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NFC Playoff Picture: Dallas Cowboys squarely in NFC East mix after Philadelphia Eagles loss

The Cowboys have legitimate life in the NFC East race now.

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Dallas Cowboys Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys took care of business on Thursday night which afforded us all the ability to sit back, relax and (vomit) root for the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday afternoon.

Rooting for our hated rivals was a means to an end on Sunday given that they were visiting the Philadelphia Eagles. Philly has pulled off all sorts of close wins this season which has made the idea of Dallas catching them in the NFC East race feel like a longshot.

Well the odds of it happening improved after San Francisco backed up all of their talk about how they would have handled the Eagles in the NFC Championship Game had Brock Purdy not been injured. After a bit of a slow start the 49ers outclassed the Eagles and dropped them to 10-2 on the season. San Francisco is obviously quite happy as they have the chance to pry the top seed in the NFC away from Philadelphia at the end of the regular season.

Note that this post is being published before the Green Bay Packers play on Sunday night, but as you can see at the very least the Cowboys have quite the lead on the field for the top wildcard spot.

But as if the Eagles loss on Sunday wasn’t big enough the Cowboys happen to host the Eagles next week and should they win then Dallas will enter Week 15 atop the division for the first time since the earlier weeks of the regular season. Of course the Cowboys face a more difficult end-of-season stretch than Philadelphia does and still would need a Philly loss even after next week, but this is the NFL where anything is possible.

Sunday’s win by the 49ers was significant in that it not only kept open the door for the Cowboys to re-take the division, but also for San Francisco to be the top seed in the conference. Looking a bit ahead here, if the Cowboys are unable to leapfrog Philadelphia and enter the playoffs at the top-seeded wildcard then that sets up a potential world where (if everything went chalk in the Wild Card Round) Dallas would visit the 49ers in the Divisional Round just like last year.

That is still a ways away and worrying about something built on a ton of hypothetical situations isn’t worth the time, but it is info to know. In terms of where we are at in this current moment Sunday saw the result that we preferred and now the Cowboys have a chance to make the division race an even tighter one should they win next Sunday night.

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