So, Eagles fans, how would you feel about a new NFC East?
A fan floated an idea about realigning the NFL’s divisions on Reddit and it was posted on Jets X-Factor, a blog that covers the New York Jets. The realignment was based on geography, not rivalries.
(A disclaimer: The realignment is based on having a little fun, a hypothetical, not any plan — or even trial balloon — from the NFL. It seems like a person or persons with some time on their hands.)
The “new” NFC East:
- Washington Commanders
- Baltimore Ravens
- Pittsburgh Steelers
What do you think?
I say: No, no, a thousand times no.
CAN’T WALK AWAY FROM RIVALS
The Eagles would lose two traditional rivals: the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants. The Cowboys and Giants are the Eagles’ greatest and most hated rivals.
When it comes to football, I don’t care about geography; I care about rivalries. Do you know how many times I thought about how far Dallas is from Philly? Or cared?
Sure, Dallas (1,467 miles) is much farther from Philly than Baltimore (101 miles) and Pittsburgh (305 miles). Of course, Dallas playing in the NFC East is preposterous from a travel standpoint — and common-sense standpoint.
Philly-Dallas is not only the Eagles’ best rivalry but it is one of the NFL’s best rivalries.
The Eagles and Cowboys have played since Sept. 30, 1960. They have met 126 times. The Cowboys lead the series, 72-54.
The Eagles have won the NFC East 13 times and the Cowboys have won the East 23 times. Each season, the Eagles’ success in some factor is compared with how Dallas is doing.
NFC TITLE GAME STARTED EVERYTHING
The Eagles-Cowboys rivalry became real on Jan. 11, 1981, the NFC Championship Game at Veterans Stadium. From December 1967 to January 1981, the Eagles had won only four of 27 games against Dallas.
It wasn’t a rivalry then as much as it was a beatdown.
The NFC title game changed everything. Wilbert Montgomery scored a first-quarter touchdown on a 42-yard run and the Eagles won the game, 20-7, and went to their first Super Bowl.
If the Philly-Dallas rivalry isn’t the league’s most fierce, then Eagles-Giants might be.
The Eagles-Giants have met 180 times since 1933. The Eagles lead the series, 89-87-2. Some of the Eagles’ greatest victories were over the Giants. There are no “Miracle at the Meadowlands I, II and III” without the Eagles-Giants rivalry.
The way the NFL schedule is set up, teams play each team in every other division once every four years. So, instead of eight games against the Giants over four years, it would be one game. Same with Dallas.
The Eagles and Washington have played 176 times, starting in 1934. That’s a rivalry. So is Dallas-Washington.
For the “new” NFC East, the Eagles and Steelers have played each other 80 times and there is the obvious in-state irritability involved. But, it’s not a *rivalry*; it’s a series — one the Eagles lead, 48-29-3.
The Eagles and Ravens have only played six times, with Baltimore ahead, 3-2-1. Some rivalry!
DALLAS TO NFC SOUTH?
In this fan’s realignment, the Cowboys would move to the NFC South and be joined by the Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints and Texas rival Houston Texans.
The Giants would be shipped to the AFC and join the Buffalo Bills, in-state rival New York Jets and New England Patriots in the AFC East. That would be fun for New York fans having the Giants and Jets play each other twice each season.
The geographically awkward Miami Dolphins would leave the AFC East and move to the AFC South with Florida rivals Tampa Bay and Jacksonville, plus the Carolina Panthers.
Here is the fantasized realignment, with “Central” replacing “North”:
- AFC East: Bills, Giants, Jets, Patriots
- AFC West: Broncos, Cardinals, Chiefs, Raiders
- AFC Central: Bengals, Browns, Colts, Titans
- AFC South: Buccaneers, Dolphins, Jaguars, Panthers
- NFC East: Eagles,, Eagles, Ravens, Steelers
- NFC West: Chargers, 49ers, Rams, Seahawks
- NFC Central: Bears, Lions, Packers, Vikings
- NFC South: Cowboys, Falcons, Saints, Texans
To which we say: Keep your hands off our rivalries.