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Cowboys-Washington winner takes first place in NFC East originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
That still may be the case on Thursday, but no one can deny that the game is important. The winner of the contest, somehow, will take first place in the NFC East. At least for a few days.
With Washington taking down the Bengals and the Cowboys defeating the Vikings, both teams join the New York Giants at 3-7 and just a half-game back of the Philadelphia Eagles. Philadelphia is now 3-6-1 after falling to the Browns in Week 11.
Therefore, with Washington and Dallas playing before the other two will have a chance to take the field, the winner will be at the top of the division standings. It may just be for three days, but it's still first place. The Eagles host the Seattle Seahawks (7-3) Nov. 30 on Monday Night Football. The Giants play at the Bengals (2-7-1) on Sunday, Nov. 29.
Given how Washington and the Cowboys seasons have gone so far, Week 12 being a battle for first place is hard to picture. Washington is on its third quarterback of the season while Dallas has shuffled through four options. Though Andy Dalton is back, the absence of Dak Prescott is still there.
Yet, both teams are right in the thick of the division race. Based on the remaining schedules for all four teams in the NFC East, that will continue past Thanksgiving.
It may not make much sense, but someone will leave the Thursday matchup in first place. That is unless there is a tie. And in 2020 in the NFC East, that possibility is definitely on the table.