With two weeks left to go in the regular season, three teams are still in the hunt for the NFC East crown. Two of those teams meet on Christmas Eve, as the Dallas Cowboys play host to the Philadelphia Eagles in a pivotal Week 16 matchup.
The Cowboys currently lead the NFC East by a game over the New York Giants and two games over the Eagles. Philadelphia, despite being two back with two to play and having two teams ahead of them in the standings, are still mathematically alive. The Eagles can win the NFC East if they beat the Cowboys in Week 16, the Jets beat the Giants in Week 16, the Eagles beat the Redskins in Week 17 and the Giants beat the Cowboys in Week 17.
Dallas, though, can put an end to all that talk just by winning on Saturday. That may prove to be difficult for Dallas, as the Eagles have won two straight and are finally getting healthy. After a somewhat impressive 26-10 win in Miami, the Eagles throttled the Jets in Week 15, winning 45-19. Both wins have come after Michael Vick returned from an injury that forced Vince Young into the starting role for three games.
Dallas' defense will certainly have to do a better job than they did in the first meeting between these two teams, when the Cowboys lost 34-7 in a Week 8 matchup in Philadelphia. Vick completed 21/28 passes for 279 yards and two touchdowns, while LeSean McCoy ran for 185 yards on 30 carries in Philadelphia's rout.
The offense also struggled mightily against the Eagles in Week 8, as Tony Romo completed just 18 of 35 passes for 203 yards, along with a touchdown pass and interception. Felix Jones will get his first crack at the Eagles this year as well, as Jones was injured during the Week 8 loss.
The Cowboys can clinch a playoff spot on Saturday with a win and a Giants loss. If the Cowboys fall to the Eagles, everything will ride on the Week 17 showdown against the Giants on New Year's Day in New Jersey.