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Cowboys Playoff Tracker: How win over Giants improves Cowboys’ playoff chances

Still a long way to go for the Cowboys, but things are looking up.

Dallas Cowboys v Carolina Panthers Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The Cowboys lost their season-opener, and had they lost the second game of the season against the Giants, they’d have been staring at some pretty long historic playoff odds. We saw in last week’s playoff tracker that since 2002, only 11% of teams that opened the season with two consecutive losses eventually made the playoffs. Lose the game after that and you can start looking at mock drafts for 2019, because not one team that started the season with three losses has made the playoffs since 2002.

So what happened to the Cowboys’ playoff odds after their win against the Giants? Their historic playoff odds have improved from last week’s 24% and now stand at 42%.

For now, the Cowboys are back in the playoff race, but they are not out of danger yet. Because if you look at the average season wins with a given record, you’ll see that teams with a 1-1 record historically have ended up with just 8.3 wins over the entire regular season as the graph below illustrates.

The Cowboys next travel to Seattle and then face the Lions at home in Week 4, and after the first quarter of the season, they could have a 3-1, 2-2, or 1-3 record. Here’s what the data above shows as the average regular season win total for each of those W/L records:

Average wins by record after Week 4, since 2002
Record after Week 4 3-1 2-2 1-3
Average season wins 9.7 8.1 6.1

We’ll continue monitoring the Cowboys’ playoff chances every week, and it would sure be nice if we could talk about a 2-1 record after next week.

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