The Dallas Cowboys will be hosting a playoff game for the third time in five years. A couple years ago, they were the top seed in the NFC as they finished with a 13-3 record and were granted a first-round bye. In 2014, they finished in a three-way tie with the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers with a 12-4 record. The Cowboys drew the short straw with the tie-breakers, which forced them to play Wild Card weekend. They beat the Detroit Lions, but then had to travel to Lambeau Field to play the Packers. We don’t need to talk about what happened next.
That’s all in the past. The Cowboys playoff nemesis, the Green Bay Packers, didn’t make the cut this year so Aaron Rodgers and his State Farm agent will be watching the playoffs from their sofa. If the Cowboys are bounced from the playoffs, it’s going to have to be by someone else, starting with a fresh new opponent next weekend. Currently, that opponent would be the Seahawks as they hold the #5 seed in the NFC. Should Seattle lose and Minnesota win, the Vikings would jump to the #5 spot.
Seattle has nothing to play for - they have clinched a playoff spot. They are going on the road no matter what, so for them, it’s just about seeding. Of course, it could also be about who they’d rather face - Chicago or Dallas? The Bears beat them in Week 2 this season, 24-17, putting the Seahawks in a hole with an 0-2 record to start the season. Then, the following week, Seattle got back on track by beating the Cowboys 24-13. Seattle has also beat the Cowboys three straight times and in those three games, the Cowboys have only found the end zone one time. And it just so happens that the one time was earlier this year when Tavon Austin scampered three yards for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter after the Cowboys were trailing 24-6.
The last thing a Cowboys offense wants to see in the playoffs is an opponent that’s only allowed them to score one touchdown in three total games. What about Minnesota? Are they any easier?
After making it to the NFC Championship last season, the Vikings have sputtered at times this year. They’ve had some tough opponents including the New Orleans Saints, Los Angeles Rams, and New England Patriots. They’ve lost all three of those games. In fact, outside of the Philadelphia Eagles, the Vikings haven’t beat a team with a winning record this season.
The last time the Cowboys played the Vikings was in 2016 where Dallas won a close one, 17-15 in what was Dak Prescott’s lowest yardage total (139 yards) of his Rookie of the Year season (excluding the Week 17 finale against the Eagles when the starters were pulled early). The Cowboys needed help from a big special teams play by Kyle Wilber to score the go-ahead touchdown after he stripped Adam Thielen of the ball in the fourth-quarter.
Here's the Adam Thielen fumble that led to the #DallasCowboys go-ahead score. Cowboys challenged it and won it. #SKOL #TNF pic.twitter.com/7GGmK3ejTg— Chat Sports (@ChatSports) December 2, 2016
Excluding the playoff losses to the Packers in 2014 and 2016, the Vikings are the next team to have eliminated Dallas from the playoffs as Brett Favre threw three touchdown passes to Sidney Rice to smoke them 34-3 back in 2009. That was a disappointing way to see your season end. Speaking of disappointment, we all remember what happened the last time Dallas faced Seattle in the playoffs.
Bill Parcells' last playoff game.— NFL (@NFL) December 21, 2017
Tony Romo's first playoff game.
Re-living the 2006 Cowboys vs. Seahawks divisional game.
An ending that will live in infamy. #tbt (via @HarrisonNFL) pic.twitter.com/FeeOGbwEsS
Neither opponent makes you feel warm in fuzzy inside, but they’re going to have to face one of them.
Which team would you rather the Cowboys face in the Wild Card game?
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