— Nathan Jones–
The nation is beginning to jump onto the Cowboys’ hype train following the win against the Redskins on Thanksgiving day. Though riding a three-game winning streak, the road to the playoffs will not feel as smooth as it looks.
At 6-5, the Dallas Cowboys technically lead the NFC East due to a 3-1 division record. The Redskins follow at 6-5, the Eagles at 5-6, and the Giants at 3-8. On Sunday afternoon, the Eagles officially eliminated the Giants from playoff contention. The Washington Redskins have a narrow shot because they will be riding with a backup quarterback, Colt McCoy at the helm. Therefore, the team most likely to give the Cowboys trouble will be the Philadelphia Eagles. Here is a look at the Eagles upcoming schedule:
The Eagles have a difficult schedule. Besides playing Washington twice, the Eagles have to play three teams that are playing there best football of the year (Cowboys, Rams, Texans). Most likely, all of those teams will play with their starters, as the Rams and Texans will probably be fighting for home-field advantage and a first-round bye week in the playoffs. It is always a slug-fest when the Eagles and Redskins play each other. As many people want to write the Redskins out, including me, cornerback Josh Norman believes they are still in a great position. The Redskins will do their best to stay in the game by beating the Redskins on Monday, December 3rd. None of this matters if the Cowboys win out. Here is the schedule for the remainder of the season:
After the next two weeks, the playoff picture could look a lot more clear. Let’s say the Cowboys lose against the Saints and win against the Eagles, the Cowboys would stand at 7-6 and the Eagles at either 6-7 or 5-8, practically eliminating the Eagles from the playoffs. If the Cowboys manage to beat the Eagles and the Saints, they will be standing comfortably at 9-5.
However, if the Dallas Cowboys lose both games, with a record of 6-7 they are right back with the Eagles and the Redskins.
To summarize, if the Cowboys can squeak out wins against the Saints and the Eagles, they are in prime position to win the division and make the playoffs. If they lose, week 17 will turn into another infamous regular season “playoff game”.