The NFL has officially announced the specifics for next week’s regular-season finale with Washington, a game that still has some plenty of playoff implications.
The Cowboys will face the Commanders on Sunday at 3:25 p.m. CT at FedEx Field. At the same time, the Giants and Eagles will play in Philly. If the Eagles can win and improve to 14-3, they will win the NFC East title outright and gain the No. 1 overall seed in the NFC. But the Cowboys can still win the division if they beat Washington and the Giants defeat the Eagles.
While the Commanders were eliminated from playoff contention on Sunday, the Giants have little to play for next week after they locked up the No. 6 seed in the NFC playoff picture this weekend.
For the Cowboys, if they don’t win the division, they would be the No. 5 seed and face Tampa Bay, which clinched the NFC South on Sunday over the Panthers.
The NFL changed its format this season for Week 18, leaving the entire weekend open for all teams, giving the league a chance to set the final week based off of the most intriguing matchups. But since the Cowboys/Commanders and Giants/Eagles have an effect on each other, the league has decide to play these two games at the same time.
For the Cowboys, a chance to win the division will keep them from resting key starters. Had the Eagles defeated the Saints, it was expected several top players, from Dak Prescott to Micah Parsons, were going to get some much-needed rest in the regular-season finale. That is unlikely to occur now with the two divisional games kicking off at the same time.
And if the Cowboys were to win the NFC East, they would have a shot to either get the No. 1 seed with a 49ers loss to the Cardinals, or perhaps the No. 2 seed, which would guarantee them at home for the first week and the second week of the postseason if they advance
But for now, the focus has to remain on Washington.