The Dallas Cowboys have one regular-season game left before their playoff quest truly begins. While it is always fun to defeat the Philadelphia Eagles, the odds are that Saturday night is rather meaningless for the Cowboys in the grand scheme of things.
While it is true that Dallas can theoretically improve their playoff positioning with a win on Saturday night (presuming things go a certain way during Sunday’s action) the primary focus right now is winning in the Wildcard Round. Obviously we do not know who the Cowboys are going to play against right now, but we do know it is going to be one of four teams.
Of the nine possible permutations within the NFC Playoff Picture the Cowboys host the Arizona Cardinals as the number four seed in a majority of them, five to be specific. Being as blunt as possible, they are the most likely draw for Dallas.
The Cowboys will host the Rams as the four seed in two other timelines, and any world where they improve their seeding sees them hosting different opponents in the San Francisco 49ers (as the three seed) and the Philadelphia Eagles (as the two seed).
While measuring preference with practicality, it is worth asking a very specific question: Who do we want to see the Dallas Cowboys face in the Wildcard Round?
The Eagles might be the lowest-quality team of the four, but the likelihood of Dallas playing them is small, plus there is the factor of them being a division rival and the team that the Cowboys would have faced just the week before. A Jimmy Garoppolo-led 49ers team is also of the lesser intimidating variety, but Kyle Shanahan has made lemonade out of those lemons before.
Ultimately it seems like the Cowboys will host either the Rams or Cardinals in the Wildcard Round and it is hard not to say that the Cardinals are the more-preferred option. While Arizona just beat the Cowboys last week, they are led by a less-proven head coach in Kliff Kingsbury, and they did lose three games in a row prior to beating Dallas, one of which was to the Detroit Lions.
Simply put, the better team is probably the Rams, and while they have also struggled as of late it is always possible that they could turn it on for the playoffs. The Cowboys have beaten Matthew Stafford in the playoffs at home before, but that was a very different time and with a very different set of supporting cast around him.
Who do you most want to see the Dallas Cowboys face in the Wildcard Round?
This poll is closed
Los Angeles Rams
San Francisco 49ers