By Fred Hammerstein

The Cowboys (6-7) will remain in first place in the NFC East even if the Eagles (5-7) beat the New York Giants (2-10) on Monday night, thanks to the Cowboys’ win over the Eagles in October.

But this season, for both the franchise and the division, has been a complete bust.

According to data provided by TruMedia, NFC East teams are 3-18 against opponents with winning records, the division’s worst such mark at this point of the season since the NFL expanded to 32 teams and realigned into eight divisions in 2002.

NFC East teams are just 10-26 in games outside of their division — again, the worst mark at this point of the season since the birth of the current league configuration. The next-worst division this season? The AFC West, which is 14-18 in out-of-division games.

In fact, the NFC East is putting together one of the worst out-of-division records of the past 18 years. Only the 2008 NFC West, 2014 NFC South, 2008 AFC West and 2004 NFC West were worse at this point in the season.

In 2004, the NFC West sent the Seattle Seahawks (at 9-7, the division champion) and the St. Louis Rams (at 8-8, a wild-card team) to the playoffs. The Rams beat the Seahawks in the wild-card round but then fell to the Atlanta Falcons, 47-17, in the divisional round. In 2008, the NFC West was represented by the 9-7 Arizona Cardinals, who lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLIII. That same season, the AFC West’s San Diego Chargers (8-8) won their wild-card game before losing to the Steelers in the divisional round. And in 2014, the 7-8-1 Carolina Panthers gave the NFC South a playoff win (over the Cardinals) before losing to the top-seeded Seahawks, the eventual Super Bowl runner-up.

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