What do the Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Commanders, Dallas Cowboys, and New York Giants have in common? They’re all members of the only division that won't be represented in the NFL Playoffs' Divisional Round. Let that sink in for a second. While you're at it, mull this next statement over.
All four National Football Conference's eastern division members were equally awful. Philly was bad from top to bottom. The Commanders were wholly disjointed. The Cowboys were (and will continue to be) the Michaelangelo of choke artists. New York never stood a chance from the jump. This has gone from being one of pro football's top divisions to becoming one of its worst.
With that, we make a proclamation.
Eagles fans, we welcome you all back to the 'NFC Least'.
In a practical sense, there isn’t a huge benefit to being in a good division. One could argue that playing better competition in six of a team's 17 games is a pretty good way to cut their teeth. That might be true. That might be untrue.
Still, despite the angst that exists between the Eagles and Cowboys, the games are more fun when the teams are playing well, and that's true regardless of the result. Look at Week 9 of the 2023 season and Week 6 of 2022 if you need evidence of that theory.
This season, Dallas and Philly's first meeting was the clash of titans that we expected. Jalen Hurts and Dak Prescott were playing out of their minds. The atmosphere was electric. The game was stress-inducing. It was a beautifully competitive game.
In 2022, the first Eagles/Cowboys game featured a Jalen Hurts-led Eagles offense and a Cooper Rush-led Cowboys ensemble. Read that last sentence again… See? It does nothing for you. The game was interesting, but the buildup and fallout lacked juice other than the always-exciting Eagles versus Cowboys angle.
In 2021, Philly and Dallas met in a non-consequential Week 18 game. Gardner Minshew was the Eagles’ starting quarterback in that game. Once again, there was no juice. Here's the point. Better rosters and better teams add to the competitive angle.
On the other side of that coin, if Philly was consistently dominant in the division, that would probably be pretty fun too (for us anyway). Let's hope that is a reality that isn't too far away.
Four months ago, we wouldn't have expected everything we are seeing, yet some of this isn't surprising. The Commanders will hire a new head coach this offseason. The Cowboys will stick with one that thinks Gallagher was a motivational speaker. The Giants... Well.. They're the Giants.
The G-Men are going to give Brian Daboll another shot. All of that should give Birds fans hope for the future, but the Eagles ended their season so poorly that it's hard to be excited about anything.
Bummer... Yeah... We aren't quite there, but a return to the days of the NFC Least could be around the corner.