Eagles NFC East Division Odds Keep Flying Up, Now Tied with Cowboys as Co-Favorites

Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts has seen his team move up the consensus odds boards to co-favorites to win the NFC East with the Cowboys.
Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts has seen his team move up the consensus odds boards to co-favorites to win the NFC East with the Cowboys. / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Remember the Aesop fable of the Tortoise and the Hare?

The cliffnotes version involves a slow tortoise looking to prove to a speedy and mocking hare that he could beat him in a race. The two take off, and after the hare jumped out to a big lead, he decides to nap beside the course, assuming the race is all but won. Nevertheless, the slow-and-steady tortoise paces his way, eventually passing the sleeping hare en route to a finish.

The race is not always to the swift.

The Dallas Cowboys are the preverbal hare of the NFC East; opening the offseason as consensus favorites to repeat as NFC East champions in 2022. Now, with the start of the actual season nearly a week away, the tortoise of the Philadelphia Eagles slowly but surely has caught up to Dallas, and may eventually surpass them as division favorites.

Over at DraftKings Sportsbook, Philadelphia has already claimed co-favorite status with just nine days to go before the season kicks off on Thursday, Sept. 8.

How did the Eagles Catch the Cowboys to Win the NFC East Division?

Dallas began the offseason at +110 to repeat as division champions, with Philadelphia reasonably behind on the board at +200. But as Training Camp and the preseason went on, the Eagles continued to gain more momentum from bettors, forcing oddsmakers to continue to adjust.

Philadelphia acquired receiver A.J. Brown from the Tennessee Titans this offseason, adding a true No. 1 to the receiver room for third-year quarterback Jalen Hurts. Additionally, the Eagles have the top-rated offensive line in the NFL via PFF, and rank top five in Sharp Football Analysis' rankings for offensive line, receivers and front seven.

Perhaps the straw that forced their hand to move Philadelphia to co-favorites was the hamstring injury suffered by Cowboys' left tackle Tyron Smith, unlikely to return until the final month or so of the regular season. As BetSided's Peter Dewey points out, Cowboys' running back Ezekiel Elliott has put up much better overall numbers with Smith than without him, averaging 0.4 yards less per carry, as well as -14.5 yards per game when Smith is not in the lineup.

Oh, and if bettors want a cherry on top of the sundae, they just traded for defensive back Chauncey Gardner-Johnson from the New Orleans Saints after an extension discussion failed to materialize.

Right now at WynnBET, the Cowboys still remain slight favorites, but the Eagles are right behind them on the board.

Dallas is still projected at most books to win 10 games, with the Eagles remain a consensus 9.5, but don't be surprised if the tortoise eventually takes the race over the course of the regular season.