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East Officially Two-Horse Race

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Heading into the 2011 NFL season, just about everyone assumed the Philadelphia Eagles would run away with the NFC East.

    As that blow-hard Lee Corso would say: "Not so fast, my friend."

    The Eagles now sit at 3-6 with two straight losses and the Dallas Cowboys are 5-4 with two straight wins, one game behind the New York Giants at 6-3.

    The Eagles would have to basically win out to factor into a playoff spot and that became even less likely than it already was when it was announced that Michael Vick suffered two broken ribs last weekend.

    So let's look at the seven remaining games for the two frontrunners, which include two games against each other and one on the final day of the regular season which could be a huge, decisive game.

    Giants: Philly, at New Orleans, Green Bay, at Dallas, Washington, at New York Jets, Dallas

    Cowboys: at Washington, Miami, at Arizona, New York Giants, at Tampa Bay, Philly, at New York Giants

    Philadelphia is still fighting, and Vick plays, could give the Giants a game on Sunday. On the other hand, when the Eagles come to Dallas in Week 16, they might have folded up tent by then. Obviously the two key games for each team are those against each other, but the rest of the schedule heavily favors the Cowboys as the Giants draw the Saints, Packers and Jets still. The Cowboys get Miami, Arizona and Tampa Bay, which is a much lighter group of opponents.

    With the new identity of this team seemingly found with DeMarco Murray and a rejunvenated defense, the Cowboys have to be the odds-on favorite to catch and surpass the Giants. If not, they should lock up one of the Wild Card spots.