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Cowboys clinch NFC East before taking the field against Washington

The Raiders win over the Broncos gave Dallas the strength of victory tiebreaker over the Eagles, officially clinching the division.
Credit: AP
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) celebrates a touchdown during an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Matt Patterson)

DALLAS — The Dallas Cowboys have clinched the NFC East, and they didn't have to play a snap of football in Week 16 to accomplish the feat.

The Las Vegas Raiders victory over the Denver Broncos was the final piece of the puzzle, giving Dallas the strength of victory tiebreaker over the Eagles, and officially closing off the final window of possibility for the Eagles to pull of a miracle.

The Eagles also would have had to win out, have the Cowboys lose out, and have several other games impacting that strength of victory tiebreaker fall in their favor, in order to pull it off. It was a million-to-one shot. But now, that shot is officially off the table.

The Cowboys (10-4) earn their first division crown since 2018, and their third under the guidance of quarterback Dak Prescott.  The Cowboys division win extends a streak that dates back to 2004, in which the division title has exchanged hands every year. The last team to win consecutive division titles was the Eagles, from 2000-04. 

The Cowboys have six division titles ('07, '09, '14, '16, '18, '21) during that span. This is now their 24th division title, overall. 

The Cowboys have three games remaining in their 2021 season. They host Washington tonight, before a home date with the Cardinals next Sunday. They finish the season on the road, against the Eagles.

Dallas' standing within the NFC playoff structure is still very much up in the air, with the Packers, Bucs, Rams, and Cardinals all vying for the top few seeds in the conference.

   

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