NFL Playoff Standings: Dallas Cowboys Have Almost Clinched Playoff Spot, Minnesota Vikings Nearly Eliminated

NFL playoff standings look even better for the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys are half a game from clinching a spot in the 2017 NFL Playoffs after beating the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday night (Dec. 1). It was a tough game for the Cowboys to put in the win column, but the team emerged with an 11-1 record that leads the NFC. Despite some struggles on offense, the Cowboys made some important stops on defense that helped the team continue its 11-game winning streak.

The Cowboys are now three and a half games ahead of the Seattle Seahawks for the best record in the conference. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, this means the Cowboys can clinch a spot in the 2017 NFL Playoffs on Sunday (Dec. 4). The playoff scenarios for the Cowboys are very simple at this point. If the Washington Redskins or Tampa Bay Buccaneers lose on Sunday, then Dallas punches its playoff ticket.

As for the Minnesota Vikings, the updated NFL playoff standings show the team is in a desperate position. The Vikings fell to 6-6 on the season with the loss to the Cowboys, keeping the team in eighth place in the NFC. Three teams the Vikings trail are the New York Giants (8-3), Washington Redskins (6-4-1), and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-5) for the two Wild Card slots. The Vikings are also one and a half games behind the Detroit Lions for first place in the NFC North.

Dez Bryant Touchdown
[Image by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images]

The Dallas Cowboys also maintain the best record in the NFL, just ahead of the New England Patriots (9-2) and Oakland Raiders (9-2). The NFL playoff standings for the AFC have the Patriots as the No. 1 seed due to tie-breakers with the No. 2 seeded Raiders. The teams lead their respective divisions (AFC East, AFC West) and have a chance to move further ahead during the Week 13 games. The Patriots host the Los Angeles Rams, while the Raiders host the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.

The two AFC Wild Card teams come from the East and West as well, with the Kansas City Chiefs (8-3) as the current No. 5 seed and the Miami Dolphins (7-4) as the No. 6 seed. The Denver Broncos (7-4), Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5), and Bills (6-5) are just out of the playoff slots, showing how competitive the conference has become in the last few weeks. The Baltimore Ravens (6-5) lead the AFC North as the No. 3 seed and the Houston Texans (6-5) lead the AFC South as the No. 4 seed. This means the Ravens are tied with the Steelers for first place in the AFC North, raising the stakes for an upcoming head-to-head game.

Cowboys QB Dak Prescott
[Image by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images]

The Week 13 NFL schedule gives the Cleveland Browns (0-12) and Tennessee Titans (6-6) byes. This will be the first week of the NFL season where the Browns don’t put a game in the loss column. For the Titans, this is some time off to prepare for four must-win games down the stretch. As for the rest of the league, there are several very important games that could affect how the seeding looks for the 2017 NFL Playoffs. They include the Kansas City Chiefs vs. Atlanta Falcons and the New York Giants vs. Pittsburgh Steelers. Both games are taking place on Sunday, December 4.

Full 2016 NFL Playoff Standings

AFC Playoff Standings

1 – New England Patriots (9-2)
2 – Oakland Raiders (9-2)
3 – Baltimore Ravens (6-5)
4 – Houston Texans (6-5)
5 – Kansas City Chiefs (8-3)
6 – Miami Dolphins (7-4)

7 – Denver Broncos (7-4)
8 – Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5)
9 – Buffalo Bills (6-5)
10 – Tennessee Titans (6-6)
11 – Indianapolis Colts (5-6)
12 – San Diego Chargers (5-6)
13 – Cincinnati Bengals (3-7-1)
14 – New York Jets (3-7)
15 – Jacksonville Jaguars (2-9)
16 – Cleveland Browns (0-12)

NFC Playoff Standings

1 – Dallas Cowboys (11-1)
2 – Seattle Seahawks (7-3-1)
3 – Detroit Lions (7-4)
4 – Atlanta Falcons (7-4)
5 – New York Giants (8-3)
6 – Washington Redskins (6-4-1)

7 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-5)
8 – Minnesota Vikings (6-6)
9 – Philadelphia Eagles (5-5)
10 – New Orleans Saints (5-6)
11 – Arizona Cardinals (4-6-1)
12 – Green Bay Packers (4-6)
13 – Carolina Panthers (4-7)
14 – Los Angeles Rams (4-7)
15 – Chicago Bears (2-9)
16 – San Francisco 49ers (1-10)

[Featured Image by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images]