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Magic Number is 4 For us to Win the Tie Breakers. The East straight up is too much to ask for now

Now there are 2 Weeks left until we play the Eagles. We are keeping our team nose above the dreaded .500 by one game @ 7-6.

The Army has a policy of putting your Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF as we love those acronyms) and the bottom line is that unless the east coast birds start molting and lose the next 2, we have to either win out to get the Division or split the next 2, beat "them" and see 1 Eagles loss before they play us.

Winning out means 3 wins for us and 1 loss for Philly. We could also get in with 2 wins for us and 2 Eagles losses, still meeting the magic number 4 combined Eagles losses and Cowboys wins. But with the way the green birds are playing and having the balls and calls bounce their way there is not much chance of them losing the next 2 so week 17 is the win and in for both clubs presuming one loss each before the ratings bonaza death match.

I am tired of the December talk, but it is hard to make people sing a different tune when you keep playing the same music. Below are records for 5 years after Thanksgiving.

  • 2008 = 1-3
  • 2009 = 3-2
  • 2010 = 3-2
  • 2011 = 1-4
  • 2012 = 3-2
  • 2013 = 0-1

Can we finish the 2013 regular season with a 10-6 / 9-7 record? Yes, but only if we play with more pride and focus than we did tonight against Chicago.

Easy to blame the Defense, especially after halftime when no one wanted to hit, but what is with this "Potent" Offense going into hibernation for whole quarters of games? The last series before halftime and the 3 after were absolute slow motion disasters. The same in the Saints game, so many 3 and outs when the outcome was still in doubt. No way this Offense should be jogging in molasses with our reported firepower. Without better support from the offense, our Defense and this season will need an injection from the veterinarian BEFORE the heralded week 17 game to keep from dying of embarrassment.

But trying to keep an optimistic view toward getting into the tournament, let us look at the NFC East state of the Union and Tie Breaker scenarios at the bitter end of week 14.

Washington is mathematically eliminated, AND without a 1st round pick thanks to the RGIII trade they are not looking forward to much, except another Dan Snyder coaching Go Round. Shanahan is almost assuredly looking at his last 3 weeks as the Head Coach in the nation's Capitol. What is that you say? Yes it is more than a little possible he is on the brink of becoming an NFL ghost.

NY is mathematically eliminated much to ESPN and NFL Network's chagrin. No Berman, the Giants cannot win out and meet your beloved 49ers in the Wild Card game.

Philadelphia now leads the East at 8 - 5 and are playing their best Officiating ball all year. Seriously, the Iggles have gotten so many calls the last 2 weeks it is hard to not wonder about league agendas. DISCLAIMER; I did not watch the game with the Cardinals, but they were so adamant about it they sent still photos to the league, and the replays shown later in the week looked like the Philadelphia Def backs were playing by 1977 rules out there. I did watch the Lions game, in the blowing snow. The Lions were doing just enough and the Eagles were looking frozen... UNTIL ... Three back to back penalties, that even the guys in the booth could not believe, handed the green team 8 points. Did that win the game for them? NO! but after that the Lions remembered they were an undisciplined dome team and fell apart. Momentum swung hard after the Refs awarded the home birds 8 points to make it interesting.

SO NOW these same birds have only the Vikings, and Bears before finishing their season at AT&T Stadium. With a conceivable loss to one of them, Philly Phinishes their NON Cowboys season at 9 - 6.

IF the Cowboys are 9-6 going into the final tilt and the Eagles are 9-6, can we win by losing or lose by winning?

Tie Breaking procedures per the NFL rules (VIA NFL.Com):

TO BREAK A TIE WITHIN A DIVISION

If, at the end of the regular season, two or more clubs in the same division finish with identical won-lost-tied percentages, the following steps will be taken until a champion is determined.

Two Clubs

Head-to-head. WE CAN WIN THIS ONE!
Best in games played within the division. WE CAN WIN THIS ONE!
Best in common games. THIS ONE IS TOSS UP, NEXT.
Best in games played within the conference. EAGLES ADVANTAGE HERE.
Next 8 tie breakers do not matter as we lose if it gets down to Conference.

First Tie Breaker is Head to Head: We won the first game already so a win for the good guys in the last week makes us the Champs with the same record. But what if we lose the final game and each end at 9 - 7 with a H2H split?

Next Tie Breaker is best record in the DIV:
Eagles are 3-2 and have us left.
We are 4-0 and have Redskins in DC and the Eagles at home.
So we have to only beat either the Skins or Eagles to clinch the Division tie breaker.

This best for birds scenario ties us in the first 2 determinants and moves to the 3rd. Common Opponents.

Start with the easy ones - our Division, already determined we are up by a score of 4 wins to 3. Other common opponents this year are the NFC North and AFC West, we have 1 win in the AFC West. In the North we are 1 - 2 and have GB left, so my Blue frosted glasses give us the win at home for a total of 3 non divisional common opponent wins.

They have 1 in the west and 2 in the North for a total of 3. Referring back to my predictions for the green team above we come to a common opponent win total of 4 non divisional games.

With 7 common opponent wins for both Dallas and Philly then we go on to the next tiebreaker.

Fourth Tie Breaker / wins in National Football Conference:

We now have a 6-3 CONF record AND the Eagles are 7-2.
In our Conf we have 1 more non division games left (GB) while the Eagles have 2 more (MIN / CHI). ADVANTAGE PHILADELPHIA

Tie Breaker History below is taken from Wikipedia:

At the end of the 1973 season, the Cowboys and the Redskins finished the season with identical 10-4 records. Using the NFL's tie-breaking procedures, Dallas finished ahead of Washington in the NFC East based on better point differential in head-to-head games.

At the end of the 1978 season, the Cowboys and the LA Rams finished the season with identical 12-4 records. Using the NFL's tie-breaking procedures, Los Angeles was the top NFC seed over Dallas based on a better head-to-head record.

At the end of the 1979 season, the Cowboys and the Eagles finished the season with identical 11-5 records. Using the NFL's tie-breaking procedures, Dallas finished ahead of Philadelphia in the NFC East based on a better conference record.

At the end of the 1980 season, the Cowboys and the Eagles finished the season with identical 12-4 records. Using the NFL's tie-breaking procedures, Philadelphia finished ahead of Dallas in the NFC East based on better net points in division games.

At the end of the 1985 season, the Cowboys, Redskins, and the Giants finished the season with identical 10-6 records. Using the NFL's tie-breaking procedures, Dallas finished ahead of New York and Washington based on a better head-to-head record.

At the end of the 1991 season, the Cowboys and the Bears finished the season with identical 11-5 records. Using the NFL's tie-breaking procedures, Chicago was the first NFC Wild Card based on better conference record than Dallas.

At the end of the 1996 season, the Cowboys and the Eagles finished the season with identical 10-6 records. Using the NFL's tie-breaking procedures, Dallas finished ahead of Philadelphia in the NFC East based on better record against common opponents.

At the end of the 1999 season, the Cowboys, Lions, and the Panthers finished the season with identical 8-8 records. Using the NFL's tie-breaking procedures, Dallas was the second NFC Wild Card based on a better record than Detroit against common opponents and a better conference record than Carolina.

At the end of the 2009 season, the Cowboys and the Eagles finished with identical 11-5 records. Using the NFL's tie-breaking procedures, Dallas finished ahead of Philadelphia in the NFC East based on better head-to-head record.

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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