Here on Blogging The Boys, we've been tracking the Cowboys' playoff chances since Week 1, even though there were some questions about why we would be talking about the playoffs after losing the season opener. The Cowboys are now 5-1, and we continue with our weekly look at the Cowboys' playoff odds.
This week, we'll start by looking at how the Cowboys' Super Bowl odds have developed over the last seven weeks, and as as an added bonus, the chart below also includes the Super Bowl odds for the other NFC East teams. Think of this as a kind of Vegas Power Ranking.
|NFC East Super Bowl odds by week, 2016|
The Super Bowl odds for the Cowboys have all sorts of assumptions built in, like the time it'll take for Tony Romo and Dez Bryant to come back, the strength of schedule, and even the amount of money being wagered on the outcome. Similarly, when you look at the playoff odds provided on numerous websites, they all contain various assumptions about the strength of the team, the schedule, and many other things.
The odds for the Cowboys in the table above have been slowly improving, and today the Cowboys have the fifth-best Super Bowl odds behind the Patriots (3-1), Vikings (15-2), Seahawks (8-1), Packers (12-1), and Steelers (12-1).
But before making the Super Bowl, teams first have to make the playoffs, so today we'll look at the playoff odds from a strictly historical perspective. And for that historical perspective, I looked at all teams since realignment in 2002 to find out how many teams made the playoffs based on their respective records after six weeks. This is what I found
|Playoff odds based on six games, 2002-2015|
|Record after six games||6-0||5-1||4-2||3-3||2-4||1-5||0-6|
Based on the past 14 seasons, the Cowboys currently have a 78% chance of making the playoffs. And they face a statistical oddity in their next game: If they win their against the Eagles in two weeks, their historic odds won't improve but stay flat at 78%. Were they to lose, the odds would drop to 73%.
Last year, the Cowboys were in a much less enviable position as one of eight teams with a 2-4 record and banking everything on the hope that arriving reinforcements (, Dez Bryant, Tony Romo, ) would be enough to turn the season around. It wasn't.
This year, the team is in a very different place, and there is reason to believe that the reinforcements arriving after the bye and over the games after that (Dez Bryant, Tony Romo, Lance Dunbar, Darren McFadden, James Hanna, Chaz Green) should help the team not just make the playoffs, but also make a deep push in the postseason.,
But first, they've got to get there. And a win at home against the Eagles in two weeks would be the perfect stepping stone for that - regardless of the odds.