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Cowboys officially clinch 2021 playoff berth with 49ers loss to Titans

The Cowboys got help from their old rivals and are officially in the postseason tournament.

Trevon Diggs #7 of the Dallas Cowboys reacts after intercepting a pass in the endzone that was intended for Kenny Golladay #19 of the New York Giants during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium on December 19, 2021 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys have officially punched their ticket to the NFL Playoffs. The Cowboys have yet to play in Week 16, but they clinched thanks to the San Francisco 49ers losing on Thursday Night Football to the Tennessee Titans. The Titans won 20-17 on a last-second Randy Bullock field goal.

Dallas faces the Washington Football Team on Sunday Night Football with a chance to clinch the NFC East title. The Cowboys will clinch the division with a win or Eagles loss or tie, or if they clinch at least a tie in strength-of-victory tiebreaker over the Eagles.

How the Cowboys got here

It’s been an up and down season for the Cowboys' offense, despite the myriad of weapons at the helm of QB Dak Prescott. Leading up to the team’s Week 7 bye, the Cowboys led the league with 34.2 points and 460.8 net yards per game. However, Prescott suffered a calf injury at the end of their Week 6 outing, and he hasn’t quite been the same since. Star running back Ezekiel Elliott has also been managing a knee injury, forcing the team to lean a bit more on teammate Tony Pollard, who has excelled when given the opportunity.

The real stars for the 2021 Dallas Cowboys can be found on the defense. No. 12 overall pick Micah Parsons has made a strong case for defensive rookie of the year with 12 sacks, 17 tackles for loss and three forced fumbles on the season — a playmaker in every sense of the word. Teammate Trevon Diggs has also shined this season, leading the NFL with 10 INTs — one of just three defenders in the NFL to log multiple interception touchdowns on the year. If the offense can bounce back strong to close out the season, the Cowboys will be a threat to make a deep post-season run.