Cowboys playoff picture: How Dallas can clinch the NFC East in Week 17

The Cowboys (6-9) were looking like they had no chance to win the NFC East in November. But after three consecutive victories to stay alive in December, they are in position steal the division title in January.

The Cowboys are the second-place team in the division behind Washington (6-9), which holds the head-to-head tiebreaker by virtue of a season series sweep. It’s been mostly a rough first season under coach Mike McCarthy, tied to losing quarterback Dak Prescott for the season in Week 5.

That game was against the Giants in Dallas. Now the Cowboys will play the rematch in New York with a trip to the NFC playoffs potentially on the line. Here’s how gets into the tournament toward Super Bowl 55 in Week 17:

1. Cowboys beat the Giants; Washington loses or ties against the Eagles

The Cowboys, in this scenario, would improve to 7-9 while the Giants get eliminated at 5-11. Washington would be either 6-9-1 or 6-10 should it lose Sunday night on the road in Philadelphia.

Dallas would be NFC East champions by having the outright best record with no tiebreakers involved.

2. Cowboys tie the Giants; Washington loses to the Eagles

Should the Cowboys and Giants play another thriller that goes into overtime, they would be fine setting for a tie if they can’t beat the Giants in regulation. That way, Dallas can get to 6-9-1 and still put pressure on Washington to beat the Eagles.

In this scenario, the Giants are eliminated at 5-10-1 while Washington drops to 5-10. The Cowboys would lose the tiebreaker to Washington if both teams tie at 6-9-1.

The Cowboys may not have drawn up winning the NFC East in this fashion, but with all their issues this season, they would take a home game in the playoffs.

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