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Cowboys playoff picture: What the New York Giants win means for the Cowboys moving forward

An updated look at the state of the NFC playoffs following Saturday afternoon.

NFL: NFC Wild Card Round-New York Giants at Minnesota Vikings Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

We are more than halfway through the Super Wild Card Weekend portion of the NFL playoffs and we’re waiting for the Dallas Cowboys to be a part of the round’s finale on Monday night against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The hope is that the Cowboys win that game and advance to the Divisional Round, the point in the playoffs that has served as their kryptonite for the better part of a quarter century. While nobody is looking ahead, the facts are that the other playoff games in the NFC have concluded which gives us the answers as far as what fate possibly awaits the Cowboys.

We noted on Saturday what the San Francisco 49ers victory meant in terms of implications on the Cowboys, but that was still an open-ended thing. The loop has been officially been closed thanks to the New York Giants defeating the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.

Here is how all of that impacts the Dallas Cowboys.

Here is what Sunday’s New York Giants win means for the Dallas Cowboys

While the San Francisco 49ers won on Saturday afternoon that alone did not give us the full picture for what lies beyond Monday night if the Dallas Cowboys are able to win. The Niners are the #2 seed in the NFC and will host the higher-seeded team remaining in the NFC in the Divisional Round and we now know that it will be whoever wins on Monday night.

Thanks to the New York Giants defeating the Minnesota Vikings the G-Men are assured to be the lowest-seed remaining and therefore have clinched their trip to play the Philadelphia Eagles next week. Interestingly enough, it was a win against the Giants backups that put the Eagles in this position to begin with. More importantly we now know what the path ahead looks like for the Cowboys.

If the Dallas Cowboys win on Monday night they will visit the San Francisco 49ers in the Divisional Round of the playoffs.

Whoever wins on Monday night will officially be the higher-seeded team left in the NFC, even if it is Tampa Bay or Dallas, which means they are the team that the San Francisco 49ers will host. It was, of course, the Niners who took Dallas out of the playoffs a year ago and who forced the Cowboys to re-establish their overall identity. Obviously we hope that things go differently this time around.

For the Cowboys to even earn the trip to San Francisco they will have to win on Monday night, and in doing so they would actually win their first road playoff game since the famed 1992 NFC Championship Game that actually took place at Candlestick Park against the 49ers. If Dallas does win on Monday night, then 75% of the Divisional Round in the NFC will feature teams from the NFC East.

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