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Cowboys Begin Four-Game Sprint To The Playoffs

One quarter of the season left to determine which NFC East team will make the playoffs.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys sit atop the NFC East standings with exactly one quarter of the 2013 regular-season left to be played. Dallas is 7-5, and although tied with Philadelphia, they hold the tiebreaker advantage by beating Philly in a head-to-head matchup. The Eagles will have a chance to avenge that loss and tie the Cowboys in head-to-head percentage, but Dallas is still ahead at this point on the next tiebreaker, winning percentage in the division. Dallas is 4-0 and Philly is 3-2. The Cowboys can hold on to that tiebreaker by simply beating the Redskins in three weeks.

The Cowboys slate of four games remaining comes with two very big question marks. Will Jay Cutler play for the Bears this coming week and will Aaron Rodgers play for the Packers in two weeks? Right now both teams entertain hopes of winning their division, with the Bears having the more realistic shot. The Bears will want Jay Cutler back under center for Monday night's game, but at this point it is unknown if he will go. The Packers might just give up on bringing Rodgers back this year if the playoffs fall out of reach. They face the lowly-Falcons this week, it's possible Rodgers could play that game, or it's possible he doesn't play at all this year.

Dallas was hoping for help this past weekend in the form of a Cardinals win over the Eagles, but that failed to materialize. This week the Eagles host the Lions who are desperate to hold on to their lead in the NFC North. The two top teams in the NFC East will face the two top teams in the NFC North over the weekend.

Going the wild-card route for Dallas is not as promising a path. Both Carolina (9-3) and San Francisco (8-4) are trailing in their respective divisions but hold better records than Dallas overall. Neither looks like a team that will be giving up those spots anytime soon. Dallas hopes for the playoffs still run through the division.

The rest of the season plays out like this for Dallas and Philly.

Dallas: @ Chicago, vs. Green Bay, @ Washington, vs. Philadelphia
Philadelphia: vs. Detroit, @ Minnesota, vs. Chicago, @ Dallas

So, will the Cowboys close out strong and make the playoffs? Vote in the poll and hit us up in the comments.

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