Seven weeks into the 2014 NFL season and the Philadelphia Eagles (5-1) no longer remain in first place of the NFC East. The Dallas Cowboys (6-1) moved into first with a win over the New York Giants (3-4) on Sunday evening.
Philadelphia didn't have a chance to defend their division lead since they were resting on their bye week.
Let's take a look at the updated standings.
NFC East Standings
|3||New York Giants||3-4|
2014 NFL Week 7 Breakdown
If you haven't noticed already, well, the Dallas Cowboys are playing good football right now. The Cowboys have won six games in a row after starting the season out with a home loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Dallas is really sticking to what works for them: handing the ball off the DeMarco Murray and running the ball down the throats of their opponents. The Dallas run game opens things up for Tony Romo and Dez Bryant through the air and it also prevents their defense from being exposed. If Dallas keeps this model up, they'll be really hard to beat.
With that said, the sustainability of the Cowboys' model is something to wonder about. Murray is already on pace to break Larry Johnson's single-season record of 417 carries by 10 more at 427. When you factor in receptions, Murray is projected to touch the ball 478 times this season. Murray, who has an injury history, has never recorded more than 270 touches in his NFL career. It's possible that Murray won't feel the effects of his unprecedented workload this year, but it's really something to keep an eye on.
Food for thought: Are the Cowboys peaking now only to burn out later in the season? Or can they keep this going?
Up next: Home vs. Washington on Monday Night Football. Dallas could easily look to extend their win streak to seven games as a lackluster Washington team comes to town.
Philadelphia falls to second in the NFC East due to the fact they have played one less game than the Cowboys have played. The Eagles played their best football of the season before heading into the bye. The pass rush looked deadly, which is not something many people saw coming, and the offense looked rejuvenated with the return of star running back LeSean McCoy to form. The Eagles will hope to sustain that success coming off a week of rest. The team will likely be without Darren Sproles for a one or two games but the return of starting inside linebacker Mychal Kendricks might be close.
Up next: The well-rested Eagles will travel to Arizona to take on the 5-1 Cardinals. This seems like a winnable game for Philadelphia but it won't be easy.
The Giants were red hot. They won three games in a row while averaging 35 points scored and only 17 points allowed. They looked very much alive in the NFC East at 3-2. Now with a loss to the Eagles and Cowboys in the past two weeks, the G-men are below .500 once again. They are 1-2 in the NFC East and 2-4 in conference play. As Jimmy Kempski put it, the Giants have one foot in the grave. Their upcoming schedule is tough (Colts, @ Seahawks, 49ers, Cowboys) so things won't get easier from here.
Up next: Bye week. It's a much needed break for a reeling Giants team. New York returns to action on November 3 when they take on Indianapolis Colts at home in Week 9.
Washington earned their second win of the 2014 season with a close win over a terrible Tennessee Titans team. Kirk Cousins was benched for journeyman veteran quarterback Colt McCoy. This victory actually didn't do too much for Washington in the standings. D.C. is still 0-2 in NFC East games and 0-4 in conference play. If anything, this win may have hurt Washington's draft positioning.
Up next: Away at Dallas. If Washington can't pull off the upset they'll be looking at a 2-6 record. The return of Robert Griffin III may be nigh.