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Let’s make some excuses for the NFC East

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*The Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys v New York Giants Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

The Eagles continue their stroll to the NFC division title as the rest of the division implodes around them. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Let’s make some excuses for NFC East. Some of the NFC East. Half the NFC East. The Cowboys.

Philadelphia Eagles (10-1)

Last Week: Had as many highlight-worthy celebrations as points given up, beating the Bears 31-3.

This Week: Visit the Seahawks, who are underdogs at home for the first time since Charlie Whitehurst was their QB.

There are no excuses to be made for this team, as they are the best in the league. The Eagles are really freaking good. But you knew that already, so just enjoy this clip of Swoop nearly breaking his ankles.

Dallas Cowboys (5-6)

Last Week: Lost 28-6 to the Chargers in a must win game on national television.

This Week: Host the Redskins to clinch the NFC East for the Eagles.

The Cowboys are all kinds of bad right now. Over their past three games, all without Ezekiel Elliott, they are playing like the worst team in the league. They have scored 22 and given up 92, which would be the 9th worst point differential for the season. There are reasons why they are in such a hole, the losses of Ezekiel Elliott, Sean Lee and Tyron Smith being the main ones. And then there are excuses, none bigger than people who cover and/or root for the Cowboys bemoaning the lack of penalties called on Cowboys’ opponents.

Dallas has had the fewest penalties called on the opposition this season. But they’ve also had the fourth fewest called against them, giving them the 11th worst differential with a difference of less than half a penalty a game. The worst differential belongs to the Seahawks, who are on track to make the playoffs despite getting more than 3 more penalties a game called on them than their opposition. The Chiefs, Rams, and Eagles have a worse differential than the Cowboys. Last season, when the Cowboys were rolling to the top seed in the NFC, their penalty differential was….

5th. It was worse than this year.

There are reasons, and there are excuses.

Washington Redskins (5-6)

Last Week: Scored more points than the Giants, giving Keith Cousins his first week day win.

This Week: Visit the Cowboys on Thursday Night.

This season was one ripe with excuses for the Redskins. They lost a lot of talent in free agency, their brilliant play caller Sean McVay left to coach the Rams, and they’ve had a lot of players go IR. And though they’re lousy, it’s hard to make a lot of excuses for Kurt Cousins. Kent should be having a terrible year: his best pass catcher, Jordan Reed, has predictably missed half the season; his outside receivers have predictably failed to fill the void left by DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon; the Redskins still can’t settle the running back position; and the Redskins have actually faced a pretty tough schedule. And yet, Cousins is having a pretty damn good year. His passer rating of 101.1 is just 0.5 off his career high, and is 7th best in the league. His 8.1 yards per attempt is 4th best. He’s sporting the best interception rate of his career and has a pretty good touchdown rate. There’s a lot going on in Cousin’s season that should lead to it being lousy. Instead, he’s been pretty damn good. Well done Kirk. Get that pay day in Denver.

New York Giants (2-9)

Last Week: Played so poorly that Eli Manning finally got his ass benched.

This Week: Visit the Raiders, so Eli can spend the whole game working on his tan, if they let him make the trip.

Ben McAdoo, who as our sharp readers pointed out has both a “Full Blooded Italian” a and a “Female Body Inspector” t-shirt (he wears the latter under the former), has either decided that or is taking the blame for deciding that willfully starting Geno Smith would be a good decision.

It would be easy to blame the Giants many failures this season on anything but Eli, and everything around Eli does stink to high heaven. But let’s not forget that Eli Manning Is Profoundly Mediocre. The Giants offense rested on the shoulder of a 36 year old QB who, at his best, was just “pretty good.” Spare me the pity party for a guy who pouted his way to a draft day trade.

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