The Washington Football Team can eliminate the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys from the NFC East race with a victory Sunday. The NFL won't take the chance that the Eagles-Cowboys game -- which had a later start time -- won't have any meaning in a national window.
The NFL announced the Week 16 game between Washington and the Carolina Panthers has been moved to a 4:05 p.m. ET start time and will still air on CBS. The game was originally scheduled for a 1 p.m. ET kickoff, but a Washington victory would eliminate the Eagles and Cowboys from the postseason (Eagles-Cowboys is scheduled to kick off at 4:25 ET on Fox).
With Washington playing simultaneously as the Eagles and Cowboys, the showdown between the two NFC East rivals obviously has meaning. The winner of Eagles-Cowboys will still be alive in the division race -- if Washington loses -- while the loser will officially be eliminated from the playoffs.
The New York Giants will be the lone NFC East team to play in the 1 p.m. ET window, facing the Baltimore Ravens this week. New York takes over first place in the NFC East with a win and a Washington loss, but can still win the division title in Week 17 even with a loss (if Washington loses in Week 16).
Washington can make this easy with a victory over Carolina and eliminate two teams in the process. The NFL just wanted one of the league's preeminent rivalries to have meaning by the time they kick off their game -- which might have not been the case if Washington played at 1 p.m. ET.