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NFL playoff picture: How Eagles or Cowboys can clinch NFC East, NFC No. 1 seed in Week 18

The NFC East is going down to the wire for the 2022 NFL season. Both the first-place Eagles (13-3) and second-place Cowboys (12-4) have already clinched playoff berths, but Week 18 will determine which team will win the division.

The team that becomes division champion will host at least one playoff game as a top-three seed. The runner-up will settle for the No. 5 seed and top wild-card spot, starting the playoffs on the road at the No. 4 seed, NFC South champion Tampa Bay.

Because Philadelphia and Dallas have already played each other twice this season, splitting the series, there are a few permutations for how the final week could play out.

MORE: Updated NFL standings, playoff picture for Week 17

Here’s breaking down what needs to happen in their division games in Week 18 for either to win the East:

How can the Eagles clinch the NFC East?

The Eagles have the one-game lead, so a home win over the wild-card No. 6 Giants would finally lock down the division, regardless of what the Cowboys on the road at the Commanders. An overtime tie also would suffice.

Should Philadelphia lose to New York — which should be resting key players while locked into its playoff seed — it opens the door for Dallas to steal a second straight division title.

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A win also would give the Eagles the No. 1 seed at 14-3, ahead of the No. 2 Vikings and No. 3 49ers. A loss would open the door for at least one of the teams to pass the Eagles for No. 1, and worst case, they would drop all the way down to No. 5.

How can the Cowboys clinch the NFC East?

If the Eagles do their part and lose, the Cowboys can take the division with a victory over the Commanders. A tie, however, would not suffice.

Should the Eagles and Cowboys both finish 13-4, the Cowboys would own the tiebreaker with a superior division record (5-1 vs. 3-3), giving them the division title.

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Should the Cowboys win the division and match the record of the Vikings, they would also earn the top seed because of having beaten the Vikings 40-3 in Week 11.

Should the Cowboys win the division and get into a three-way tie with the Vikings and 49ers at 13-4, the 49ers would take the No. 1 seed with the best conference record while the Cowboys are No. 2 and the Vikings are No. 3.

NFC East standings

Team Record
Philadelphia Eagles (x) 13-3
Dallas Cowboys (x) 12-4
New York Giants (y) 9-6-1
Washington Commanders 7-8-1

(x) – clinched playoff berth; (y) – clinched wild card

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