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With clear shot at the #1 seed in the NFC, it’s time for the Cowboys to go all in

It’s all there on the table for the Cowboys.

Dallas Cowboys v New England Patriots Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images

Should the Cowboys rest Dak Prescott for another week is the question being asked around Cowboy Nation? This article will take the position that no is the right answer. Obviously if Dak is not healthy and there is an injury risk there, pushing Dak is not the best option, but all the information we’re getting sure makes it seem like he’s good to go with the front office and coaches are just being cautious with a big lead in the division.

While all of that may be true, winning the division is not the goal of the 2021 Dallas Cowboys. Making it to the Super Bowl is. A lot of things can change over the next two months of the season, but as of now, the Cowboys are legit Super Bowl contenders. In recent years, your best bet for making the Super Bowl is to be the #1 seed in your conference going into the playoffs. A tweet from 105.3 The Fan’s Jeff Cavanaugh proves just how important that #1 seed is:

Pretty solid right? But let’s go back just a little but further so we have a larger sample size:

Maybe just a liiiiiiiittle bit further just to be absolutely sure we’re not talking crazy here:

Ladies and Gentlemen, if the 2021 Dallas Cowboys want to make the Super Bowl they need to put their best foot forward in every game from here on out, and that includes playing Dak Prescott this week against the Denver Broncos - if he is cleared to play.

If the Cowboys were battling it out for the fourth seed it would be a totally different conversation, but the Cowboys are currently ranked as the #3 seed in the NFC. Ahead of them is the Green Bay Packers at #1 and the Arizona Cardinals at #2. Let’s take a look at both of those teams schedules for the remainder of the season to see if we have a shot.

Green Bay’s remaining schedule includes:

Arizona’s remaining schedule includes:

  • @ San Francisco 49ers (3-4) (Kyler Murray possibly OUT with ankle)
  • vs Carolina Panthers (4-4)
  • @ Seattle Seahawks (3-5)
  • BYE (12)
  • @ Chicago Bears (3-5)
  • vs Los Angeles Rams (7-1)
  • @ Detroit Lions (0-8)
  • vs Indianapolis Colts (3-5)
  • @ Dallas Cowboys (6-1)
  • vs Seattle Seahawks (3-5)

When comparing these schedules to the Cowboys remaining schedule, you can easily make the case that the Cowboys remaining schedule provides a much easier path to the #1 seed than both the Packers and the Cardinals. The Rams are also in that conversation at 7-1, but in the wise words of my good friend Dalton Miller, it’s easy to imagine the NFC West “cannibalizing” itself — with the Rams, Seahawks, Cardinals, and even the 49ers splitting some wins and losses throughout the rest of the season.

The Cowboys biggest threat to the #1 seed could be the only team to beat them this season in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs did the Cowboys a huge favor last week, dropping a game to the Saints with New Orleans playing a backup quarterback for most of the game. But with their remaining schedule consisting of; The Football Team, Giants, Colts, Falcons, Bills, Saints, Panthers, Jets, and Panthers, there’s only a few games in that mix that could give the Buccaneers another loss.

The moral of this story is the Cowboys can’t afford to rest guys or played scared. It worked out well for them last week on the road in Minnesota, but with the Buccaneers dropping a game they probably shouldn’t have, both Aaron Rodgers and Kyler Murray dealing with Covid and injuries, and the Rams continuing to play some tough games against divisional opponents — the Cowboys need to attack every game from here on out as if it’s a playoff game no matter the opponent.

We now know just how important the #1 seed is to making the Super Bowl.