Dallas Cowboys: Why the 3rd seed is worth fighting for

Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Cowboys cannot be content just making the playoffs, they need to fight for that third seed because that’s their pathway to postseason success.

The Dallas Cowboys are surging and with an 8-5 record, tie breakers, and momentum on their side, they’re are all but assured the division crown this season. The temptation to ease up and take a breath may be somewhat warranted, but it’s far from advisable. That’s because there’s still a lot to gain these last three games of the season.

If the Dallas Cowboys can find a way to move up to the third seed in the playoffs (they are currently locked into the fourth seed), they could find a much more attractive path to the Super Bowl.

Current Standings

As we stand today, the 11-2 New Orleans Saints and the 11-2 Los Angeles Rams are locked in as the top-2 teams in the NFC, respectively. At a distant 3rd seed is the 9-5 Chicago Bears and the 4th seed is our beloved 8-5 Dallas Cowboys.

The first Wild Card team is most likely the 8-5 Seattle Seahawks. Behind them is anyone’s guess but leading the way are the 6-6 Minnesota Vikings. The 6-7 Carolina Panthers still have a chance but aren’t playing all that great these days and the 6-7 Philadelphia Eagles also have a chance but they look to be throwing in the towel given their injury situation.

Since the Saints and Rams both have byes in the Wild Card round, the No. 3 seed will play the last team to get in (the No. 6 seed), while the No. 4 seed will play the Seahawks (the No. 5 seed). While the new-look Dallas Cowboys seem to match up well with the Seahawks, I think we’d all agree we’d rather face off against the floundering Vikings, Panthers, or even Eagles if given the choice.

New Orleans or Los Angeles?

Taking a step further we look to the divisional round: Assuming the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds both win in the Wild Card round, No. 3 will travel to the No. 2 seed and No. 4 will take on the top seed. Currently, New Orleans is the top seed.

Some Cowboys fans are contending they’d rather see the Saints again since Dallas has already beaten them once already. I think that’s tempting fate and I’d much rather surprise an opponent than give one a second crack (especially someone like Drew Brees).

More importantly, Los Angeles is a much friendlier environment than New Orleans and a team like the Dallas Cowboys would be much better represented in L.A. than they would be in LA (see what I did there). But think about it – New Orleans is a huge home field advantage with a very hostile crowd. Los Angeles would probably be 40 percent Dallas Cowboys fans. I don’t care how those two finish. I want the Rams.

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Some around the NFL scoff at the mention of momentum but Dallas Cowboys fans know better. We’ve seen first-hand the better team lose – largely because the better team coasted to the finish and started the playoffs rusty. There’s tremendous value in entering the playoffs as you’re playing your best brand of football. And if the Dallas Cowboys keep fighting for the third seed, that’s exactly what’ll happen.


I’ll be explaining the tie breaker situation this weekend. But for a sneak peek – here’s the NFL’s tiebreaker policy

How Dallas will split the snaps at LB with Lee back. dark. Next

Many years, there isn’t much of a difference between the third and fourth seed in the playoffs, and at face value, this year is no different since both teams at the top are equally as dangerous. But a deeper dive shows the Dallas Cowboys should do everything within their power to pass the Bears and take the third seed because the Wild Card round and the Divisional round look much more winnable.

  • Published on 12/13/2018 at 18:01 PM
  • Last updated at 12/13/2018 at 13:49 PM