It all starts for the Dallas Cowboys in the 2017 playoffs on Sunday, January 15th. At 4:40 PM ET on that day they will host an NFC Divisional Round playoff game at AT&T Stadium. But their path actually begins the week before, if we’re being truthful. That’s when the Wild Card Round playoffs begin, and they will learn whether they will face the Green Bay Packers, the New York Giants or the Detroit Lions. Let’s start with the most unlikely scenario.
Cowboys vs. Lions in the Divisional Round. The Lions were once a hot team. But in the last three weeks they have been beaten by three NFC playoff teams, the Giants, the Cowboys and the Packers. Ever since Matthew Stafford injured his finger they haven't been the same. It’s hard to imagine them pulling off the upset over Seattle in Seattle, even though the Seahawks are not the dominant team they once were.
Cowboys vs. Giants in the Divisional Round. This is the one that is scary. They just couldn’t solve the Giants in the regular season. Also, the last time the Cowboys had the #1 seed and a 13-3 record? 2007 when they lost to the Giants in the Divisional Round. But, during that season the Cowboys had beaten the Giants twice during the regular-season, but couldn’t a third time. Maybe that’s the history that would repeat itself. But, I don’t think the Giants get past the Packers.
Cowboys vs. Packers in the Divisional Round. This is the most-likely scenario. The Packers are on a hot streak, they will be at home where it is supposed to be very cold. Aaron Rodgers has come alive since a bad beginning, and the Giants offense is stuck in neutral. The Cowboys and Packers have a long history of playoff football, including a certain no-catch call a couple of years ago. The Pack will come to Big D, where the Cowboys will take their first step towards Super Bowl LI with a win.
Cowboys vs. Falcons in the Championship Round. This will be the next step. The Falcons are clearly the best team besides the Cowboys in the conference. While they do have a suspect defense, their offense is a machine, out-producing everyone, including the Cowboys, in many categories. They will likely get the Seahawks in the Divisional Round. Seattle is struggling to be what they once were, and they won’t be able to slow down, or keep pace, with Atlanta.
So the Cowboys will have to beat the Falcons at AT&T Stadium to make it to the Super Bowl. In a crazy shootout, the Cowboys win in the last minute on a Dak Prescott 15-yard scramble to the endzone 33-30! You heard it here first.
What’s your Cowboys path to the Super Bowl? Hit the comments and make your prediction.
NFL WILD CARD WEEKEND
Saturday, January 7
AFC: 4:35 PM (ET) Oakland at Houston (ESPN, with simulcast on ABC)
NFC: 8:15 PM (ET) Detroit at Seattle (NBC)
Sunday, January 8
AFC: 1:05 PM (ET) Miami at Pittsburgh (CBS)
NFC: 4:40 PM (ET) New York Giants at Green Bay (FOX)
NFL DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS
Saturday, January 14
NFC: 4:35 PM (ET) Seattle/Green Bay/New York Giants at Atlanta (FOX)
AFC: 8:15 PM (ET) Houston/Oakland/Miami at New England (CBS)
Sunday, January 15
AFC: 1:05 PM (ET) Pittsburgh/Houston/Oakland at Kansas City (NBC)
NFC: 4:40 PM (ET) Green Bay/New York Giants/Detroit at Dallas (FOX)
The NFC (FOX, 3:05 PM ET) and AFC (CBS, 6:40 PM ET) Championship Games will be played on Sunday, January 22.
Super Bowl LI will take place on Sunday, February 5 (FOX, 6:30 PM ET).