As an Eagles fan, you should officially be rooting for... Ready?
Why, you may ask? Is it because I may think the Cowboys are more likely to lose in the first round of the playoffs because their OL stinks and they have a QB with a penchant for coming up small in big spots? Is it because I just hate the Giants more and just want to see Manningface next Sunday? Is it because I'm hoping Tom Coughlin gets fired?
Those are all acceptable answers, but no, none of those are correct.
It's all about draft position.
If the Eagles beat the Redskins this Sunday, they'll be 8-8. The loser of the Giants-Cowboys game will also be 8-8. So really, Eagles fans should be rooting for the team that they'll beat out in the draft order tie-breaker.
The first tiebreaker for draft order is strength of schedule. Teams with weaker schedules get draft position priority.
Now, hang in there with me for second. The schedules for all the NFC East teams are basically identical, with the exception of two games. They all played the 4 NFC West and 4 AFC East teams once each this season, so the strength of schedule there is identical. The 6-game intra-division strength of schedules will be identical as well for each team that finished 8-8. I could get into a long-winded explanation on that, but in the interest of not boring you to tears, just trust me on that one. That's 14 games. The remaining two games break down like this:
- The Giants played the Packers (14 wins so far) and Saints (12 wins, assuming they hang on against the Falcons game currently on my TV as I type this). Total of 26 wins toward the strength of schedule. (That's bad for draft position).
- The Eagles played the Falcons (9 wins, assuming they lose to the Saints) and Bears (7 wins). Total of 16 wins toward strength of schedule.
Therefore, since the Giants' strength of schedule was more difficult than the Eagles, the Eagles would pick before them in the draft if they both finish 8-8. If the Cowboys were to lose, they'd likely pick before the Eagles.
Got it? Good. So let's go Cowboys!