Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys: Comparing remaining schedules

Eliot Shorr-Parks
November 07, 2019 - 8:56 am

The Eagles left the field this past Sunday with a 5-4 record. 

By the next time they take the field their top competition for a playoff spot, the Dallas Cowboys, will have played three games — and they could decide just how alive the Eagles are. 

The Cowboys have already won the first of those three, improving to 5-3. They will next face the Minnesota Vikings at home, then travel to Detroit to play the Lions, before the Eagles take on the New England Patriots at 4:30 p.m. in two weeks. 

By then, the Cowboys could very well be 7-3. Anything can happen, but if they win both of this games, and the Eagles lose to the New England Patriots, it is possible that by the time the Eagles finish their next game they will be 5-5 — and 2.5 games behind the Cowboys with six games to play. 

So yes, the Eagles’ playoff push and scoreboard watching has to start now. Their playoff lives are already in many ways on the line. 

Here is a look at the remaining schedules of each team, with a few looks at possible outcomes: 

Cowboys Schedule:

Home vs. Vikings: Win (6-3)

At Detroit: Win (7-3)

At New England: Loss (7-4) 

Home vs. Buffalo: Win (8-4)

At Chicago: Win (9-4)

Home vs. Los Angeles: Loss  (9-5)

Record of remaining opponents: 38–30-1

Analysis: The Cowboys schedule is tougher than the Eagles without question. It doesn’t, however, feature many sure-fire losses. The Cowboys will likely be favored in seven of their final eight games, or potentially six of eight depending on how the Eagles are playing heading into their Week 16 matchup. The next three games will go a long way in dictating how the Cowboys’ schedule goes. A trip to Detroit and a game vs. the Vikings are not easy, but they are winnable. If the Cowboys can come away with wins in both, it is very possible they get to 11 wins and the Eagles’ Week 16 game might not matter. If the Cowboys win the next two, they can lose to the Patriots, Rams and Eagles and still likely finish with 10 wins. They need to win just one of those three -- against the Patriots, Rams or Eagles -- to get to 11. Even with how easy the Eagles’ remaining schedule is, it is tough to see them getting to 11 wins. 

Eagles Schedule: 

Home vs. Patriots: Loss (5-5)

Home vs. Seattle: Loss (5-6)

At Miami: Win (6-6)

Home vs. Giants: Win (7-6) 

At Washington: Win (8-6)

Record of remaining opponents: 25-35

Analysis: The Eagles are almost out of the woods from their brutal schedule to start the season — but they aren’t there yet. The Eagles have two very tough games at home when they come out of their Bye. First, they get the Patriots, who are coming off of their own Bye Week and their first loss of the season. Then, they get the Seattle Seahawks, who have never lost to the Eagles with Pete Carroll as the head coach. Anything is possible in the NFL, and the Eagles are good at home, but realistically both of those should be looked at as losses. That would drop the Eagles to 5-6. The Eagles will get a chance to get rolling in the next three weeks, with games vs. the Dolphins, Giants and Washington, three teams that are a combined 4-22. All three of those absolutely have to be wins if the Eagles fall to the Patriots and Seahawks.

Assuming they are, the Eagles would enter the Cowboys’ game with a 8-6 record. That game has to be a win, but there is a chance it ends up not mattering if the Cowboys take care of business with teams they should beat. If the Cowboys beat the Vikings, Lions, Bills and Bears they would enter that game at 9-5 —one game ahead of the Eagles. With a win, the Eagles would tie the Cowboys at 9-6, and also tie them 1-1 in the season series. 

If that happens, the next tiebreaker would be record against division opponents. If the exact scenario plays out, the Eagles and Cowboys would both be 4-1 in the division following the Week 16 game if the Eagles win. Assuming they both win in Week 17, they would each finish the season 5-1. The third tie breaker? Common opponents. Currently, the Eagles are 2-2 against the six common opponents the Cowboys will also play. The Cowboys are 1-1. 

Here is how it could finish, however, using the above projections: 

Dolphins (win for both)

Packers (win for Eagles, loss for Cowboys)

Vikings (loss for Eagles, win for Cowboys)

Lions (loss for Eagles, win for Cowboys)

Patriots (loss for both)

Bills (win for both) 

Projected record for Eagles: 3-3

Projected record for Cowboys: 4-2

If things play out that way, the Eagles — with a Week 16 win — would be tied once again with the Cowboys. The fourth tie-breaker? Record against teams in the conference. Using the above projections, the Cowboys would win that tie breaker, even with a Week 16 loss, as they would finish 8-4 in the conference, with the Eagles finishing 7-5.

Of course, things could play out any number of ways. Just look at how the Eagles’ season ended last year, with the Vikings losing the Bears in Week 17. 

Overall though, the reality is that the next two games are absolutely crucial in determining who will win the NFC East between the Eagles and Cowboys.

You can reach Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks or email him at esp@94wip.com!