Two games in the standings separated the 2022 versions of the Dallas Cowboys and the NFC East champions, the Philadelphia Eagles.
Following Philly's ascent to NFC championship status, the Eagles are the favorites in the eyes of many to repeat as division champs before embarking on another Super Bowl quest.
Cowboys three-time Pro Bowler Demarcus Lawrence doesn't believe there are any foregone conclusions in the NFC East, though.
"I don't feel like it's a huge gap at all," Lawrence told The Associated Press’ Rob Maadi recently on the AP Pro Football Podcast when asked about the disparity between his Cowboys and the Eagles.
An NFC frontrunner throughout the majority of the 2022 season, the Eagles soared to an 8-0 record out of the gates, but the Cowboys kept up. When Philly quarterback Jalen Hurts was injured down the stretch and his squad faltered, Dallas still had a shot at the division late. The Cowboys ended up splitting the season series thanks to a riveting win over the Eagles on Christmas Eve. Philadelphia nevertheless regrouped and won its season finale against the New York Giants to post a 14-3 record, clinching the division and the conference's top seed.
Lawrence believes the 12-5 Cowboys of a year ago are on the trail to catching up with the Eagles.
"I feel like it comes down to certain details," he said. "Not just the scheme, but also your locker room. I feel like through this time right now when we headed to training camp, that we made those adjustments, we learned those different things that we need to learn about our teammates so we can fully function the way we should out there on the field."
Since Lawrence was drafted in 2014, the Cowboys have gone 10-6 against the Eagles (9-5 in games Lawrence played as he missed two due to injury). Thus, even as Philadelphia has achieved top-dog status in the NFC, Dallas has won four of the last five games between the teams.
So, as Dallas looks to dethrone the NFC kings in 2023, Lawrence has good reason to believe the space between his Cowboys and the Eagles isn't all that much.