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Cowboys Playoff Rooting Guide (WK 15): The Math Is Easy This Week

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Who to root for in week 15 of the NFL season.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys playoff chances at the start of week 15 - 53.9% (per Five Thirty Eight)

Cowboys @ Philadelphia - Sunday 8:30

Last week, it was shown mathematically that it would have been more advantageous for the Cowboys playoff chances if the Eagles won instead of the Seahawks. I bet everyone of us rooted for an Eagles loss anyway. Why? Many reasons. We hate the Eagles is one. Another reason is the feeling that Dallas can win this week, so by the Eagles losing last week, we got the showdown we wanted. Anyway, that's debate is over. This week is here and we all know who we're primarily rooting against. A win over Philadelphia and the NFC East is there for the taking.

Cowboys remaining schedule - @ Eagles, Colts, @ Washington
Eagles
remaining schedule - Cowboys, @ Washington, @ Giants

Cowboys playoff chances increase by 30% if they win

Rooting guide reminder: root against Philadelphia.

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Cardinals @ Rams - Thursday 8:25

Tonight (Thursday night), root for the Rams to beat the Cardinals. The Cardinals' injuries are catching up with them, they are holding it together (and admirably so) but it could come apart at any time. Plus they got a rough road ahead schedule-wise. They could fall out of the division lead, then the wild card lead next week, if the Rams can get the win tonight.

Cardinals remaining schedule - @ Rams, Seahawks, @ 49ers

Cowboys playoff chances increase by 0.8% if Rams win

Rooting guide reminder: root for the Rams to continue the improved play that they've shown in recent weeks.

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Vikings @ Lions - Sunday 4:25
49ers @ Seahawks - Sunday 4:25

One thing the Cowboys need is some separation between themselves, the Seahawks and the Lions. When they are all three tied for the wild-card, the Cowboys lose the tiebreaker (conference record). But when you get the Cowboys up against the Seahawks head-to-head, Dallas wins the head-to-head tiebreaker. Instead of choosing between the two, let's make it easy and hope they both lose for one more week. If they both lose and Dallas wins, the Cowboys are setting themselves up for the division, or a wildcard, if it comes to that.

The Lions have the Vikings, another team looking slightly better over recent weeks. If the Vikings win, the Lions still have to play at Chicago and at Green Bay. Beating Green Bay in Lambeau is a tall order. Their chances go way down if they lose this week. The Seahawks have the 49ers. Earlier this year, you might have thought this would be evenly matched, but the 49ers are in free-fall so an upset is going to be tough. The game is in Seattle, making it that much harder. Seattle still has to go to Arizona, then come back home to finish with St. Louis. Their schedule is a tough one.

Lions remaining schedule - Vikings, @ Chicago, @ Green Bay
Seahawks remaining schedule: 49ers, @ Cardinals, Rams

Cowboys playoff chances increase by 11% if the Vikings win

Cowboys playoff chances increase by 8.9% if the 49ers win

Rooting guide reminder: hope the Vikings continue to improve as a team, and hope the 49ers can somehow pull it back together for one week at least.

Playoff chances via Five Thirty Eight.