The Dallas Cowboys are currently the No. 2 seed in the NFC, and they have their next opponent to thank for it. The Lions defense is ranked 18th in points allowed per game at 27.9, but it was able to hold them down on Sunday night despite scoring only 20 total points against a top ten offense that had already scored 25 times this season
The “dallas cowboys record 2020” is the current record of the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys have had a rough season, but they have been able to get through it with the help of some key players. They are currently the No. 2 seed in the NFC and they have the Lions to thank for that.
The NFC playoff race will be tight, particularly because clubs will be playing a 17-game schedule for the first time in NFL history. And when the division races and top-seed pursuit are as tight as they are with three games left, the tiebreaker rules’ byzantine nature will start to produce some weird concoctions.
So it is that the Dallas Cowboys are in second place in the NFC Playoffs, behind the Green Bay Packers for the top overall seed and a first-round bye. And it’s safe to say that this threw people’s perceptions of the current rankings off. Although it seems like an eternity ago, didn’t the third-seeded Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeat the Cowboys in Week 1? Should those rankings be flipped to reflect this?
No, and no, and no, and no, and no, and no, and no, and We’ll clarify afterwards.
Three is quite a group, which is excellent news for the Cowboys.
Dallas Cowboys | Getty Images/Rey Del Rio
By defeating the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, the Detroit Lions did a lot of teams a favor. It was just their second victory of the season. The Los Angeles Rams were most likely the greatest beneficiaries of former quarterback Jared Goff’s victory on Sunday.
The Cowboys, on the other hand, received a major break as a consequence of the Lions’ win. By putting the Cardinals in a three-way tie with the Cowboys and Buccaneers after Sunday’s games, Tampa Bay loses its head-to-head tiebreaker edge over Dallas, since the Cardinals have yet to face both the Cowboys and Buccaneers.
This caused the trio to descend one rung on the tiebreaker ladder, to conference record, where the Cowboys gained the upper hand. Dallas leads the NFC with an 8-1 record (one defeat to the Buccaneers), while Tampa Bay and Arizona both fell to 6-4 after their losses on Sunday.
With their win against the Seattle Seahawks on Tuesday night, the Rams drew a four-way tie at 10-4, but Dallas’ hold on the No. 2 spot was further strengthened. As long as the Cowboys and Buccaneers are tied with at least one other club, the Cowboys will maintain their lead as long as their conference record is the best of the group. However, by Week 17, something will have to give.
The NFC East crown is now just a victory (or a defeat) away for the Eagles.
While the Cowboys are ranked second in the league, they lead the NFC East by a wide margin. With three games to play, the Cowboys lead the Philadelphia Eagles, the only club in the division with a mathematical possibility of catching them, by three games. On Tuesday night, the Eagles defeated the only other significant danger, the Washington Football Team.
In the simplest scenario, Dallas must win or draw one of their last three games, and if they lose all three, the Eagles must win all three to force a 10-7 tie. Both teams would have identical division (4-2) and NFC (8-4) records, resulting in a strength-of-victory tiebreaker that favors the Cowboys going into Week 16. It’s on the verge of becoming a lock.
The Cowboys would have a home game in the Wild Card Round if they won the NFC East. They’d get a second home playoff game in the Divisional Round if they were the second seed. But, with a little assistance, the actual prize is still theirs to seize.
Dallas’ chances of catching the Packers in the next three weeks will be determined by how the final three weeks play out.
Because the Cowboys and Packers did not meet during the regular season, their 8-1 NFC record might be crucial in their quest for the top overall seed.
The Packers, who are 11-3 overall and 8-2 in the NFC North, play the Cleveland Browns in an AFC matchup on Saturday before ending the season in the NFC North against the Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions.
The Cowboys, who are a game behind the Packers, finish the season with home games against Washington and Arizona before traveling to Philadelphia to face the Eagles in a game that the Cowboys hope will be meaningless.
If the Cowboys win out and the Packers lose only once, the Cowboys will have the top overall seed, and their head-to-head defeat against the Buccaneers will be preserved if Tampa also wins out. In fact, the worst-case scenario for Dallas would be for the Packers to lose twice while Dallas and Tampa win and the Rams lose once, leaving Dallas and Tampa knotted at 13-4 and the Buccaneers reclaiming their tiebreaker lead.
There’s still a long way to go.
Pro Football Reference provided the statistics.
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Frequently Asked Questions
How are the Cowboys the 2 seed?
A: The Cowboys are the second seed in the NFC East.
Have the Cowboys clinch a playoff spot?
A: The Cowboys clinched a playoff spot on the last week of the season.