NFL Predictions: Dallas Cowboys Have Edge in 3-Way Race for NFC East

James BrownSenior Analyst IDecember 22, 2012

NFL Predictions: Dallas Cowboys Have Edge in 3-Way Race for NFC East

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    With just two weeks left to go in the NFL regular season, the NFC East is up for grabs. The Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins and the New York Giants are all vying for the division title and the automatic invite to the post season.

    The pressure of playing must-win games late in the season can wreak havoc on the psyche of NFL teams, but in this three-team race, the Cowboys have the edge.

New York Giants—No More Late Season Magic

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    The New York Giants are known for their tremendous play on the NFL highway and the late season runs they have put together over the years to win the Super Bowl. However, don’t expect that kind of magic this season.

    Out of the three teams competing for the division, the Giants have the hardest road to hoe since they need to win every game and hope the winner of the Week 17 Redskins-Cowboys game loses in Week 16.

    The Giants come into the Week 16 matchup with the Baltimore Ravens playing horrific football. They have lost four of the last six games, and a week ago, they were demolished by the Atlanta Falcons.

    That loss highlighted the Giants' weaknesses and the struggles by Eli Manning. Manning is inconsistent and prone to early turnovers that put the Giants in a hole. Manning is just one interception shy of his total from a year ago.

    The Giants just don’t have the same magic that they have had in the past.

Washington Redskins RG3 Can’t Play Defense

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    The Washington Redskins are a great story in the NFL this season. The football odds were against the Redskins winning the NFC East, but here they are in a position to win the division if they win out.

    Rookie Robert Griffin III is getting healthier and it looks like he will be able to suit up this weekend against the Philadelphia Eagles. If healthy enough to play, RG3 will be running for his life as the Redskins offensive line is banged up.

    However, the real concern for the Redskins is on defense.

    The Redskins are ranked No. 29 in the NFL in total defense and No. 30 against the pass. This defense is very beatable, and will have trouble matching up with offense of the Cowboys in the last game of the season.

    If the Redskins manage to get by the Eagles, they will be hard-pressed to beat the Cowboys in Week 17.

Dallas Cowboys NFC East Champs

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    The Dallas Cowboys are hitting their stride at the right time. The Boys have won three straight games and five of the last six overall.

    On offense, a healthy DeMarco Murray is a difference-maker.

    Murray allows the Cowboys to establish the run and set up the big play with the passing attack. The Cowboys control their own destiny, and if they win both of their remaining games, they will claim the title.

    The Cowboys are two-point favorites at home this week against the New Orleans Saints. Although the Saints have a potent offense, led by quarterback Drew Brees, they have a porous defense and no motivation for this matchup. A victory set the Cowboys up for a revenge game against Washington to possibly decide the division.

    If it comes down to one game, the Cowboys will be ready to go and will defeat the Redskins to become the NFC East Champions.  

     

    James Brown is a B/R featured columnist and can be followed on Twitter. Feel free to contact James at jtsneaks@gmail.com. He also is a contributor at Bookie Blitz, a sports picks website.