Frisco, Texas — How can the Dallas Cowboys make the playoffs? Let’s take a look.
This question surely doesn’t let Jason Garrett sleep at night. He’s also probably worried about his team having a good Monday. We won’t even go into how much he thinks about remaining four rounds and the end of the season. Garrett wants his team to live in the now, and that’s probably the best solution.
The Cowboys’ three-game losing streak was ended last Thursday when they defeated the Washington Redskins. That win got them back to .500 and kept them alive for the playoffs position. Had they lost, they would have already started thinking about 2018 draft position. They would have maybe played for their pride or Garret and the coaching staff.
The Dallas franchise may have to consider the aforementioned scenarios before the end of the season. However, they should now focus on this week’s foe, the New York Giants.
The Cowboys have to win every remaining game if they want to make the playoffs back-to-back for the first time in a decade. In terms of Garrett, they need four one-game winning streaks.
This year, the squad hasn’t won more than three games in a row. Last year they won 11 consecutive games. That’s the reason they are on the way to Garrett’s fourth 8-8 record in his seven seasons.
If the Cowboys win against the Giants (2-10) they can improve to 7-6. The Giants might have a new coach soon if they sack Ben McAdoo. After that, they’ll play the Oakland Raiders (6-6) away. That is going to be a tough match for sure. However, Ezekiel Elliott will soon be eligible to play again and what if the Cowboys make it to 8-6? Many say that their game against Philadelphia will surely be hard, but the Eagles might not have anything to play for in Week 17? They might do what Dallas did last season in the final round when they sat out important players for the playoffs.
Therefore, 10-6 looks quite possible.
What’s more, the Cowboys also haven’t missed the playoffs stage when winning 10 games. However, this time that won’t be a guarantee that they’ll make it to the postseason. They might need some help to get in that position.
They currently sit at 10th place in the NFC with four duels remaining and two games out of a wild-card spot. Considering everything, Sunday wasn’t a catastrophic day for the Cowboys’ wild-card hopes. But it could have been much better.
On the other hand, Matthew Stafford hurt his hand in the clash between the Detroit Lions and the Baltimore Ravens. The Lions lost that match. The Minnesota Vikings won away against the Atlanta Falcons, and the Carolina Panthers lost to the New Orleans Saints.
The Cowboys should hope that the Saints will win the NFC South and sweep the Falcons who are better when it comes to the head-to-head tiebreaker with the Cowboys. The Panthers (8-4) face the Vikings next week, and after that, we could see Aaron Rodgers returning to the Green Bay Packers’ lineup on December 17.
If the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had won against the Packers on Sunday, the Cowboys would have had a much better day. Why? Well, Green Bay holds the head-to-head tiebreaker.
The Eagles also messed up that day for the Cowboys.
Even though the Dallas team rooted for the Eagles against the Seahawks, their efforts proved to be in vain.
This loss stopped the Eagles from clinching the division, but it also pushed the Seahawks ahead in the wild-card chase. Now the Cowboys have to hope that the Seahawks will lose against Jacksonville Jaguars and Los Angeles Rams before they start with their game at AT&T Stadium on December 24. This scenario is not impossible, but we also think that the Seahawks’ confidence got a huge boost due to their win over the best team in the NFC.
The Cowboys are still alive, barely, but alive. They have four games to show what they’re made of.