Last season the NFC East was won by the Washington Redskins, it was the first time Washington won the divisional title since 1999. The three years before that the NFC East was won by a different divisional team, meaning that all four teams in the NFC East have won a divisional crown in the last four years.
Why is this significant? First to show just how discombobulated the division is and the second is to give some context on the week 17 matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles which will decide the champion for this season.
This Sunday night the Eagles will travel to Dallas in a game that pretty much serves as the NFC East Championship game. The setup is perfect, the game is in Jerry World and the winner will move on to the playoffs while the loser will most likely be sent home, not bad for two teams that have had roller coaster seasons.
The NFC East is always the craziest division in football but this season the divisional teams really out did themselves. The Redskins and Giants were atrocious all season and the Eagles and Cowboys both had years that will easily be forgotten if they lose on Sunday.
The Eagles started the season 1-3 and looked to be going nowhere early on. But once Nick Foles took over under center Philadelphia had found themselves, going 6-1 in their last seven games.
Dallas had a stereotypical season, multiple exciting high scoring games that the Cowboys found a way to lose. But along the way they still have found themselves in a position where they can win the divisional crown and make the playoffs.
Both Dallas and Philadelphia have extremely talented teams, the only problem is that both teams are very inconsistent, always leaving us guessing as to what team will show up at each game. The Eagles can drop 54 points on the Bears but still find a way to give up 48 points and lose to a Vikings team that was without Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart.
Dallas has only one win over a team with a record above .500, which happens to the Philadelphia Eagles – just ponder on that one for a minute. I guess that sets up an even more perfect matchup this Sunday.
Honestly, it is almost pointless to make a prediction on this game. We all know that the Eagles are capable of going into Dallas and getting a win just as we know that Tony Romo is very capable of giving the game away at the end. Yet at the same time it shouldn’t shock anyone to see the Cowboys win by a huge margin, it’s just one of those games where you can throw away almost every expectation.
But if nothing else, this game represents what is so great about football — the unexpected. These two teams are members of the most exciting division in the NFL and this game reminds us of that. Next year the Giants and Redskins will be fighting for the crown, well probably not, but it shouldn’t catch anyone off guard if they do.
Tyler Rollason is a Winder-Barrow High School graduate and mass communications major at the University of West Georgia. He writes a weekly sports column for the Barrow Journal. You can e-mail comments about this column to firstname.lastname@example.org.