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It’s possible that the Dallas Cowboys could see their playoff odds rise next week even after a loss

It sounds crazy, but it’s the NFC East.

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

We have reached the post-Thanksgiving portion of the 2020 NFL season and the Dallas Cowboys own sole possession of last place in the NFC East. Needless to say this season has been highly disappointing.

If you rewound a week you would find that there were plenty of Cowboys fans feeling rather optimistic about the team’s chances of finishing on the other end of the spectrum within the division. Maybe you would rather the team tank for a better draft pick next season anyway, but reality is an NFC East title was and remains well in play.

The entire NFC East will all be on the road this week and they are each facing teams that are going to be competitors in the postseason. Interestingly enough the Cowboys play perhaps the weakest of the four in the Baltimore Ravens as the New York Giants will visit the Seattle Seahawks, the Washington Football Team heads to the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Philadelphia Eagles are going to try and challenge the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.

As noted all four teams might well lose this week. That might be a bigger boost than you think for the Cowboys.

It’s possible that the Dallas Cowboys could see their playoff odds rise next week even after a loss

While the Cowboys will have more than twice the amount of time between games than their Week 13 opponent will they are still going to be heavy underdogs against the Baltimore Ravens. That makes sense. This is the Ravens that we are talking about.

Obviously Baltimore has not been who they were last year to this point this season, but they are capable of a lot of things and that should be respected and accounted for. You will be hard pressed to find a Cowboys fan that thinks Dallas is going to win this game, although they are likely the NFC East team with the best shot at victory this week.

If you are somebody who likes to wager on things then (being totally serious here) this might be the week to get in on the Dallas Cowboys. They currently have by far the longest odds to win the NFC East and their chances of winning it could be argued to be the best or really the least bad.

The Cowboys have played poorly many times this season. This isn’t trying to pretend like this is a good football team that is going to go on a magical run and win a Lombardi Trophy, however, it is undeniable that they are in quite the fortuitous situation as a football club at the moment.

Consider the win totals of each NFC East team’s remaining schedule. Dallas has what is by far the easiest road through the end of the regular season.

Combined win totals of each NFC East team’s remaining schedule

  • New York Giants (at SEA, ARI, CLE, at BAL, DAL) : 31
  • Washington FT (at PIT, at SF, SEA, CAR, at PHI): 31
  • Philadelphia Eagles (at GB, NO, at ARI, at DAL, WFT): 30
  • Dallas Cowboys (at BAL, at CIN, SF, PHI, at NYG): 20

It is quite possible that New York, Washington, and Philadelphia all lose their next three games each. In fact, you could say that it is possible that the only win any NFC East team has from Weeks 13-15 are the Dallas Cowboys on the road against the Cincinnati Bengals next Sunday.

Fast forward to that point under this assumption. We could legitimately be looking at an NFC East where every team except Philadelphia has four wins to their name with two weeks left to go. The only two teams in the division that have divisional games over the last two weeks are the Cowboys and the Eagles and while we all know how bad the former has been, the Eagles are one of the worst teams in the NFL. Arguably worse than the Cowboys (at least the Cowboys we saw in Minnesota). And that’s saying something.

Again, if you are someone that looks to wager on these sort of things the odds that the Cowboys currently have might be the longest that they have to the end of the season. Considering the remaining schedules of each NFC East team it is highly probable that even if all four squads lose this week that oddsmakers will view the Cowboys as stronger contenders given that they have the path of least resistance.

Don’t count anything out in the NFC East. Not in 2020.