Earlier today I highlighted the teams that Eagles fans should be rooting for in order for the Eagles to have a better chance at making the playoffs. The main focus of that rooting guide was the NFC East divisional game that took place on Sunday afternoon: the Dallas Cowboys versus the New York Giants.
The rooting interests in this game have already been discussed here at BGN, but we'll say it again: a Dallas loss is more beneficial to the Eagles than a Giants loss. Dallas would fall to 5-6 and New York would rise to 5-6 as well. The consolation prize in Dallas winning is that the Giants season would effectively be over at 4-7.
The problem is, the Giants didn't win. Dallas earned they win as they kicked a game winning field goal as the clock expired. Final score: 24-21. Both teams had their fair share of blunders during the game. Neither team looked particularly sharp. The Giants looked like they might take the game, coming back from a 21-13 deficit, but they couldn't get a stop at the end when it counted.
Thanks for nothing, Giants. The Cowboys now jump to 6-5. That ties them with the Eagles for first place in the NFC East division. Dallas technically owns the lead due to the head-to-head tiebreaker from their 17-3 win over the Eagles earlier in the season.
If there's anything to take away from this result, it's the consolation of the Giants' season likely being over. New York drops to 4-7 overall, with a 1-3 division record and a 3-5 conference record. NYG still has to face Washington twice, the Chargers, the Seahawks, and the Lions.
In NFC wildcard playoff rooting interest news, several NFC teams lost today. The Lions and Bears both lost, which drops them 6-5. The Packers tied with the Vikings and are now 5-5-1. The Cardinals, the Eagles next opponent, beat up on the Colts and advanced to 7-4. The Carolina Panthers moved to 8-3 and all but locked up the first wildcard spot (assuming they don't take the NFC South) with a win over the Dolphins. The 6-4 San Francisco 49ers don't play until Monday night.
So what now for the Eagles? Well, it's up to Philadelphia to take care of business down the stretch. There are 5 games to go: home against Cardinals, home against Lions, away at Vikings, home against Bears, and finally away at the Cowboys. Other teams in the race will certainly help Phillly's playoff chances, but it won't mean anything if the Eagles can't hold up their end of the bargain.