If the Dallas Cowboys and the Chicago Bears finish with the same record, can Dallas win the NFL’s tiebreaker and lay claim to the third seed?
The Dallas Cowboys enter Week 14 in position to claim the NFC fourth seed in postseason play. Above them in the seeding resides the Chicago Bears standing 9-4. With only three games left to play in the regular season, there isn’t much time for the Dallas Cowboys to overtake the Bears and lay claim to that third seed.
The good news is, Dallas appears to have the more favorable of the schedules. Making up a game and finishing with an identical record seems doable at this point. But for that to mean anything, the Dallas Cowboys would need to hold the advantage in tiebreakers.
Let’s see how this could play out…
With Green Bay, San Francisco, and Minnesota all left on the Bears schedule (with two out of the three fighting for the playoffs), it’s perfectly reasonable to think both Chicago and Dallas finish with the same record. In that case it goes to the NFL’s tie breakers to decide who gets the No. 3 seed.
Since there’s no head to head to look at, we go to the conference records to decide. Dallas has three NFC losses this season: Washington, Carolina, and Seattle. Chicago has two: Giants and Packers. But with three NFC opponents remaining on Chicago’s schedule, any loss would even the gap between Dallas and Chicago.
The next tiebreaker looks at common opponents. Things get tricky when it comes to common opponents here. Dallas and Chicago both have common opponents in the Lions, Giants, Seahawks, and Buccaneers.
More from Dallas Cowboys
- Dallas Cowboys Linebackers: 2023 Position Overview
- Ballhawk University: Why the Cowboys will be takeaway leaders
- Dallas Cowboys Player to Watch: Sleeper TE John Stephens, Jr.
- Dallas Cowboys: The impact of Micah Parsons and a well-rounded secondary
- Dallas Cowboys still unsure about their left guard position for 2023
Chicago beat the Bucs, the Seahawks, and the Lions twice. They lost to the Giants. Dallas beat the Lions and beat the Giants, but they lost to the Seahawks. Dallas still plays the Bucs and Giants and will need to win both to keep the tiebreaker going.
The next step in the tiebreaker rules looks at strength of victory. Both teams have been winning by fairly narrow margins (with one exception each) so this too will come down to the final three weeks of the season.
After this come seven more steps in the tiebreaker process, with Dallas playing from behind in many categories. There are times tiebreakers can clearly help a team, but looking at the situation today, this is not one of those situations.
The Dallas Cowboys face an uphill climb if they want to jump the Bears and get that third seed in the playoffs. Don’t look for tiebreakers to save them either, they’re going to need a couple of losses from Chicago to bump them up.
- Published on 12/16/2018 at 12:44 PM
- Last updated at 12/16/2018 at 12:44 PM