Cowboys Should Remain NFC East Favorites by Staying Undefeated in Division

Alex HallCorrespondent IIINovember 24, 2013

Nov 24, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Dallas Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey (5) is congratulated by teammates after kicking the game-winning field goal in the fourth quarter against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY

The Dallas Cowboys powered through an ugly game against the New York Giants, showing why they are still the favorites to take the NFC East.

With just five games remaining in the regular season, the Cowboys might be just 6-5, but four of those wins came against division rivals. Dallas has now swept its season series with the G-Men and have defeated both Washington and Philadelphia once already.

Regardless of what happens during the rest of the regular season, the Cowboys cannot be swept by any of their division foes. The best Washington and Philadelphia can do is split their season series with Dallas. The Giants blew that chance in Week 12.

The Cowboys now once again hold first place in the division, thanks to their Week 7 win over the Eagles. Based on how Jason Garrett's team has played against its divisional foes, there's little reason to doubt the Cowboys as favorites to win the NFC East.

On their way to their current 4-0 mark within the division, the Cowboys outscored their rivals by a combined score of 108-71. Against opponents outside of the NFC East, the Cowboys have been outscored by a combined point total of 208-190.

Simply put, the Cowboys play their best football against the teams with which they are the most familiar. This NFL season has seen the NFC East become arguably the worst division in the entire league when looking at its teams' records.

Oct 20, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles (9) passes the ball as Dallas Cowboys defensive end Kyle Wilber (51) and defensive tackle Jason Hatcher (97) go for the sack during the third quarter at Lincoln Financial Fiel
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

All four teams have lost at least five games this season. New York and Washington have each lost seven contests. Even if the Cowboys finish 10-6 or 9-7, they still have the best chance of finishing as the best of the worst.

Dallas' final five games come against teams with a combined record of 24-27. Three of the Cowboys' remaining five games are at home, including Week 17 against the Eagles.

In every way possible, Garrett's crew controls its own destiny as the regular season winds down. Although the Cowboys' overall record might not be overly impressive, it is the 4-0 division record that will bring them an NFC East title.

Dallas is not one of the most elite teams in the NFL right now, but it also isn't one of the worst. In fact, when this team is playing to its full potential, it has proven it can hang with the likes of opponents such as Denver and Kansas City.

The Cowboys aren't going to go on any New York Giants-like losing streak. They have the ability to at the very least keep pace with Philadelphia. As long as the Cowboys can win their two remaining divisional games and one or two other contests, the NFC East is theirs. A 9-7 or 10-6 overall record with a 6-0 divisional record will be good enough for the division crown this season.