At this point in the season, rooting for the Dallas Cowboys to make the playoffs is an act of faith. Watching the Cowboys struggle to a 3-4 record makes it hard to have real confidence that some kind of run is on its way. If you accept 10-6 as the playoff mark, it’s not always correct but most of the time if you can get to that record you likely make the playoffs, then the Cowboys have to finish up with a 7-2 record. The Amari Cooper trade adds hope that the offense can get on track, at least somewhat, and ditto the move to replace Paul Alexander as the offensive line coach. With a defense that is the second-best in the league at not allowing points, just an average, consistent offense would change things dramatically.
Even if that happens, going 7-2 is a tall task for any team. Injuries, freak plays, bad referee calls, any number of random occurrences can derail a team in a football game. The Cowboys upcoming schedule reads as such:
New York (Giants)
The trick is to get to 7-2 out of that. The most likely route would be to lose at Philadelphia and at home against New Orleans and sweep the rest. Those are the kind of odds the Cowboys are up against barring a meltdown by the rest of the NFC East.
According to Five Thirty Eight’s latest projection, Dallas has a 21 percent chances of making the playoffs. Per that projection, nine other NFC teams have a better chance to make the postseason.
When 538.com runs its 100,000 simulations of upcoming games, they basically peg Dallas as an 8-8 team. That equates to a 5-4 run over the last nine games. To make the playoffs, they are going to have to defy the average.
If you want a more upbeat prediction, we present this human prediction from the good folks at SB Nation.
Chance of making the postseason: 50 percent. The NFC East is weird, and getting Prescott some real relief in the form of Cooper could be a difference maker. But Washington keeps hanging around at the top of the division, and the Eagles have a legit MVP candidate behind center. The rest of 2018 could reward Jones’ decision to push his chips into the middle for a playoff push. Or it could see the Cowboys fall flat on their faces. Either one seems equally likely.
So BTB, make your call right now. Vote in the poll then predict the Cowboys final record in the comments.
Will Dallas make the 2018 playoffs?
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