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NFC East Roundup: How Washington Became Division Favorites

Dustin Hopkins celebrates a field goal with Tress Way against the Dallas Cowboys on Nov. 26, 2020. (Sam Hodde/NFL)
Dustin Hopkins celebrates a field goal with Tress Way against the Dallas Cowboys on Nov. 26, 2020. (Sam Hodde/NFL)

There have been some shake-ups in the NFC East, but the division crown is still up for grabs. While the Washington Football Team is in second place, it is the favorite to finish the season with the division title and a home playoff game, according to The Washington Post. Here's where each team stands after 12 weeks.

New York Giants (3-2 division, 4-7 overall)

After defeating the Cincinnati Bengals, 19-17, the New York Giants have won three straight games and are atop the division because of their two wins over Washington.

The Giants were able to barely slip out a win over the Bengals, who were without quarterback Joe Burrow. With the score tied, 10-10, quarterback Daniel Jones also went down and exited the game with a hamstring injury. At that point, backup Colt McCoy was able to extend the Giants lead to nine points by orchestrating a trio of field goal drives. The Bengals fought back with a one-yard touchdown pass from Brandon Allen to Tee Higgins, but Allen also coughed up the ball with just 57 seconds left to play. That allowed the Giants to run the clock out from there.

New York will look to extend its winning streak when it goes on the road to play the Seattle Seahawks (8-3) on Sunday at 4:05 p.m.

Washington Football Team (3-2, 4-7)

After taking down the Bengals, Washington rose to the occasion again as it swept the Dallas Cowboys with a 41-16 win.

Washington held a 20-16 lead in the third quarter, but the score could have easily been tied had it not been for Terry McLaurin. After Alex Smith threw an interception to linebacker Jaylon Smith, McLaurin chased Smith down and tackled him at Washington's 4-yard line. Four plays later, the Cowboys were forced to settle with a field goal.

From there, rookie Antonio Gibson was able to put the game away with a pair of rushing touchdowns. Gibson finished the game with 115 rushing yards and three scores while averaging 5.8 yards per carry. Gibson now has 11 touchdowns this season, which leads all rookies and is third in the NFL.

Washington will try to stay in contention and carry its momentum into a matchup against the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers, which has been moved to Monday night at 5 p.m.

Philadelphia Eagles (2-2 division, 3-7-1 overall)

After holding on to the division lead for weeks, the Philadelphia Eagles went from first to third place after a 23-17 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Monday Night Football.

Seattle jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the second quarter, but thanks to a three-yard touchdown pass to Dallas Goedert from Carson Wentz, the score was 14-6 at halftime. The Eagles managed to cut the lead to five points with a 42-yard field goal, but Seattle's offense was still moving efficiently with Russell Wilson completing 10 passes to DK Metcalf for 177 yards, which helped the team take a 23-9 lead. The Eagles scored on a 33-yard touchdown catch from Richard Rodgers with 12 seconds remaining, but the Seahawks recovered the ensuing onside kick and took a knee to end the game.

The Eagles will try to bounce back by going on the road to face the Green Bay Packers, who lead the NFC North with an 8-3 record.

Dallas Cowboys (1-3, 3-8)

After getting blown out by Washington, Dallas has fallen to last place in the division. A competitive first half on Thanksgiving was followed by sloppy play and a lack of production on offense. For the game, Washington held the Cowboys to 247 total yards.

After an unsuccessful fake punt forced the Cowboys to turn over the ball on downs at their own 23-yard line, all Washington needed was one play to find the end zone and take a 27-16 lead. Then, after Dallas could only move the ball nine yards on five plays, Washington drove the ball 76 yards downfield on 10 plays and scored on a 37-yard touchdown run from Gibson. Montez Sweat followed that up by intercepting a pass from quarterback Andy Dalton and returning it for a touchdown.

It's still too early to count Dallas out of the division race because it has the easiest remaining schedule among its NFC East rivals. After facing the Baltimore Ravens on Dec. 8, the Cowboys will face the Bengals, 49ers, Eagles and Giants, all of whom have losing records.