Cowboys Playoff Chances: Can Dallas Still Make the Postseason?

Cowboys Playoff Chances

Getty The Cowboys need an Eagles loss to make the NFL playoffs.

The Dallas Cowboys have missed the NFL playoffs.

The Cowboys needed a bit of help to make the NFL playoffs, but, unfortunately, did not receive that assistance in the way of a Giants win over the Eagles. Dallas needed to win their matchup against Washington and have Philadelphia lose to New York to make the postseason.

For the Cowboys to make the playoffs, Dallas needs a win over Washington combined with a Philadelphia loss to New York. There are no additional complicated scenarios as the Cowboys are considered a long shot after their disappointing loss to the Eagles in Week 16.

Either the Cowboys or Eagles will win the NFC East and secure the No. 4 seed. The Cowboys have a 25 percent chance to advance to the postseason based on FiveThirtyEight’s computer projections heading into Week 17.

There is plenty of drama surrounding the Cowboys regardless of whether Dallas makes the postseason. The future of Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett is in doubt even if the Cowboys make the playoffs. Prior to their matchup with the Redskins, Garrett noted that he was only focused on Week 17.

“Don’t really think much about that stuff,” Garrett noted, per ESPN’s Ed Werder. “Come to work today and do everything I can to help our team have a great Thursday in our preparation for Sunday.”

If the Cowboys Make the Playoffs, They Would Likely Play Either the 49ers or Seahawks

If the Cowboys do make the playoffs, they would have the benefit of hosting a postseason game during Wild Card Weekend. The Cowboys would likely face either the 49ers or Seahawks, whatever team finishes second in the NFC West. Dak Prescott downplayed the idea that his injuries are negatively impacting his play, but his Cowboys teammates believe the quarterback is dealing with a lot of pain.

“He’s such a warrior,” guard Zack Martin told Sports Illustrated. “He didn’t let on if it was hurting. He’s got a bum shoulder, puts it down and tries to get the first down. It’s inspiring to everyone.”

Be sure to check out our full NFL playoff picture as the AFC and NFC matchups get finalized.

Here is a look at the Cowboys playoff standings.

NFC East Standings

Eagles 9 7
Cowboys 8 8
Giants 4 12
Redskins 3 13

NFC Playoff Standings

Teams with an asterisk have already clinched a playoff spot. Teams in bold would make the playoffs if the postseason started today.

1. 49ers* 12 3 0
2. Packers*  12 3 0
3. Saints*  12 3 0
4. Eagles* 9 7 0
5. Seahawks* 11 4 0
6. Vikings* 10 5 0
Cowboys 8 8 0

NFC Playoff Matchups

Here are the current NFC playoff matchups if the postseason started today. The top two seeds get a first-round bye and host a playoff game in the Divisional Round.

No. 6 Minnesota Vikings vs. No. 3 San Francisco 49ers
No. 5 Seattle Seahawks vs. No. 4 Philadelphia Eagles
Bye: No. 1 Green Bay Packers, No. 2 New Orleans Saints

NFC Wild Card Standings

The top two teams in the Wild Card standings will claim a playoff spot. Teams in bold would make the playoffs if the postseason started today.

1. Seahawks* 11 4 0
2. Vikings* 10 6 0
3. Rams 9 7 0
4. Bears 8 8 0
5. Cowboys 8 8 0