No matter how much we want it to happen the Philadelphia Eagles just do not lose. It is frustrating and annoying to consider that we are on the precipice of the Cowboys winning somewhere around 24-25 games over a two-year stretch and not having a single division title to show for it because of how resilient Philly has been.
Obviously nobody shows up to hang NFC East Champion banners (although the Eagles actually used to) but the point is much bigger than that. Winning your division nets you a home playoff game. Remember that the Cowboys are riding a 13-game winning streak at home, and if you are particularly good then you can set yourself up to have a first-round bye in the playoffs.
But given the current state of the playoff picture, the remaining schedules for the relevant teams and the likely way that things between now and the end of the regular season will go, the Cowboys seem destined to enter the postseason as the top wild card at best.
Assuming this is the case then that makes Thursday night the biggest game left in the regular season.
Thursday’s game against the Seahawks may have the most playoff ramifications of any one left across the rest of the season
Something I have been saying on the site, in our videos or on our podcasts over the course of the last few weeks is that Thursday night’s game against Seattle may be the biggest one left on the schedule for the Cowboys. When I have brought this up people have looked at me quizzically because the Cowboys obviously have yet to host the Eagles, and logic would suggest that that is the biggest game left on the schedule.
But as we mentioned up top, the Eagles continue to win and as they do they are rendering a potential loss at AT&T Stadium to not be one that derails their season. Many Eagles fans were fearful of the “gauntlet” that their team began when they hosted the Cowboys before their bye and a trip to Kansas City before returning to host the Bills. Well, Philly has won all of those games.
Even if the Eagles lose this coming week and then again to the Cowboys they will still leave AT&T Stadium in first place in the division and with more room for error especially given that their end of the schedule is friendlier than Dallas’. Considering all of this, it shows how likely the Cowboys are going to enter the playoffs as the top wild card team.
Since we have identified this to be the case then we ought to start looking at the other teams in that mix. We want the Cowboys to be the top wild card so they will get to visit the winner of the NFC South, as well as be the potential home team the following week if somehow we see all sorts of wildcard upsets. Seattle is on a two-game losing streak which is why they have dipped below the Cowboys, but losing to Dallas specifically would push them even further back as well as give the Cowboys the head-to-head tiebreaker if that comes into play.
Consider the remaining opponents for the Cowboys and their standing within the playoff picture:
- Week 13: Seattle Seahawks (contending wildcard team)
- Week 14: Philadelphia Eagles (overwhelming favorite to win NFC East so not a wildcard contender)
- Week 15: at Buffalo Bills (AFC team so not relevant)
- Week 16: at Miami Dolphins (AFC team so not relevant)
- Week 17: Detroit Lions (overwhelming favorite to win NFC North so not a wildcard contender)
- Week 18: at Washington Commanders (almost eliminated from playoff contention)
The only team left on the schedule that poses a direct threat to the most likely path that Dallas will take is the Seattle Seahawks, which means Thursday night is massive. It goes without saying that you always want to win every game and obviously Dallas winning keeps the faint hope alive that they can leapfrog Philadelphia, but injecting practicality into the situation yields a reality where Thursday night is rather critical.