The Dallas Cowboys (8-6), on the other hand, have a much clearer road to the postseason.
Here are the possibilities for the Cowboys to get into the playoffs:
- Dallas beats Philadelphia in Week 16, New York Giants (7-7) loses to New York Jets. Cowboys clinched NFC East.
- Dallas beats Philadelphia in Week 16, Giants beat Jets. Cowboys beat New York in Week 17, clinch NFC East.
- Dallas loses to Philadelphia in Week 16, Giants beat Jets. Cowboys beat New York in Week 17, clinch NFC East based on conference-record tiebreaker.
Obviously, the safest path to the playoffs lies with two wins to close the season.
Will the Dallas Cowboys make the playoffs in 2011?
However, the Cowboys have a chance to get in without winning two games. That might be the way they ultimately get in, as Dallas has already lost to both the Eagles (34-7 in Week 8) and Giants (37-34 in Week 14). They need to beat one or the other for the first time this season to secure a spot.
While I think the Eagles have a great chance at stealing the division over the final two games, this is still the Cowboys' to lose. They can ensure Philadelphia is a non-factor by beating them Sunday afternoon.
A redemption win in Week 17 has the same effect. Can the Cowboys win one of two to get back into the NFC playoffs?