Dallas Cowboys: Playoff scenarios beginning to take shape


The Dallas Cowboys could get some additional help this weekend as they look to improve their playoff odds. Here are some scenarios that could help Dallas.

The NFC is clearly the strongest conference in the NFL and has plenty of contenders for Super Bowl glory. The Dallas Cowboys are right currently 7-6 a record they share with both the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers. The Cowboys will need to win out to have a chance and taking the last wildcard spot and realistically the playoffs for Dallas could start in Week 16.

With only six teams from the NFC making the playoffs you have to wonder what type of late-season heroics we will see this year. Currently, three out of four NFC South teams are in line for a playoffs spot however that could not last for long.

The fourth, fifth, and sixth seed of the NFC (the New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons, and Carolina Panthers) are all facing each other in the coming weeks and that could help decide their playoff fates.

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In fact, the Falcons have three straight NFC South battles to end the season as they take on Tampa Bay, New Orleans, and then Carolina. The Panthers, on the other hand, will take on the Green Bay Packers with Aaron Rodgers under center, and the Falcons which will only help the Cowboys playoff chances. My projections have the Panthers cruising to 11-5 while the Falcons sit a 9-7.

The Saints and Panthers also already have nine wins, which means if they get two more, they will solidify their postseason status. 11 wins will be what it takes to lock up a playoff spot, 10 will be what it takes to get invited.

The Saints could easily pull out a 12-4 record which means they sweep their three remaining games (New York Jets, Atlanta Falcons, Tampa Bay Buccaneers). The Saints are the best team in the NFC South so far this season so they should have a spot in the playoffs.

The Rams will also be in a position to get 12-4 however they could also help the Dallas Cowboys tremendously by beating the Seattle Seahawks in Week 15. The NFC West is still somewhat undecided so the Rams will want to win this game whereas the Seahawks will have to win this game.

Shifting to the NFC North, the Green Bay Packers have the hardest path to the postseason. They will take on the Carolina Panthers, Minnesota Vikings, and the Detroit Lions in their final three games.

The Panthers matchup will be tough but should also mark the biggest test for Aaron Rodgers and the Packers as if they lose that game it will be tough to get into the playoffs. The Packers would get another tough matchup in Week 16 as they will take on the Minnesota Vikings.

The NFC North is not decided quite yet, however, the Vikings should only have an issue with the Packers as other than that matchup, their schedule is fairly favorable. The Packers should go 9-7 or 8-8 and that would give the Dallas Cowboys the edge if they are able to win out.

The Vikings need to win just one game before they are locked into the playoffs and the Lions could end up with a similar result as the Packers, 9-7 will not get you into the NFC playoffs.

Next: Playoff scenarios for Dallas

The Seahawks much like the Falcons are 8-5 and a game ahead of Dallas. The playoffs will really begin as Ezekiel Elliott returns for Dallas as they take on the Seahawks in Week 16.

A loss for either team will likely mean the end of their season. The Seahawks will have to face the Los Angeles Rams this week so if they drop that contest and the Cowboys take care of business against the Raiders, we could be looking at one of the leagues biggest 8-6 showdowns.