Limited expectations surrounded the encounter between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night in football, and the latest edition of NFC East has added to the hype for the wrong reasons.
The Eagles defeated the Cowboys 23-9 as Dallas failed to score a touchdown for only the fourth time in the franchise’s history. The Cowboys’ third-ranking quarterback, Ben DiNucci, made just over 50 percent of his passes and lost two fumbles, while Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz threw for two touchdowns but was intercepted twice and lost two fumbles.
NFC East has traditionally attracted some of the largest national television audiences, a trend that has continued this season despite the division’s bleak state.
Nevertheless, the NFL’s decision to schedule a game between two teams that came into the game on Sunday night with a 4-9-1 aggregate score was puzzling, especially as AFC North was forced to drop to the 1:00 ET slot between the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers and the 5-1 Baltimore Ravens, while the NFC West game between the 5-1 Seattle Seahawks and the 4-3 San Francisco 49ers was scheduled for 16-25 ET.
It was NFC East’s second prime time game in consecutive weeks, after the Eagles hosted the New York Giants on Thursday night, and the fourth time this season that one of the league members attended a prime time game – the Cowboys, Eagles and Giants have all played twice on national television this year.
NFC East at prime time must stop if we don’t have a continuously running clock.
– Kaelen Jones (@kaelenjones) November 2, 2020
The NFL will not allow NFC East to resume prime time broadcasting until at least 2025.
– Bleeding Green Nation (@BloodyGreen) November 2, 2020
NFC East should be excluded from any prime time game for the rest of the season. This is unobservable.
– Kayce Smith (@KayceSmith) November 2, 2020
Don’t worry, folks, you won’t see another NFC East team on prime time until…
…until the Giants tomorrow night.
– Mitch Gold ð (@mitchgoldich) November 2, 2020
NFC East is the only division in the NFL where all four members have a record of defeat this season. In the first eight weeks of the season, the NFC East teams’ combined record is 8-21-1, to put the grim figure into context: None of the other five NFL divisions have recorded less than 12 wins combined during this phase of the season. Overall, NFC East, which remains the only league whose members have all won at least one Super Bowl title, has won just one game more than the Pittsburgh Steelers and Kansas City Chiefs individually.
To make matters worse, five of NFC East’s eight cumulative victories were scored against divisional opponents – Washington defeated the Eagles in week 1, while the Cowboys beat the Giants in week 5, with the latter defeating Washington the following week. Meanwhile, the Eagles won back-to-back games against the Giants and Cowboys in week 7 and week 8.
The plight of NFC East becomes even clearer when compared to the other three divisions of the conference. Both NFC North and NFC South have two teams with at least five wins each – the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears in the first, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New Orleans Saints in the second – while all four franchises in NFC West have a record of 0.500 or better – the Seahawks are 6-1, the Arizona Cardinals and the Los Angeles Rams 5-2 and 5-3, and the 49ers 4-4.
The NFC West and NFC East play basically two different sports
– Mina Kimes (@minakimes) October 27, 2020
The patriots should see if they can trade with NFC East on Tuesday
– Doug Kyed (@DougKyed) November 2, 2020
Cancel NFC East
– Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) November 2, 2020
The first place in NFC East is one and a half games behind the last place in NFC West.
– Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) October 26, 2020
Unfortunately for the NFC East detractors, one of the four members of the league will be playing prime time again in week 8 as the Giants welcome Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to Monday Night Football.
The Cowboys will make two more prime time appearances and face the Baltimore Ravens in week 13 on Thursday night before hosting the 49ers in week 15 on Sunday night. Meanwhile, the Eagles have a game on national television that the Seahawks will host on Monday Night Football in week 12.