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NFC Playoff Picture: How the Cowboys losing impacts the Eagles

Philadelphia got some help on Sunday.

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday morning got off to an ... unexpected ... start for the Eagles.

Jalen Hurts was downgraded to questionable due to an illness. Matt Patricia was made the defensive play-caller.

Sunday evening finished on a more enjoyable note.

The Eagles officially clinched a playoff spot. The Cowboys got blown out.

And, on that last note, Philly — temporarily, at least — moved back to first place in the NFC East.

Of course, the Eagles never actually relinquished control of the division despite losing the Cowboys in Week 14. The Birds entered Week 15 knowing they can win out to become the first team to repeat as NFC East champs in nearly 20 years.

With the Cowboys losing to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday evening, the Eagles now have some more margin for error.

In a scenario where Dallas wins out from here (remaining schedule: at Miami Dolphins, vs. Detroit Lions, at Washington Commanders), the Eagles will still very likely clinch* the division if Philly only loses to either (but not both) of the Seattle Seahawks or Arizona Cardinals.

Dropping a game is obviously not the goal. The Eagles should still be aiming to win out since it’s possible they can get the No. 1 seed if they run the table and the San Francisco 49ers drop one of their three remaining games: vs. Baltimore Ravens, at Washington Commanders, vs. Los Angeles Rams. It’s not impossible that the Eagles will get help.

What’s most important, however, is the Eagles helping themselves. And the opportunity to right the ship after losing two straight games is right there for them. Gotta beat the Seahawks, who very well might be led by backup quarterback Drew Lock.

*Very likely due to the strength of victory tiebreaker.

Eagles playoff odds with a win over the Seahawks

No. 1 seed: From 15% to 28%

Winning the division: From 74% to 88%

Eagles playoff odds with a loss to the Seahawks

No. 1 seed: From 15% to 5%

Winning the division: From 74% to 65%


NFC PLAYOFF PICTURE

THE TOP SEVEN

DIVISION LEADERS

1 - San Francisco 49ers: 11-3
2 - Philadelphia Eagles: 10-3
3 - Detroit Lions: 10-4
4 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 7-7

WILD CARDS

5 - Dallas Cowboys: 10-4
6 - Minnesota Vikings: 7-7
7 - Los Angeles Rams: 7-7

...

IN THE HUNT

8 - New Orleans Saints: 7-7
9 - Seattle Seahawks: 6-7
10 - Atlanta Falcons: 6-8
11 - Green Bay Packers: 6-8

ON LIFE SUPPORT

12 - New York Giants: 5-9
13 - Chicago Bears: 5-9

OFFICIALLY ELIMINATED

14 - Washington Commanders: 4-10
15 - Arizona Cardinals: 3-11
16 - Carolina Panthers: 2-12

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