The Philadelphia Eagles have been on a collision course with the Dallas Cowboys for weeks. Assuming Dallas defeats Washington this Sunday—which might be going out on a limb right now—the Birds will meet the boys in Arlington, Texas, in Week 17, where one team will be crowned division champion.
The other will be watching the playoffs at home.
If there’s one question the Eagles must answer before the postseason, it’s whether they can beat the Cowboys, their main protagonist this season. It’s been the Cowboys they were chasing in the standings all fall. It’s the Cowboys who won the last time they met with first place on the line.
Dallas cruised to an ugly 17-3 win back on Oct. 20, in what just happened to be the worst game of Nick Foles’ short career. Philly’s offense was unable to mount any kind of attack, while Tony Romo overcame a pair of interceptions to lead his team to victory.
The Cowboys are a bit of a train wreck at the moment having lost two straight, including a historic meltdown against the Green Bay Packers in Week 15. Knocking off 3-11 Washington right now is not a given for them, and should they falter, the Eagles can clinch the division with a win over the Chicago Bears on Sunday night.
The Eagles still may need to beat Dallas on the final day of the regular season though, if for no other reason than to convince pundits that they can do it. Chip Kelly doesn’t sound prepared to rest his starters under any circumstance, and the Cowboys aren’t going to lay down.
That game may have meaning regardless, even if it doesn’t in terms of any playoff race. The Eagles should answer that challenge, along with five more questions, before we start talking seriously about how far they can go in the postseason.