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NFL Week 14 Fan Picks: Can Cowboys Take The Division Lead After This Weekend?

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A lot has to go right this weekend for the Cowboys to take the division lead. Too much?

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

In theory, the Cowboys could take the division lead after Week 14 is in the books. All that needs to happen is for the Cowboys to win and for the Eagles, Redskins, and Giants to lose. But what are the chances of that happening?

Pretty remote, as it turns out, but it also depends on who you ask.

Here are three different sources, FiveThirtyEight.com, NFLPickwatch.com and the participants in our Pick 256 Challenge and how they see the odds of all four NFC East games going exactly the way the Cowboys need them to go:

Favorites in NFC East games, Week 14
Game 538.com NFLPickwatch Pick 256
Bills over Eagles 45% 61% 85%
Bears over Redskins 63% 83% 85%
Dolphins over Giants 51% 33% 71%
Cowboys over Packers 23% 2% 58%
Total 3.3% 0.3% 29.8%

Any way you look at it, the odds are slim for the Cowboys to take the division lead, and even the almost 30% by the eternally optimistic Cowboys fans isn't exactly a strong vote of confidence. But the odds here also highlight that the Cowboys need to worry primarily about their game against the Packers - win that and they can start worrying about the division. Lose against the Packers and they could easily be two games back from the division lead and can start worrying about he draft.

Last week, the Cowboys were one of only three underdogs (DAL, PHI, SF) to win their games. Can the Cowboys win as underdogs again this week?

The Pick 256 participants picked three teams as underdogs this week, Dallas, San Francisco and Miami:

Week 14 Picks, 213 participants
Game Favorite BTB vote
SD @ KC (-10.5) Kansas City 97%
SEA (-12) @ BAL Seattle 96%
OAK @ DEN (-6.5) Denver 95%
MIN @ ARI (-7.5) Arizona 92%
TEN @ NYJ (-7) NY Jets 92%
ATL @ CAR (-8.5) Carolina 89%
BUF @ PHI (PK) Buffalo 85%
WAS @ CHI (-3.5) Chicago 85%
NE (-3).5 @ HOU New England 84%
DET (-3) @ STL Detroit 76%
NYG (-1.5) @ MIA Miami 71%
NO @ TB (-4.5) Tampa 69%
SF @ CLE (-1.5) San Francisco 66%
PIT @ CIN (-3) Cincinnati 64%
IND @ JAC (PK) Indy 63%
DAL @ GB (-6.5) Dallas 58%

Every week in the NFL, underdogs come through against the odds. Why shouldn't it be the Cowboys for a second straight week?

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Here's a link to an Excel file with the picks of all 213 Pick 256 participants for this week, for those interested in tracking the Pick 256 results themselves.

Pick 256 Tracker 2015 - Week 14

Once you open the file, you'll see a blue title bar into which you can enter the winning teams to see where you end up among all participants. The title bar is currently populated with the winner of the Thursday game, as well as the consensus picks for the remaining games. If you want to see how you fared during or after the weekend games, simply input your own picks into the title bar and see how many correct picks you have.

In any case, have fun with the file and good luck with your picks.