Dallas Cowboys Playoff Scenarios: Despite Record, Cowboys Can Still Make Playoffs

Dallas Cowboys playoff scenarios still exist, despite a 4-9 start this season. The Cowboys making the 2016 NFL Playoffs could be a tough task for the team, but still entirely possible given how the other NFC East teams have struggled. Even the tough 28-7 loss the Cowboys suffered to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, December 13, hasn’t ruled the team out.

The Dallas Cowboys are currently two games behind the Washington Redskins (6-7), Philadelphia Eagles (6-7), and New York Giants (6-7). With three games to go in the regular season, it makes it possible for the Cowboys to catch up. The team is aided by holding a 3-2 record against NFC East opponents, making it the best divisional record among the four teams.

The toughest part of the Dallas Cowboys playoff scenarios is that the team has to win its final three games. Those games come against the New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, and Washington Redskins. The game against the Jets could be seen as the toughest, as the 8-5 Jets are in a must-win situation to work at securing an AFC wild card spot. The Cowboys get to play that game at home, before playing the Bills in Buffalo and then the Redskins back in Dallas.

The Cowboys also need some additional help along the way. The most important component is that the team needs the other three NFC East teams to all lose in Week 15. Those games are Carolina vs. New York, Arizona vs. Philadelphia, and Buffalo vs. Washington. In Week 16, the Cowboys then need Washington to beat Philadelphia and the Minnesota Vikings to beat New York. Finally, the Cowboys need Philadelphia to beat New York in Week 17. If all these playoff scenarios work out, the Dallas Cowboys would host a first-round playoff game.

That doesn’t bring an end to all the Dallas Cowboys playoff scenarios either. If the Philadelphia Eagles or New York Giants enter Week 17 with seven wins, the Cowboys just need that team to lose. Breaking it down, if the Eagles enter the game with a 6-9 record and the Giants are 7-8, Cowboys fans will be rooting for the Eagles to win. That could then create a three or four-way tie at 7-9 atop the NFC East standings.

If the Cowboys win the final three regular season games, the team would take control of every head-to-head tie-breaker in the NFC East. It would mean that no matter how many teams tie them at 7-9, the Cowboys would advance to play in the 2016 NFL Playoffs. Making it into the NFC Playoffs would mean a first-round game against the top wild card team in the conference. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, that team currently stands as the Seattle Seahawks.

Through a season that has been packed with injuries, including to starting quarterback Tony Romo and wide receiver Dez Bryant, the Cowboys have been able to stay afloat in a down year for the NFC East. Despite all that, the team could save the season and maybe the jobs of several coaching staff members, by winning out and getting a little help to clinch the division. A divisional crown in a down year could certainly go a long way toward selling tickets to the 2016 NFL season.

While the Cowboys are very close to the postseason, the team is also very close to securing the first pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. Only the Cleveland Browns (3-10), San Diego Chargers (3-10), and Tennessee Titans (3-10) have worse records so far. Losing the final three regular season games could possibly move the Cowboys up the draft board, but making it to the playoffs could certainly help the franchise rebound. The first important game in the Dallas Cowboys playoff scenarios comes on Saturday, December 19, when the team hosts the New York Jets at 8:25 p.m. ET.

[Photo by: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images]