With Giants Loss On Sunday, Cowboys Playoff Chances Still Alive In Muddied NFC East
You heard it here and everywhere else on Thursday evening: the Dallas Cowboys are done in the NFC playoff race. It was a fitting and truthful tribute for a team with a broken quarterback and a broken record. But upon watching Sunday’s developments from Landover, I’m here to tell you the Cowboys’ playoff hopes are alive and well.
The Redskins continued a season-long theme in the NFC East by beating the Giants and further diluting a division that is already watered down to the point of being tasteless. By a 20-14 final, the Redskins moved into a tie with New York atop the division with a mark of 5-6. Philadelphia remains one-game behind at 4-7. Two games back, at 3-8, sit the Cowboys.
Under normal circumstances, being two back with five to play is no good thing. But with Dallas having two games down the stretch versus Washington, and the Giants faced with a tough schedule to finish, there is reason to hope that the Cowboys can get back in it.
Starting with their meeting at FedEx Field on Dec. 7, the Cowboys face the Redskins twice in a span of 27 days, giving Dallas the opportunity to close the gap that currently separates them. If they can win twice during a three-week stretch that sees them face Green Bay, the New York Jets, and Buffalo will get Dallas to seven wins, a number that might just be enough to win the division outright.
The Giants have a rivalry game against the Jets at MetLife Stadium next week, before a road trip to Miami for a Monday night showdown with the Dolphins. As shaky as Tom Coughlin’s team has proven to be from week to week, any one of those games could end in defeat for the Giants. After that, the Giants will be definite underdogs versus Carolina and Minnesota, before concluding the season at home against Philadelphia.
Speaking of Philadelphia, it’s a certainty that they have five games remaining. Whether or not the team will show up to play for Chip Kelly has yet to be determined. The Eagles are out of the race, until they realize they are in it.
Assuming the Cowboys beat Washington both times (an assumption that sounds a bit fantastic at the moment), Dallas will win any tiebreakers over each NFC East opponent as the team with the best division record.