PHILADELPHIA ( — While the Eagles were enjoying Thanksgiving dinner, Philip Rivers was carving up the Dallas Cowboys' secondary, a development that inched Philadelphia even closer to what is an inevitability, the NFC East crown.

With six games remaining in the regular season the 9-1 Eagles have a five-game advantage over both the Cowboys and Redskins in the loss column after Dallas' latest implosion, a 28-6 setback to the Chargers, and Washington's less-than-inspiring win over the moribund New York Giants to close out the Thanksgiving slate.

Because of those dominoes falling the Eagles' magic number to clinch the division is two when it comes to the Cowboys and one with the Redskins, a team Philadelphia has already swept in the season series.

The earliest the Eagles could clinch is next Thursday.

If the Eagles win Sunday against Chicago, the Redskins will be officially eliminated from winning the division. If Philadelphia takes the Bears and Washington tops Dallas next Thursday the Birds are officially NFC East champions.

The only real suspense, however, remains the date that the Eagles give the Delaware Valley an early Christmas present and clinch the division.

Philadelphia's goals are much loftier, however, namely holding off 9-2 Minnesota, which topped Detroit on Thanksgiving, as well as 8-2 New Orleans for the No. 1 seed in the conference and ensuring the road to Super Bowl LII runs through Lincoln Financial Field.

-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for You can reach him at or on Twitter @JFMcMullen