If Giants beat Jets, Eagles-Cowboys becomes meaningless
Posted by Michael David Smith
Pro Football Talk
Saturday’s Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys game is viewed by many fans as one of the biggest games of the week in the NFL, as it matches up two teams that are still in contention for the NFC East title.
But the game could be rendered meaningless before kickoff.
As our friend Ross Tucker has pointed out, if the Giants beat the Jets in a game that kicks off at 1 p.m. Eastern, that would eliminate the Eagles from playoff contention. It would also guarantee that the winner of the Week 17 game between the Cowboys and Giants would win the NFC East.
So if the Giants win before the Eagles and Cowboys kick off at 4:15, the Eagles are out of the playoff race, and the Cowboys know that they have to beat the Giants the following week. It would still be theoretically possible for the Cowboys to beat the Eagles, lose to the Giants and end up with a wild card, so the game isn’t totally meaningless to Dallas, although the tiebreaker situations that have the Cowboys as a wild card are so remote (Football Outsiders calculates it at less than 1 percent) that the Cowboys’ playoff hopes rest almost entirely on winning the division.
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett says he won’t be looking at the Giants-Jets score, but Cowboys and Eagles fans certainly will.