The Royal County face neighbours Cavan knowing they must win and hope either Roscommon fail to pick up two points in Westmeath or Down fail to beat Laois at home.
Cavan, like Meath on seven points, could also go up if they win in Páirc Tailteann and a result or two goes their way elsewhere.
But Dowd suspects Meath might not yet be ready for the step-up to the top flight. “They’ve been hot and cold over the league campaign, so it’s hard to know if they are yet able to compete against the strongest counties like Dublin and Mayo.
“That still might be a year or two away. At the same time, being in Division 1 and facing those teams would probably be better preparation for championship.
“Some of their results have been disappointing. Teams you would have hoped they would be capable of beating have taken points off them. This is a local derby on Sunday and there’ll be a lot or rivalry. It mightn’t be the same as it used to be but there’s still a lot at stake.”
With promotion from Division 3 out of Tipperary’s reach and nothing tangible to play for, selector Tommy Twomey revealed on local radio they will be experimenting in their game against Wexford.
“We’ve a number of lads there who have been training with the panel. They’re over 21, they’re all very good players and have been getting 10, 15, maybe 20 minutes in some of the league games. They will probably have a starting role next weekend. I think we’ll have a competitive game against Wexford because the players want to show well in it.”
Meanwhile, Kevin Cassidy has revealed that he laughed at Jim McGuinness when the former Donegal boss claimed the code of conduct players signed in 2010 was a legally-binding document.
Writing in his Gaelic Life column, Cassidy recalled his chat with McGuinness after the player’s contribution to the book This Is Our Year where he chronicled his 2011 season: “We parted company and as I made my way down the stairs of the Clanree Hotel Jim shouted: ‘And remember you are bound by that legal document and you can never talk about anything when you leave here’. I looked at him and laughed and carried on walking.”
Cassidy believes there is no need to subject players to these codes.
“Our players give enough without having to sign up to these ridiculous things which quite frankly aren’t worth the paper they are written on. Players should be their own men and they shouldn’t need a piece of paper to keep them in check.”