NFL Playoff Scenarios: Cowboys and Teams Whose Playoff Dreams Will Be Shattered

Kyle VassaloFeatured ColumnistDecember 30, 2011

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 11:  Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys reacts to an official's call against the New York Giants in the fourth quarter at Cowboys Stadium on December 11, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

With seven teams still in the playoff hunt going into Week 17 and only three spots still up for grabs, there are going to be a lot of disappointed teams and fans who are let down after their playoff dreams are shattered at the last possible moment.

With the NFC East, AFC West and AFC North division titles still up for grabs, there isn't a shortage of games with playoff implications.

Here are the teams who are still in the hunt that will have their playoff hopes shattered in the final week of the regular season

Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants

The Cowboys have had every opportunity to grab hold of a wide open NFC East and have failed to do so. Now, Tony Romo is banged up and has to take on Eli Manning, on the road in a must-win game.

We've all seen what happens to Romo when the chips are down. The Giants took care of the Cowboys in Week 14 in Dallas and this will be another harsh reminder that Romo is never going to bring them a Lombardi Trophy.

Oakland Raiders vs. San Diego Chargers

The Raiders could get into the playoffs in a number of different scenarios, but losing this week bars them from the postseason. 

The Chargers may be out of contention, but they would like nothing more than to keep the Raiders from cracking the postseason. The Raiders may have beaten the Chiefs in Arrowhead, but they've still lost three of their last four and can't hang with Philip Rivers and the Chargers offense.

Tennessee Titans vs. Houston Texans

The Titans can win this game and still be barred from the playoffs. Injuries have forced the Texans to enter a skid, but the Titans don't exactly exemplify consistency.

They could easily lose this game, just as they lost to the Colts when they needed a victory in Week 15. Should they win, it's still going to take a Bengals loss and either a Jets or Raiders win, but not both to berth the Titans.

New York Jets vs. Miami Dolphins

The Jets have to go on the road and have only notched two victories away from home this season. The Jets were blown away by the Eagles in Week 15, losing 45-19. They turned around and lost by 15 to the Giants at home.

The Dolphins are no longer a pushover, as they've resurrected their run game. Even if the Jets win, the Bengals have to lose. Neither is guaranteed this week and the Bengals are by far the most likely team to assume the second wild-card spot in the AFC.