NFC East Sucks so Much That People Are Demanding Primetime Games Be Banned

Limited expectations surrounded the matchup between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football and the latest instalment of the NFC East lived to up the hype for all the wrong reasons.

The Eagles defeated the Cowboys 23-9, as Dallas failed to score a touchdown for the second consecutive game for only the fourth time in franchise history. Cowboys' third string quarterback Ben DiNucci completed just over 50 percent of his passes and lost two fumbles, while Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz threw for two touchdowns, but was intercepted twice and lost two fumbles.

The NFC East has traditionally drawn some of the largest nationwide TV audiences, a trend which has continued this season despite the division's dismal state.

Nevertheless, the NFL's decision to schedule a matchup between two teams that arrived into the matchup on Sunday night with a combined 4-9-1 record was puzzling, particularly considering the AFC North between the still undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers and the 5-1 Baltimore Ravens was relegated to the 1 p.m. ET slot, while the NFC West matchup between the 5-1 Seattle Seahawks and the 4-3 San Francisco 49ers was slated for 4:25 p.m. ET.

The game was the second NFC East matchup in primetime in consecutive weeks after the Eagles hosted the New York Giants on Thursday Night Football and the fourth time one of the division members featured in a primetime game this season—the Cowboys, Eagles and Giants have all played in nationally televised games twice this year.

The NFC East is the only division in the NFL whose all four members have a losing record this season. Through the first eight weeks of the campaign, the combined record of NFC East teams stands at 8-21-1. To put the grim figure into context, none of the other five NFL divisions have accumulated fewer than 12 combined wins at this stage of the season. As a whole, the NFC East, which remains the only division whose members have all won at least one Super Bowl title, has won just one more game than the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Kansas City Chiefs have done individually.

To make matters worse, five of the NFC East's eight cumulative wins have come against divisional opponents—Washington defeated the Eagles in Week 1, while the Cowboys beat the Giants in Week 5 with the latter defeating Washington the following week. The Eagles, meanwhile, have won back-to-back games against Giants and Cowboys in Week 7 and Week 8.

The NFC East's plight is even more evident when compared with the remaining three divisions in the conference. Both the NFC North and the NFC South have two teams with at least five wins each—the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears in the former, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New Orleans Saints in the latter—while all four franchises in the NFC West have a record of .500 or better—the Seahawks are 6-1, with the Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Rams are 5-2 and 5-3 respectively and the 49ers are 4-4.

Unfortunately for NFC East's detractors, one of the division's four members will again be on primetime in Week 8 as the Giants welcome Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday Night Football.

The Cowboys are scheduled to make two more primetime appearances, facing the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday Night Football in Week 13, before hosting the 49ers on Sunday Night Football in Week 15. The Eagles, meanwhile, have one nationally televised game left on their schedule, hosting the Seahawks on Monday Night Football in Week 12.

Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles
Carson Wentz #11 of the Philadelphia Eagles flicks an incomplete pass while under pressure from Randy Gregory #94 of the Dallas Cowboys in the third quarter of the game at Lincoln Financial Field on November 1 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Elsa/Getty