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Cowboys playoff scenarios essentially the same: win out, hope Washington loses out

The Cowboys are still in it, but next week is huge.

Washington Football Team v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys have done what they needed to do the last two weeks to stay alive in the NFC East race to secure a playoff berth. In fact, the Cowboys are now second in the division by virtue of their tie-breaker advantage over the New York Giants. They still have one big problem: The Washington Football Team is one game ahead of them and own the tie-breaker because of their season sweep of Dallas.

For the Cowboys to win the NFC East, they can’t just tie Washington, they have to leap over them. There is one way to do that. The Cowboys must win this week versus the Philadelphia Eagles and then win the following week versus the New York Giants. Then, they need for Washington to lose this week against the Carolina Panthers and then the following week against the Eagles.

Everything in that plan seems reasonable, or at least attainable, except for one item. Next week Washington hosts the Panthers, and the Panthers are 4-10. Plus, the Panthers are Ron Rivera’s former team, so you know Washington would like nothing more than to beat their head coach’s former team.

Cowboys Nation will be able to scoreboard watch that game as it is scheduled for 1 PM ET next Sunday while the Cowboys play the Eagles at 4:25 PM ET that same day. By the time the Cowboys are taking the field, they will know if they are still in contention or not.

For Team Tank, the bad news is that the Cowboys dropped from the number four pick to the number eight pick after their win on Sunday. There are six teams tied with a 5-9 record, but the Cowboys are first among them with their .475 strength of schedule number.

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