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Although Dallas Received Help, Cowboys’ Path to Playoffs Remains Murky

Although Dallas Received Help, Cowboys’ Path to Playoffs Remains Murky

The Dallas Cowboys are now finished with 12 of their 16 regular season games. At 6-6, the team sits in a distant second place in the NFC East, behind Philadelphia. Although the Eagles have yet to clinch the division, the Cowboys’ only path to a division title is if the team wins out, while Philadelphia loses their remaining games. With that unlikely scenario in mind, the Cowboys will certainly have to make the playoffs as a wild card.

However, the Cowboys have multiple teams to beat out for one of the two wild card spots. Here’s a quick glance at the NFC playoff picture, courtesy of RJ Ochoa:

As you can see, at 6-6, the Dallas Cowboys sit at 9th in the NFC due to tiebreakers, and are currently two games out of the wild card. With that in mind, the team needs to win out to have any chance at returning to the postseason. Furthermore, they will need to receive help to jump into the playoffs. Here’s a look at the week 14 outlook for the NFC playoff race.

Team             Record          Next Week (Opp. Record):

Minnesota           10-2                     @ Carolina (8-4)

Philadelphia       10-2                     @ Los Angeles (9-3)

Los Angeles         9-3                       vs. Philadelphia (10-2)

New Orleans       9-3                       @ Atlanta (7-5)

Carolina              8-4                       vs. Minnesota (10-2)

Seattle                 8-4                       @ Jacksonville (8-4)

Atlanta                7-5                       vs. New Orleans (9-3)

Detroit                6-6                       @ Tampa Bay (4-8)

Dallas                  6-6                       @ New York (2-10)

Green Bay          6-6                       @ Cleveland (0-12)

With the following setup, the Cowboys must hope for the current NFC division leaders to run away with their division. That means that Cowboys fans should be rooting for victories in Week 14 by Minnesota and New Orleans. The Eagles and Rams play each other in Week 14. The team would benefit more with a Rams victory. The Cowboys would receive a boost in their strength of schedule, which could factor into a potential tiebreaker to get into the postseason.

Go Pack Go?

Dallas needs Green Bay to remain competitive until Aaron Rodgers returns, giving them a reason to play to win against the Panthers, Vikings and Lions. With that in mind, the Cowboys will need the Packers to lose one more game, with Green Bay currently owning the head-to-head tiebreaker.

While we don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves (the Cowboys still need to handle their own business), here’s what the NFC Playoff field could look like one week from now:

Team               Record

Minnesota         11-2

Los Angeles       10-3

New Orleans     10-3

Philadelphia      10-3

Carolina              8-5

Seattle                 8-5

Atlanta                7-6

Dallas                  7-6

Green Bay          6-7

Detroit                6-7

While this would be the perfect scenario, there is a lot of work to be done. The best the Cowboys can do is prepare for the New York Giants on Sunday, and go from there.

Broadcast journalism major who is crazy about sports. Dallas native who loves to talk sports and follow the action with fellow fans. Follow me on Twitter @wingate_jared

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