Playoff Picture Emerging in the NFC East

Jennifer JohnsonAnalyst INovember 2, 2008

The New York Football Giants made a serious statement today about whom they think is the beast of the NFC  East. In a division with three teams with five wins or more, there’s little room for error, as the second half of the 2008-2009 campaign rapidly approaches. 

Eli Manning and Company put up 35 points on media darlings, and so-called America’s team, the down and out Dallas Cowboys. 

It was total domination from the Giants' defensive line, as they limited the Cowboys to 183 total yards of offense. 

They induced four turnovers, one on a particularly ugly interception thrown by second-string QB Brad Johnson, that left the Cowboy camp wondering if Tony Romo’s pinkie winkie will heal in time to salvage their season.

Sorry folks! We interrupt this sports article to guffaw at the preseason hype surrounding the Dallas Cowboys and their Super Bowl guarantees. To be confident is good, to be ignorant is fatal. 

And that’s what this team has been since they wrapped up the HBO show Hard Knocks.  It was vomit-inducing camera footage of Terrell Owens, prancing around in his own line of t-shirts, that had me applaud today’s debacle at the Meadowlands. 

The Cowboys are sitting in last place, a half game behind the Philadelphia Eagles. And their schedule is not kind to keep their streak of not winning a playoff game intact. 

Oh, yes I did say it. The Cowboys haven’t won a playoff game since 1996. Their saving grace now is their upcoming bye week. Many injured players are expected back for their Nov. 16th game against the Redskins at FedEx Field. 

A record of 5-4 is not terrible, but it’s not up to the Cowboys' standard of play. Listening to the commentary from Troy Aikman didn’t help matters and made this diehard 'Skins fan root harder for the Giants.  

Third stringer Brooks Bollinger’s wobbly interception was, in Troy’s mind, “a ball that slipped out of his hands.” I know he’s a homer, but the game was on national TV. Bollinger rushed his throw, and by no means was it an “oops did I do that?” pass.

At 6-2, with a Monday-night tangle with the mighty and evenly-matched Pittsburgh Steelers still to come, the Washington Redskins are the true wild card in this division. 

They have the NFL’s leading rusher in yards, RB Clinton Portis, going up against the league’s best rushing defense. Something’s gotta give, and I hope it’s not the 'Skins' O-line that breaks first.

Washington wraps up their season with home games against the Cowboys, Giants, and Eagles. If they can win two or three games, then the Cowboys and Eagles would need a miracle to supplant them out of second place.  

A win tomorrow night places them a game behind 7-1 New York, and like the Cowboys, heading into the bye week hoping to get healthy.  

No one has a crystal ball. Perhaps that’s why it was so annoying that preseason hype anointed one team better than the rest of the competition.    

Like Kansas City Coach Herm Edwards eloquently stated, “You play to win the game.” (Note: Quoted after his New York Jets team started 1-4 in 2003.) 

So pop some popcorn, pro football enthusiasts. We haven’t seen anything yet.