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Cowboys are alive for playoffs, but have only themselves to blame for their current situation

The hole the Cowboys are in was 100% dug by the Cowboys.

Washington Redskins v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Even though they lost on the road to the Seattle Seahawks, it’s been a bit of a foregone conclusion that the Philadelphia Eagles will be 2017 NFC East Champions for quite some time.

As a result, we’ve been focusing on Wildcard aspirations for the Dallas Cowboys for almost a month now. If they’re going to get into the dance, that’s the suit that they’ll be wearing.

For the first time in what feels like forever, the Cowboys had a great week, including their own contributions. They won, Minnesota beat Atlanta, Baltimore beat Detroit, and New Orleans beat Carolina. It was a good week.

Kevin McAllister’s mom told us in Home Alone that Christmas is the season of perpetual hope, and hope is definitely alive within the halls (Dak’d them?) of Cowboys fans everywhere.

Hope is great, hope is awesome, and believe me it’s a lot of fun to consider the endless permutations that put the Cowboys in the playoffs, but it is also a bit exhausting and depressing.

There were a lot of things Cowboys fans were rooting for this past week in the NFL, one of which included the aforementioned Eagles (they’re so bad they couldn’t even get that right).

Just consider the amount of luck the Cowboys are trying to catch at this point. We’re talking about six games this past week, and a lot more to come (we detailed this back some time). Not to mention, at some point the Cowboys are going to have to earn things themselves.

Currently Dallas is on the outside looking in at those who are the outside looking in. They’re alive, but they’re not even first in line to jump in place of a potential Wildcard team. This is the price you pay for losing games early in the season (duh).

Dallas lost in Denver to a Broncos team that is now 3-9, arguably their weirdest loss of the season, but it’s their losses to the Los Angeles Rams and Green Bay Packers that are proving to be the most costly down the stretch.

Part of the reason Cowboys fans wanted Philadelphia to win on Sunday night was because it is in their best interest to have the Rams win the NFC West. If L.A. is in a Wildcard position with them, the Rams have the head-to-head tiebreaker virtue of beating them.

Additionally, Cowboys fans were rooting hard for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Lambeau Field on Sunday. This is all because the Packers are about to get Aaron Rodgers back (he can help the Cowboys too FWIW), but we need them to stay a game behind Dallas due to them also having the tiebreaker.

This is all not to even mention the debacle that happened in Atlanta, giving them another potential tiebreaker over the Cowboys. 12 games in, those three conference losses are the ones that weigh the most and have helped formulate the thread through which this whole thing needs to be needled.

Dallas is alive, not alive and well, but they are alive. They have a favorable-looking-ish four games between here and the end, and for all we know the chips could fall exactly where they need them to.

While that’s all fine and dandy, the reality is that, much like the in-game situations they face, the Cowboys are in a spot where they need a lot of help, and this all might be a little too late. We’ll wait and see.