Updated Playoff Odds, Matchup Projections for Dallas Cowboys After Week 11

Bo Martin@BoKnowsBCBContributor INovember 19, 2012

ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 18: Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys looks downfield for a receiver under pressure from John Hughes #93 of the Cleveland Browns at Cowboys Stadium on November 18, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. The Cowboys defeated the Browns 23-20. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys are on their first two-game win streak of the season. 

That being said, Dallas Cowboys Nation is excited about the improvement and seems to be thinking playoffs again.

Is it too soon?

Yes, the Cowboys are 5-5 and in the middle of the soft portion of their schedule.  However, for the Cowboys to make the playoffs, they can really only lose one or two more games. 

I thought I’d run everyone through a quick, realistic view of their upcoming schedule.

Vs. Washington Redskins

The Washington Redskins aren’t the same team they used to be.  With Robert Griffin III headlining a new offense, the Redskins have a dangerous team.  The 'Skins still have a porous pass defense and should allow the Cowboys to have success offensively.

Prediction: Cowboys 24, Redskins 14

Vs. Philadelphia Eagles

The Cowboys just beat the Eagles with Michael Vick.  Now rookie Nick Foles leads the Eagles.  Foles is a rookie and should be expected to play like one.  There will be opportunities for the Cowboys to win this game.  However, it will take a strong defensive outing.

Prediction: Cowboys 28, Eagles 20

at Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals’ strength is their pass offense.  The Cowboys' strength is their pass defense.  I expect this to be a good game.  With the Cowboys relatively healthy by now and in a groove, they should exploit a Bengals team that still has some holes.

Prediction: Cowboys 20, Bengals 17

Vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh is still one of the toughest teams in the league.  They always play the Cowboys tough, and this rivalry sparks again as the Cowboys are on a run.  December isn’t Romo’s strongest suit, and Pittsburgh may be too tough for these Cowboys.

Prediction: Steelers 21, Cowboys 13

Vs. New Orleans Saints

The Saints possess a gunning offense but lack any real consistency on defense.  I find it hard to count out Drew Brees in any game, but the Cowboys pass defense is getting better and better and should make it hard for Brees.  The key will be pressure in this game, but the Cowboys will need it more.

Prediction: Cowboys 31, Saints 28

at Washington Redskins

This is a grudge match from earlier in the season.  The Cowboys are in position to take the NFC East with a win, but the Redskins will pull out one of their classic Redskins spoiler victories.

Prediction: Redskins 21, Cowboys 20

Playoff Matchup Analysis

It’s hard to predict the Cowboys' playoff chances.  Unless they win the division, I can’t believe that they’ll be frontrunners for the Wild Card. 

However, if they can hold off teams like Green Bay, Seattle, New Orleans and Tampa Bay, they might have a shot. 

I’d expect the Cowboys to grab the sixth seed.  If the standings continue the way that they are, then New York or San Francisco would be the Cowboys' Wild Card Round opponent.


Here is a matchup breakdown:

New York Giants

The Cowboys actually match up quite well with the Giants.  In their two meetings, the Cowboys looked convincingly dominant, minus the first half of the game in Dallas.  I believe that if the Cowboys face off against Eli and company, they could emerge victorious and become threats in the postseason.

San Francisco

This is the matchup we don’t want.  The Cowboys going to Candlestick Park to reignite one of the biggest rivalries of the 90s is not a situation we want to be in. 

The 49ers are a dominant team that plays tough.  They play a balanced offense with a smash-mouth defense that can dominate games.  Considering the Cowboys' problems against top defenses and their offensive line woes, I can see this being a nightmare situation.


The Cowboys are a long shot for the postseason.  Simply put, the team really isn’t that good.  They are sneaking past mediocre teams.  Though my predictions are based on what I believe, I could see them coming out either way.

The Cowboys control their own destiny this season. The problem with that is that the Cowboys are still learning how to win consistently. 

With good coaching and veteran leadership, they could be tough.  However, until they learn to be that type of team, they will continue to disappoint.


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