By Connor Thomas

 

Yes, I know. Reading that headline is enough to make any true Eagles fan sick to their stomach. It’s one of the cardinal sins of Philadelphia sports, but this week, it’s a necessary evil. The birds are trying to chase down the Washington Football Team for a wild card spot in the NFC, and with Dallas coming into Landover this weekend, it’s imperative that Washington loses to help the Eagles out. There are some fans out there that think vying for a playoff spot could be a mistake for a still rebuilding birds team, but with 3 1st round picks basically guaranteed at this point, it’s the right move for the franchise. The first step from here on out? Rooting our hearts out for the Dallas Cowboys, as tough as that may seem.

Just take a look at the playoff percentages courtesy of FiveThirtyEight. Right now, the Eagles have a 35% chance to make the playoffs, while Washington has a 51% chance. If Dallas goes into Washington and knocks off the Football Team this Sunday, the Eagles’ chances will rise to 39%, while Washington’s plummets all the way down to 34%. It would make the Eagles the 2nd most likely team to sneak into the 2nd wild card spot, trailing only the 49ers (63%). What that also sets up is a huge game in Philadelphia next week as the Eagles host the Football Team. If Dallas loses in Washington this week, a loss to the Football Team next week virtually eliminates the Eagles from playoff contention, dropping them to an 8% chance. On the other hand, if Dallas wins and the birds take care of business at home next week, they’ll have a 54% chance to make the playoffs, better than a coin flip. It’s imperative that these next two weeks go against Washington if the Eagles want to play in the postseason.

It’s terrible. It’s egregious. It might make you feel dirtier than Schuykill River water. But the right move this weekend is to root on “America’s Team” (still a fake nickname) in America’s capitol. You don’t have to wear blue and silver, you don’t have to have a star on the Christmas tree, you don’t even have to cheer when they score. But in the hearts of all Eagles fans this weekend, we’re pulling for Dallas… At least for 3 short hours.