IRVING, Texas – The Cowboys' hopes for first place in the NFC East by the end of the weekend were a possibility prior to their Thanksgiving loss. Instead, third place became inevitable.
A loss to the Redskins meant the Giants would stay atop the NFC East standings, regardless of what occurred in the Sunday night game.
The Giants further cemented their spot atop the division with a 38-10 blowout victory against the Packers, snapping a five-game winning streak for Green Bay.
The Redskins currently hold the No. 2 spot in the division, despite sharing the same record as the Cowboys. That could change next week when the Redskins host a Giants team that snapped a two-game losing streak of its own with a win against the Packers.
Dallas knew its chances for a playoff push dwindled with a home loss to the Redskins on Thursday, and the rest of the weekend's matchups didn't help them out. Still, despite holding a 5-6 record, the Cowboys aren't totally out of the equation. No team in the NFC East has more than two wins in the division, and the Cowboys stay at home this week to host a 3-7 Eagles team with a quarterback situation still in question.
The health of the Cowboys squad may matter more than its opponents in the coming weeks, as Bruce Carter, Orlando Scandrick, Jason Hatcher and Miles Austin were all injured in the loss to Washington. Before defensive coordinator Rob Ryan makes his adjustments to face Robert Griffin III the next time around in the season finale, he first may need to find a way to play without more defensive starters once again.
The Cowboys will also need to place their faith in a couple teams who beat them earlier this year in order to make up ground on the Giants, who will travel to Atlanta and Baltimore later in the season. The Giants and Cowboys won't play again this year, but both teams will face matchups against the Redskins, Eagles and Saints before year's end.