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NFL Playoff Picture: Cowboys Need One Game For Home-Field Advantage Throughout Playoffs

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The Cowboys still have work to do, but took a big step with the win over the Buccaneers.

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Dallas Cowboys Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys came away with a hard-fought win over the surging Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday night, 26-20. After last week’s loss to the New York Giants, it was extremely important to get back in the win column. Not just because starting a losing streak this late in the season would be a bad sign, though it would, but because Dallas is trying to lock up home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Tonight’s win left Dallas with only one victory needed to reach that goal.

The Cowboys need just one more win in their final two games and they will clinch the best record in the NFC. The only team in contention to catch them are the Giants. They won their game over the Detroit Lions, Dallas’ next opponent, to keep the heat on the Cowboys. With another win, Dallas will finally close out the NFC East crown along with grabbing home-field advantage. The same is true if the Giants lose one of their final two games. They play the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday night, then finish the season with Washington, who are still in contention and are currently the sixth-seed in the NFC. Dallas finishes by hosting the Lions on Monday night, then traveling to play Philadelphia in the final game.

The playoff picture in both conferences as of Sunday night (Washington plays Carolina tomorrow night):

NFC
  1. Cowboys (12-2, NFC East)
  2. Seahawks (9-4-1, NFC West)
  3. Falcons (9-5, NFC South)
  4. Lions (9-5, NFC North)
  5. Giants (10-4, Wild Card)
  6. Washington (7-5-1, Wild Card)
AFC
  1. Patriots (12-2, AFC East)
  2. Raiders (11-3, AFC West)
  3. Steelers (9-5, AFC North)
  4. Texans (8-6, AFC South)
  5. Chiefs (10-4, Wild Card)
  6. Dolphins (9-5, Wild Card)