Six weeks into the 2014 NFL season and the Philadelphia Eagles (5-1) still remain in first place of the NFC East. The Dallas Cowboys (5-1) also have the same record but the Birds own the tiebreaker for now. Dallas has yet to play an NFC East game while the Eagles are 2-0 in divisional play.
Both Philadelphia and Dallas caught the nation's attention with impressive wins on Sunday. It's clear that these two teams are the class of the NFC East right now.
Let's take a look at the updated standings.
NFC East Standings
|3||New York Giants||3-3|
2014 NFL Week 6 Breakdown
Philadelphia quieted the skepticis with a statement win over the New York Giants in a prime-time game. LeSean McCoy rejuvenated the Eagles' previously stalling run game. Philadelphia's surprisingly improved pass rush wreaked havoc on New York's offensive line. It was certainly a quality win for the Birds. The G-men had been averaging 35 points scored and only 17 points allowed in their previous three contests before facing the Eagles. The home team asserted their dominance and cemented their lead in the NFC East.
Up next: Bye week. The Eagles will hope that starting inside linebacker Mychal Kendricks can return in Week 8 when the team travels out to Arizona to face the Cardinals. The Eagles will also hope that the Giants can find a way to beat the Cowboys.
There is no doubt that the Dallas Cowboys owned the most impressive win of the week. The mighty Seahawks had not lost to a non-divisional opponent in Seattle since 2011. The Seahawks didn't look very good and the 'boys got the best of them.
As I wrote last week, Dallas is really sticking to a strategy that works wonder for them: pound the ball down the opponents' throat and keep the defense off the field. The Cowboys ran all over Seattle's number one ranked run defense. Running back DeMarco Murray is running hard through the lanes the Dallas offensive line is opening for him.
I do wonder about the sustainability of this Dallas model. Murray is on pace for a huge workload and he has had an injury history in the past. It's also worth noting that the Cowboys are converting on third down at a ridiculous rate: 56.25%. The highest conversion rate in 2013 was 48.05% by the Denver Broncos and 2012 was 48.43% by the New England Patriots. It's easy to imagine the Cowboys regressing in this area, which means their defense (which ranks second to last in yards per play allowed) will be on the field more.
Make no mistake, the Cowboys are a good team right now and will continue to be if they can stick to their model. Time will tell if they can keep it up.
Up next: Home vs. Giants. This marks the Cowboys' first division game of the 2014 season. The Giants look weak so this could be an opportunity for Dallas to advance to 6-1 and sole possession of first place.
The Giants talked trash leading up to their match-up against the Eagles and it did not pay off. Instead, it totally backfired. New York looked pretty bad in all phases: offense, defense, and special teams. The Giants' offensive line was brutally bad. The loss dropped the G-men back to .500 with a division record of 1-1 and a conference record of 2-3.
Up next: Away at Cowboys. Eagles fans will be rooting for the Giants to knock the Cowboys off their high horse. (Great pun, I know.) Given the way the Giants played in Week 6, their chances aren't looking good unless they can majorly rebound.
D.C. is 1-5 after a road loss to the Cardinals in Arizona. The only team Washington has defeated all year is the worst team in the NFL: the 0-6 Jacksonville Jaguars. Washington is 0-2 in the NFC East and 0-4 in conference games. They rank all the way at the bottom of the NFC.
Up next: Home vs. Titans. Perhaps Washington can rebound and break the losing streak with a win over a terrible Titans team.