Six teams make the playoffs in the NFC every year. If the Cowboys are going to be one of those teams this year, at least one of last year's playoff teams will have to give up its spot. And the odds are good that some of last year's playoff teams will stumble, as every season only about half of the previous season's teams repeat as playoff participants.
A few days ago, we looked at the Churn Factor in the NFL: Since the league moved to a 12-team playoff format in 1990, an average of about six new teams made the playoffs every year. Only twice, in 1994 and 2012, did that number dip to four teams. This long history of churn among NFL teams means that it's highly probable that five or six teams that did not make the playoffs in 2013 will make the playoffs in 2014.
Last season, exactly half of the NFC East teams changed versus 2012. The Packers, Seahawks, and 49ers repeated as playoff participants from 2012, while the Panthers, Eagles, and Saints made the 2013 playoffs after missing out the previous year. They replaced the Redskins, Falcons and Vikings, who failed to repeat their playoff appearances from 2012.
Which brings us to our question of the day: Last year, the NFC was represented by the Seahawks, 49ers, Packers, Panthers, Eagles, and Saints. Which of these teams do you think are in for a rude awakening in 2014 and will not make it back to the playoffs?
Place your vote in the attached poll. We'll assume that the three teams that get the most votes will not make the playoffs this season. In a follow-up post, you'll be able to vote on which three new teams you think will make it to the postseason this year.