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Cowboys playoff picture: One more win clinches the NFC East, but it might not even take that

The Cowboys are standing at the doorstep of the playoffs.

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

A week ago we were debating the merits of Philadelphia versus Washington on Monday Night Football because the results would have a big impact on the Dallas Cowboys playoff picture.

Personally I was rooting for a Redskins win to give the Cowboys more room for error. Washington let the New York Giants drop a 40-burger on them on Sunday, evidence that they weren’t necessarily a team to be feared. Meanwhile, the Eagles took Dallas to overtime which was proof that they were the better team.

As fate would have it the Eagles won which set the Cowboys up with the ability to all but end the NFC East discussion in Week 14. Thankfully they did and everything else is moot. Where does that leave us now, though?

One more win clinches the NFC East for the Cowboys, or one more Eagles AND Redskins loss

There are three games left in the season for everyone besides Monday’s two teams and all the Dallas Cowboys need to do is walk away with one more win to celebrate a division title. What a time to be alive!

NFC East standings through Week 14

  1. Dallas Cowboys: 8-5 overall, 4-1 in division
  2. Philadelphia Eagles: 6-7 overall, 3-2 in division
  3. Washington Redskins: 6-7 overall, 2-3 in division
  4. New York Giants: 5-8 overall, 1-4 in division

Dallas swept the Eagles this season (very beautiful sentence) and can only achieve two losses in the division at maximum. This means they have the tiebreaker over both Philadelphia (who got swept) and Washington (three losses in division). All the Cowboys have to do is tie the record of either team on the season and they win the division. Seeing how the Cowboys have two more wins at the moment than both the Eagles and Redskins with three left that means one thing.

One more win, any win, gives the Dallas Cowboys the NFC East.

To be fair, one more loss by both the Eagles and Redskins would do this as well, but a Cowboys win would be far more enjoyable. Of course, this sets up a scenario very similar to a December Sunday of four years ago when the Cowboys were hosting the Indianapolis Colts. Just like they did then the Cowboys are going to have an opportunity this week to secure their title against Indy. They’ll be doing both after their star wide receiver hung three touchdowns on the Eagles, too (the connection to this path is spooky).

There will still be a lot of things to figure out if/when the Cowboys do lock up the division. They’re a game behind the Chicago Bears for the NFC’s three seed and if you believe in miracles then maybe they might even catch the New Orleans Saints for the two.

Welcome to the good life, amigos.

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