First and foremost, the Dallas Cowboys will be playing for a playoff berth by winning the NFC East on Sunday. As we all know, the Cowboys need a win over their opponent, the New York Giants, they then need the Philadelphia Eagles to beat the Washington Football Team later that night. Beating the Giants is definitely possible for the Cowboys, but the Eagles seemed to have packed it in so getting help from them over the Football Team appears tenuous.
Whether the Cowboys get that division title or not on Sunday, winning or losing will affect two other items for the team. They will (possibly) determine their draft position, and they will solidify the 15th and 16th game opponents on their 2021 schedule.
Earlier this week, we discussed the impact of winning or losing on Sunday in terms of the Cowboys 2021 draft position. For a quick recap, if the Cowboys win on Sunday, and the Football Team loses, then the Cowboys go to the playoffs and they will pick, at earliest, 19th in the upcoming draft. They could get a later pick by winning in the playoffs.
There are also the other scenarios. If the Cowboys win on Sunday but the Football Team does too, the worst-case scenario, the Cowboys will pick between number 15 and 11 in the draft. If they lose on Sunday, they pick between number seven and 11 in the draft. Sunday will have lot of impact on the draft, plus the obvious playoff berth.
But there is one other area Sunday will impact, and that’s the 2021 schedule. Michael Gehlken has worked out those scenarios for the Cowboys.
For example, if the Cowboys win the NFC East, they’ll host the first-place team in the NFC West (Seattle Seahawks) and play the first-place NFC North team on the road (Green Bay Packers). If they finish second, they’ll host the Los Angeles Rams or Arizona Cardinals and meet the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.
If the Cowboys lose Sunday to the Giants, they’ll finish third in the NFC East. In that scenario, the Rams or Cardinals would visit Arlington in 2021, and they’ll face the Minnesota Vikings on the road.
There is also the new 17th game on the schedule but the NFL hasn’t told us exactly how that will work yet.
Sunday will be a big day for the Cowboys, win or lose, playoffs or no playoffs.