The Dallas Cowboys began Week 16 with overwhelming odds to make the playoffs as well as to win the NFC East. It seems as if it is really only a matter of time until Dallas can claim themselves as division champions for the first time since 2018. While this is the case, Dallas doesn’t even have to wait for Friday morning to declare themselves postseason bound as Thursday night’s loss by the San Francisco 49ers officially punched their playoff ticket. The Cowboys are headed to the tournament!
It is very possible that the Cowboys actually clinch the NFC East as soon as the early games come to a conclusion on Sunday afternoon if a few things go their way (see the list of what Dallas needs right here).
This is the first time that the Cowboys are back in the playoffs since the aforementioned 2018 season. It is obviously very likely that just like then, Dallas will be division winners here in 2021, but that is still not a formality at this particular moment.
It remains to be seen who the Cowboys could play in the Wildcard Round if they do not secure the number one seed in the NFC. Tonight’s losers, the team that formalized Dallas’ postseason spot, the San Francisco 49ers are very likely going to be a Wildcard team themselves despite the loss to the Tennessee Titans, but there are still a lot of games left to be played across the entire NFL.
A lot has changed for the Cowboys since they were last a playoff team. For starters they have a new head coach as this is their first postseason berth under Mike McCarthy and they now enter a tournament of 14 teams as opposed to 12 thanks to the third Wildcard spot that was added last year.
This was the first step. Here’s to it being the first of many.