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NFL Playoff Picture: Eagles in strong standing after beating the Cowboys

The Birds are flying high atop the NFC entering their bye week.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Your mileage may vary when it comes to feeling confident in the Philadelphia Eagles going the distance. What’s undeniably true, however, is that the Birds are in a GREAT spot entering their Week 10 bye.

By defeating the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night, the Eagles strengthened their standing in their division and the conference as a whole. Take a look at these updated odds from the New York Times playoff simulator:

And here’s a look at the NFC side of the NFL playoff picture leaving Week 8.

NFC PLAYOFF PICTURE

THE TOP SEVEN

1. Philadelphia Eagles (8-1)
2. Detroit Lions (6-2)
3. San Francisco 49ers (5-3, NFC West division tiebreaker*)
4. New Orleans Saints (5-4)
5. Seattle Seahawks (5-3, NFC West division tiebreaker*, 4-1 NFC)
6. Dallas Cowboys (5-3, 2-3 NFC)
7. Minnesota Vikings (5-4)

*The 49ers own the NFC West tiebreaker thanks to their division record. San Francisco is 2-0 in the NFC West and Seattle is 1-1.

IN THE HUNT

8. Washington Commanders (4-5, win over ATL)
9. Atlanta Falcons (4-5)
10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-5, common games tiebreaker over GB)
11. Green Bay Packers (3-5)
12. Los Angeles Rams (3-6)

GRAVEYARD

13. New York Giants (2-7, 2-3 NFC)
14. Chicago Bears (2-7, 1-4 NFC)
15. Carolina Panthers (1-7)
16. Arizona Cardinals (1-8)


As you can see, the Eagles have built a nice cushion that gives them some margin for error as they try to navigate the upcoming gauntlet. Here’s Philly’s remaining schedule:

  • Week 10 bye
  • Week 11 at Kansas City Chiefs
  • Week 12 vs. Buffalo Bills
  • Week 13 vs. San Francisco 49ers
  • Week 14 at Dallas Cowboys
  • Week 15 at Seattle Seahawks
  • Week 16 vs. New York Giants
  • Week 17 vs. Arizona Cardinals
  • Week 18 at New York Giants

For all of the talk that the Eagles have it so hard, their remaining strength of schedule actually ranks as the ninth-easiest in the NFL. And that’s largely because the Giants and Cardinals are very, very bad.

Even if the Eagles go below .500 in their next five games at 2-3, they still have a golden opportunity to end the season with three straight wins to finish 13-4. That might be good enough for the No. 1 seed?

Perhaps not. The Lions are a real threat to get the first-round bye since they have the league’s fourth-easiest remaining strength of schedule. The Eagles will be rooting for Detroit to slip up along the way. There is a Cowboys-Lions game in Week 17 that could potentially see Dallas inadvertently helping the Birds get the top spot in the conference.

Given how they’ve gotten to this point, the Eagles being 8-1 might not feel as good as you would’ve expected it to. But who are you having them trade places with?

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