NFL playoff photo: what does Cowbys-Giants mean for the NFC playoff standings

The NFC East looked like it could turn into an interesting race on the wire, but the Cowboys picked up a critical win in Washington in Week 14 and are now in a position to win the division as early as this weekend. They will travel to New Jersey to face the Giants in Week 15, with kickoff scheduled for Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.

Cowboys Victory Scenarios

Dallas is 9-4 and has a three-game lead over Washington and the Eagles. Fittingly, Washington is traveling to take on Philly this weekend. Dallas can’t win the division without help.

If they win and Washington and Philly are tied, the Cowboys win the division, according to the NFL playoff scenarios. If Washington loses and the Cowboys win, Dallas would need at least 4.5 combined wins from the Vikings (@ CHI), Cardinals (@ DET), Dolphins (vs NYJ), Patriots (@ IND), Bengals (@ DEN) and Chargeurs (vs. KC). If Washington wins, Dallas won’t be able to win the division.

Dallas can land a basic playoff berth with a little help. If they win, they either land a loss / tie for the Saints (@ TB) or a loss for the 49ers (vs ATL). If the Cowboys tie the Giants, they clinch a playoff berth against the Falcons (@ SF), Vikings (@ CHI) and Saints. Finally, the Cowboys can win a loss if the Falcons, Vikings, and Saints lose and at least one of the Cardinals (@ DET), Bills (vs. CAR), Dolphins (vs. NYJ), Bengals (@ DEN), or Colts (vs NE) tie or win.

The Cowboys are also at the heart of the NFC’s No.1 seed race. The Packers, Bucs and Cardinals are tied for the top three seeds and the Cowboys are tied. There is a lot of leeway there.

Relevant week 15 schedule

Considering the tiebreakers and the game-changing scenarios, half of the Week 15 schedule has a chance to make an impact on Dallas in one way or another.

# 7 Washington (6-7) @ # 9 Eagles (6-7)
# 10 Falcons (6-7) @ # 6 49ers (7-6)
# 11 Saints (6-7) @ # 2 Buccaneers (10-3)
# 8 Vikings (6-7) @ # 15 Bear (4-9)

# 3 Chefs (9-4) @ # 5 Chargers (8-5)
# 1 Patriots (9-4) @ # 6 Colts (7-6)
Jets (3-10) @ # 13 Dolphins (6-7)
# 9 Bengals (7-6) @ # 10 Broncos (7-6)

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