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Eagles vs. Cowboys in the playoffs? Discussing NFC East seeding scenarios

New NFC East Mixtape episode!

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles haven’t officially clinched a playoff berth just yet. But there’s a chance that they will have a spot locked up by the end of Week 17. As a refresher, the Birds need the following outcomes in order to formally punch their postseason ticket:

  • 1:00 PM window — Eagles beat Washington
  • 4:00 PM window — 49ers beat Texans ... OR ... Panthers beat Saints
  • Sunday Night Football — Packers beat Vikings

Assuming this parlay does end up coming to fruition, the Eagles will be in an interesting spot entering their Week 18 game against the Dallas Cowboys.

If the Eagles so choose, they can simulate a bye week by resting their starters. But doing so might help the Cowboys clinch the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoff picture if Green Bay loses on the road to the Detroit Lions. The latter outcome might seem unlikely but, I don’t know, I could see Dan Campbell getting his guys up to play spoiler in the season finale. That would be the Lions’ Super Bowl this season.

Assuming the Packers do hold on to the No. 1 seed, the Eagles resting their starters could help ensure that the Cowboys getting the No. 2 seed. And that might mean Philly would have to go down to Dallas to play them in the wild card round. That’s not exactly a tempting scenario considering that the Cowboys arguably look like the scariest team in the league right now. (Then again, actually eliminating Dallas would be pretty awesome and really make the Cowboys’ NFC East victory feel hollow.)

On that note, there’s obviously a scenario where the Eagles DON’T clinch this weekend and might need to beat Dallas to make the playoffs. And that much might come from the Vikings pulling off an upset at Lambeau Field, thus giving the Cowboys a path to clinching the No. 1 seed with a win in Philly assuming they also beat the reeling Arizona Cardinals this weekend.

Needless to say, there are some interesting scenarios that could play out here. The results of Week 17 will give us a clearer picture for what’s at stake in the final week of the regular season.

In this week’s edition of the NFC East Mixtape podcast, RJ Ochoa and I discussed these potential playoff scenarios, what’s going on with WFT/NYG, and much more. For those who didn’t now, the NFC East Mixtape now airs on all four division podcast feeds: Bleeding Green Nation, Blogging The Boys, Hogs Haven, and Big Blue View. We appreciate your feedback — especially in the form of Apple podcast reviews and (newly added!) Spotify ratings — as we try to grow a community to discuss the most important division in all of sports.

Check it out!