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How can the Cowboys clinch a playoff spot in Week 14?

We discuss the scenarios that could see the Dallas Cowboys clinching a playoff spot in Week 14.

Head coach Mike McCarthy of the Dallas Cowboys interacts with Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys prior to the game against the Washington Commanders at AT&T Stadium on November 23, 2023 in Arlington, Texas. Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys will be playing the biggest game of Week 14 when they host the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday Night Football. The NFC East cannot be decided in this game, but it will have a huge impact on the division standings.

Philly leads Dallas by one game after losing to the 49ers last week. The Cowboys lost to the Eagles on the road, but are now a 3.5-point home favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook. If the Cowboys win, they’ll move into a tie for first place in the NFC East, and they’ll hold the tiebreaker edge. The teams will have split the season series, which moves the tiebreaker to division record. The Cowboys would be 4-1 in the division while the Eagles would be 3-1.

The Cowboys are focused on the NFC East, but they can clinch a wild card berth this week with a win and some help.

Dallas Cowboys playoff clinching scenarios - Week 14

  • DAL win + MIN loss or tie + GB loss or tie + SEA loss + TB loss or tie + DET win or tie + LAR loss or tie — as long as GB and MIN both don’t tie, OR
  • DAL win + MIN loss or tie + GB loss or tie + SEA loss + TB loss or tie + DET win or tie + NO loss or tie — as long as GB and MIN both don’t tie, OR
  • DAL win + MIN loss or tie + GB loss or tie + SEA loss + TB tie + DET win or tie — as long as GB and MIN both don’t tie

All three scenarios feature some language around the Packers and Vikings finishing in ties this week. We’ll ignore that since ties are so unlikely across the NFL.

Long story short, the Cowboys need a lot of help to clinch a playoff berth. They’re going to be playing in the playoffs, so it’s not a huge deal. But here are the matchups and odds for the various scenarios, with the Cowboys rooting interest bolded.

Vikings (-3) @ Raiders
Packers (-6.5) @ Giants
Seahawks (+11) @ 49ers
Buccaneers (+1.5) @ Falcons
Lions (-3.5) @ Bears
Rams (+7.5) @ Ravens
Saints (-5) vs. Panthers