining big picture, the Eagles likely will lose the No. 1 seed with a loss to the Cowboys but they still should be favored to take the division.

Final record projections: 1. Eagles 14-3 | 2. Cowboys 13-4

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