After the Dallas Cowboys were routed by the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, their playoff prospects took a big hit. Going into that game, the Cowboys were actually in the sixth position for the NFC playoffs, the WC2 (Wild Card 2) spot. According to ESPN’s playoff projection methodology, they had a 49.8% chance of making the post-season. Then the bottom fell out in Atlanta. Not only did the Cowboys lose an important NFC game, they were basically humiliated in the process. Eight sacks in a game? Six of them from journeyman pass rusher Adrian Clayborn? Sean Lee injured again?
The Cowboys playoff chances as calculated by the same ESPN methodology after the Falcons game comes in at a low 24.9%. ESPN projects there are nine teams left in playoff contention in the NFC, they have conveniently dropped the Green Bay Packers out of the picture even though they have the same record as some of the contenders.
Of those nine, the Cowboys have the worst odds of making it, with the Falcons next at 25.8%. The Cowboys already face the issue of losing the head-to-head tiebreaker with the Falcons if it comes to that. The Lions come in next at 32.5%. After that, you have teams that are actually in playoff position if the season ended today.
From that mix, the Cowboys have also lost the tiebreaker with the Los Angeles Rams, and they already have a two-game lead over Dallas so it is unlikely they will need it. Dallas could dream about beating the Eagles twice, and then getting some help and capturing the NFC East, but that is certainly a long shot.
Dallas still has a game left with Seattle, if they could win that one, assuming the teams finish with identical records, they would own that tiebreaker.
The reality, though, is that the Cowboys need to solve their own issues quick, and they need some help from other teams. Starting with tonight, it’s time for Cowboys fans to start “playoff rooting.” The Carolina Panthers play tonight, a team the Cowboys must pass if they want to get back into the dance. Carolina hosts the Miami Dolphins, so we’re all ‘Phins fans for tonight.
Hit the poll then let us know your thoughts on the Cowboys chances of rallying to make the post-season.
Will the Cowboys make the 2017 playoffs?
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