FanPost

Week 17 Rooting Interests

Obviously, we want the Cowboys to do well this year, as the only way you can win the Super Bowl is to make the playoffs. But barring the Cowboys winning in the Meadowlands, I was interested to see where the Cowboys could potentially pick if they didn't make the second round of the NFL season. So, I calculated things out and came up with the various scenarios you should root for assuming you only wanted the best for the Cowboys in terms of draft position (assuming they didn't make it to the playoffs). Feel free to vary up your rooting interests based on your own personal likes and dislikes (Tebowmania, anti-Tebowmania, Texans second lover, wanting the Eagles to lose just because you like to see them lose, etc.)

If the Cowboys lose, they can get a draft pick anywhere from 13th to 18th. There are currently 11 teams which are guaranteed to have a worse record than 8-8. There are also 11 teams which have a possibility of becoming 8-8. However, 2 of the 7-8 teams play each other, so, at least one of them will be worse than 8-8. Meaning that if the Cowboys lose, there are a guaranteed 12 teams who will have worse records. For the Cowboys, their SoS is near the worst of those teams who have a chance of being 8-8, so they will pick near the bottom of their rung whoever is on it.

The fortunate thing is that the Giants have among the highest SoS among teams with an 8-8 record so a lot of things that would affect the Cowboys positively won't really change much for the Giants assuming the Cowboys win. So, for the most part you can root for these teams and not have to worry about the Giants getting a better pick in the draft.

For Week 17, each team is playing a division rival. So, for the vast majority of games, the SoS will not change very much since each game will produce a .500 outcome. However, each team has 2 teams that they played which do NOT play each other this week, and the changes for THOSE teams are the ones that will significantly impact a team's SoS. Those two teams are listed for each team in the 8-8 race.

Team Current W-L Low Bound SoS W assuming 8-8 High Bound SoS W assuming 8-8 W17 Opp 1st Schedule Diff Opp. 2nd Schedule Diff Opp.
Tennessee 8-7 120 122 Houston Denver Buffalo
Arizona 7-8 120 122 Seattle Minnesota Carolina
Dallas 8-7 121 123 New York Giants Detroit Tampa Bay
Philadelphia 7-8 123 125 Washington Chicago Atlanta
New York Jets 8-7 126 128 Miami Baltimore Jacksonville
Seattle 7-8 127 129 Arizona Chicago Atlanta
Oakland 8-7 129 131 San Diego Houston Cleveland
San Diego 7-8 130 132 Oakland Baltimore Jacksonville
Denver 8-7 132 134 Kansas City Cincinnati Tennessee
New York Giants 8-7 133 135 Dallas New Orleans Green Bay
Chicago 7-8 134 136 Minnesota Philadelphia Seattle

For each strong interest game that goes against the rooting interest, the Cowboys will very likely drop 1 draft spot. The lesser interest games will slightly influence how likely the Cowboys will drop that 1 spot.

Here are the rooting interests:

Strong Interests

Tennessee @ Houston

Rooting Interest: Tennessee

Reason: Tennessee has a comparable SoS to the Cowboys, so it would be best if they left the 8-8 bunch. This is 1 of 2 strong interest games where if the New York Giants lose, they will be helped by the same rooting interest of the Cowboys.

Seattle @ Arizona

Rooting Interest: Seattle

Reason: Arizona has a comparable SoS to the Cowboys, and since the loser of this game is already going to have a higher pick than the Cowboys, it would be best to have the Cardinals be that team.

Washington @ Philadelphia

Rooting Interest: Philadelphia

Reason: Philadelphia is at 7-8 and needs a win to be in the 8-8 bunch. They will have a worse draft pick even assuming the Cowboys SoS improves to 123, because they have a better divisional record than the Cowboys.

San Diego @ Oakland

Rooting Interest: San Diego

Reason: San Diego is at 7-8 and needs a win to be in the 8-8 bunch. Oakland has a higher SoS, so it doesn't matter if they fall to 8-8.

Chicago @ Minnesota

Rooting Interest: Chicago

Reason: Chicago is at 7-8 and needs a win to be in the 8-8 bunch. This is 1 of 2 strong interest games where if the New York Giants lose, they will be helped by the same rooting interest of the Cowboys.




Lesser Interests

Detroit @ Green Bay

Rooting Interest: Green Bay

Reason: Green Bay winning would increase New York Gs SoS and decrease Dallas SoS.

Tampa Bay @ Atlanta

Rooting Interest: Atlanta

Reason: Tampa Bay losing would decrease Dallas SoS.

Denver @ Kansas City

Rooting Interest: Denver

Reason: Denver winning would increase Tennessee SoS.

Buffalo @ New England

Rooting Interest: Buffalo

Reason: Buffalo winning would increase Tennessee SoS.

Carolina @ New Orleans

Rooting Interest: Carolina

Reason: Carolina winning would increase Arizona SoS. Though this WOULD decrease New York Gs SoS.

New York Jets @ Miami

Rooting Interest: New York Jets

Reason: New York Jets winning would push them out of the 8-8 bunch, and would improve the later round picks for the Cowboys.



Obviously, it would be best if the Cowboys win this Sunday and make it to the playoffs, but it's nice to know that there's a decent possibility that even if they don't win, they'll get a pretty good draft pick out of it. And you can cheer for that possibility also!

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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