IRVING, Texas -- It's easy to bash the NFC East right now.
The Cowboys lead the division with a 2-2 record. Washington got its first win last week. Philadelphia has lost three in a row after winning Chip Kelly's first game. The New York Giants are winless.
For a long time, this division was among the best in the NFL and the most competitive. But now we wonder whether the winner of the East will have a winning record.
Maybe those 8-8 finishes the Cowboys had in 2011 and '12 will be enough to win the division this year. But I wouldn't bank on it.
The winner of the division will reach nine victories. And I still think it will be the Cowboys, even after their 2-2 start. Call me foolish (or more foolish than I've been), if you like.
But of the teams in the East, the Cowboys have the fewest issues. (Well, that might change after this week's game against the Denver Broncos if the defense does not show some push back after getting lit up by Philip Rivers and San Diego last week.) The offensive line has been better than expected. Tony Romo has not turned the ball over. The defense has shown the ability to take the ball away. Dan Bailey's misses the last week notwithstanding, I'd still take him as the best in the division.
The other teams have major holes. The Redskins are working Robert Griffin III into form, but their defense is struggling. Same with the Giants and Eagles. Michael Vick might not last the season with the punishment he's taken. And we can say the same about Eli Manning.
The Cowboys' recent track record holds them back and keeps fans from believing they have turned a corner. A perfectly Cowboys thing to do would be to beat Peyton Manning on Sunday and lose the next two games to Washington and Philadelphia.
The Cowboys have five games left in the division. Let's say they win four of them. That's six wins on the year. They have home games against Minnesota (1-3) and Oakland (1-3) that should be wins, although that Vikings game is hardly a gimme. That's eight wins. Now they need to steal a win against Detroit, Chicago or Green Bay (at AT&T Stadium) to get to nine.
Is that impossible?
Doesn't seem like it to me.
But what do I know? I had the Cowboys winning 10 games when the season started and taking a wild-card spot.
Clearly that won't happen.