Dallas Cowboys: NFC Champs, what comes next?

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - DECEMBER 23: The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders perform before the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at AT&T Stadium on December 23, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TEXAS - DECEMBER 23: The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders perform before the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at AT&T Stadium on December 23, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Cowboys are on their way to the postseason however they have a long way to go before they reach their ultimate goal.

The Dallas Cowboys have secured a spot in the 2018 NFL playoffs which is a pretty significant accomplishment for any team. For Dallas however, it is just the beginning in a long journey filled with intrigue and excitement as they begin to prepare for their potential playoff opponent. Let’s take a look at just what could be ahead for the Cowboys in Week 17 and the postseason.

Week 17
So there are two schools of thought about what exactly the Dallas Cowboys should do against the New York Giants. Number one, rest your starters and prepare for the Seattle Seahawks or Minnesota Vikings. Number two, keep your starters on the field for most of the game to ensure they are ready to go during the Wildcard round.

Jerry Jones has already publicly stated that the Cowboys still have something to play for, so that could mean several different things. Most likely the Cowboys offense should see some extra work against the Giants as that unit has not been as productive over the last few weeks and could use the playing time to get back omg track.

Now, this does not mean pushing everyone onto the field, players dealing with an injury such as Zack Martin will be given extra rest. Either way, it would be nice for the Cowboys to win this game on the road to help give them some extra juice for their eventual playoff matchup. Finding a way to incorporate Tavon Austin back into this offense would also be a plus.

Potential playoff opponents
Seattle Seahawks or Minnesota Vikings, pick your poison. From a storyline prospect, the matchup with the Seahawks is mouthwatering. Kris Richard facing his old team for the second time in a single season during the playoffs, the story writes itself. The Minnesota Vikings have been slumping however in the NFL anything can happen and the Vikings could be rejuvenated by playing some football in January.

In a head to head matchup, the Dallas Cowboys lost to the Seahawks earlier this season 13-24 so obviously kickstarting this offense is a must. That was prior to the Cowboys adding wide receiver Amari Cooper so things will look drastically different in another contest. In their first meeting, no Dallas Cowboys wide receiver had over 50 yards receiving.

Ezekiel Elliott managed to rack up 127 yards on 16 carries but could not find the end zone and Dak Prescott threw two interceptions and only managed 168 passing yards. We have seen two sides of the Dallas Cowboys offense this season and they will need to be as sharp as ever if indeed the Seahawks are coming to town.

If the Vikings can defeat the Chicago Bears and the Seahawks lose to the visiting Arizona Cardinals then Dallas will take on Minnesota at home. Odds are Seahawks will be the Cowboys first playoff opponent.

Future plans
The road to the Super Bowl runs through New Orleans for NFC teams as the Saints will be the top seed in the playoffs. The number two seed will be decided by whether or not Chicago can defeat the Vikings.

If the Bears win and the Los Angeles Rams lose the Bears will jump to the second seed however if the Rams can defeat the San Francisco 49ers, they will take hold of the position. Facing any one of these teams would be a tremendous test for the Dallas Cowboys as the Bears elite defense led by Khalil Mack and unorthodox offense makes them a tough out.

The Rams have Todd Gurley and a solid core of playmaking wide receivers, plus another top tier pass rusher in Aaron Donald. The Dallas Cowboys are the most familiar with the New Orleans Saints who they beat earlier in the season.

A second matchup between Drew Brees and the Dallas Cowboys may not go exactly the same way as it did earlier this year. The Saints would have a little extra motivation to get the job done at home against Dallas and from a storyline perspective has to be the most intriguing potential matchup.

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Anyway, you look at it, the Dallas Cowboys have to pass their first test, defeating either the Vikings or Seahawks at home.

  • Published on 12/28/2018 at 17:00 PM
  • Last updated at 12/28/2018 at 08:59 AM