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Cowboys Are In The Playoffs; Which NFC Team Is Their Biggest Obstacle To A Super Bowl Run?

Let's look ahead, just for a minute. This wouldn't be Jason Garrett-approved, but we'll do it anyway.

The Dallas Cowboys are in the playoffs. Let that one sink in for a moment. Four games left in the season and we’re now worried about whether the team will win the division (of course they will), and whether they can secure a first-round bye and home-field advantage (signs point to yes). We are a long ways away from those Week 17 play-in games that the team lost so many times.

So yes, the team still has four games left, and a lot left to be decided. There is a huge showdown looming on Sunday night with the only team that has beat them so far during the 2016 campaign (the New York Giants); a game filled with storylines of revenge, of division tie-breakers and possible division crowns. There is a three-run slate of games starting with the Giants, then the Buccaneers and the Lions that will be interesting to watch, if they are still meaningful to Dallas.

But let's give ourselves the luxury of looking ahead for just a minute, of projecting ourselves out to the playoffs. (Jason Garrett would not like this.) Lets ask ourselves the question: Of the five other teams currently in the NFC playoff picture, which one is the scariest? Who is most likely to trip up the Cowboys on their run toward the Super Bowl?

The five teams, in order of their playoff seed behind Dallas.

2. Seahawks (8-3-1)

3. Lions (8-4)

4. Falcons (7-5)

5. Giants (8-4)

6. Buccaneers (7-5)

The Seahawks seem like the logical choice as the toughest obstacle for Dallas in their quest for a return to the Super Bowl after such a long absence. They are experienced champions. They have a fearsome defense and they have Russell Wilson. That’s a lot. But they are also a team the Cowboys have matched up well against recently. Dallas beat Seattle, in Seattle, in the 2014 season, 30-23. In 2015, they only lost 13-12 to the Seahawks in Dallas. Seattle also has a struggling offensive line that can be taken advantage of, unfortunately the Cowboys don’t excel in that area. The Seahawks also just lost safety Earl Thomas to a broken leg.

The Lions are a surging team that is winning with the best play of Matthew Stafford’s career and a defense that is getting the job done. The Cowboys famously beat the Lions in the 2014 playoffs with the controversial non-call of pass interference on Anthony Hitchens. The downside of the Lions is they’ve been living on the edge, winning in the fourth quarter almost every game. That is generally unsustainable when you are playing quality teams in the playoffs.

The Falcons are dangerous because the have a high-powered passing game. That would likely be the Cowboys kryptonite as they have a poor pass rush and a banged up secondary. Pittsburgh and Washington have both shown what good passing offenses can accomplish against Dallas. But, the Falcons defense is very suspect and they are a team that is trending downward as the season progresses.

The Giants are a well-known quantity to Dallas fans. Their defense is improving as the season goes on, but their offense is struggling and Eli Manning can either win a game, or lose a game, at any time. This one is always scary because divisional foes make for unpredictable games.

Then there are the Buccaneers, a team that is on a roll. They have won four straight and seem to be putting it all together at the right time. The Cowboys will get a good look at them in a couple of weeks.

So who is the team that scares you the most right now? Who are the Cowboys biggest playoff obstacle in the NFC? Vote in the poll and hit the comments.

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