The NFC East playoff scenarios

The NFL schedule makers knew what they were doing when they once again ended the season with an Eagles-Cowboys matchup. If the Cowboys (9-5) can take care of business in Washington (4-9) next Sunday night and the Eagles (10-4) can handle the Broncos at the Linc, Dallas and Philly will play for the NFC East crown and a possible home game in the first round of the playoffs.

The Cowboys obviously changed everything with their upset of the Saints on Saturday, but the Eagles, who clinched a playoff berth Sunday, were able to maintain a one-game lead in the division with their 27-13 win over the 49ers. The Cowboys currently hold the edge in the tie-breaker against the Eagles by virtue of their win at the Linc in November.

The Giants (7-6) were obviously pulling for the Cowboys and the Eagles to both lose but that didn't happen. The Giants need to win their final three games over the Redskins, Panthers and Vikings and then hope the Cowboys drop at least one of their final two. If both the Giants and Cowboys end up at 10-6, New York holds the tie-breaker because of their sweep of the Cowboys.

Basically, the Giants need to beat the Redskins tomorrow night and then become huge fans of the Redskins the following Sunday night. There's a good chance the Vikings could be resting some of their starters in that regular-season finale, so that game might not be as daunting for the Giants.

But for now, the Cowboys and Eagles both control their own destinies in the playoffs. The Giants need some serious help. And the Redskins get to play the spoiler role for two consecutive games. Exactly the way we drew it up in August, huh?