The Dallas Cowboys come into Week 18 in a bit of a rough patch, as they lost to the Bills, Miami and then narrowly escaped with a win against the Lions on a controversial call. Thankfully for Dallas, the Philadelphia Eagles have been in an even rougher patch, having lost four of their last five games to give the Cowboys the inside scoop on the NFC East title.
Currently, the Eagles and Cowboys are both 11-5, but the Cowboys hold the tiebreaker and as long as they beat the scuffling Washington Commanders this week, they take the NFC East and the No. 2 seed in the NFC.
At this point they can finish with the No. 2, 3, or 5 seed, but as 13-point favorites over the Sam Howell led Commanders, they sure better win and take the No. 2 seed.
Update — The Cowboys will face the Green Bay Packers in the first round of the 2024 NFL Playoffs.
Most likely Wild Card Round opponent
Los Angeles Rams (7th seed, 9-8) at Dallas Cowboys (2nd seed, 12-5)
The 49ers and Rams face off this week, but both teams are resting starters. The 49ers are 4-point favorites over at DraftKings Sportsbook, and if they win, the Rams fall to the No. 7 seed and would face the Cowboys as long as they win.
Possible Wild Card Round opponents with a Cowboys win
Green Bay Packers (7th seed, 9-8) at Dallas Cowboys (2nd seed, 12-5)
Seattle Seahawks (7th seed, 9-8) at Dallas Cowboys (2nd seed, 12-5)
If the Rams, Bears, and Seahawks win, the Cowboys would host the Seahawks.
New Orleans Saints (7th seed, 9-8) at Dallas Cowboys (2nd seed, 12-5)
There are a few other scenarios, but they usually end up with them playing the Packers. If the Cowboys win, they will face the Rams, Packers, Seahawks or Saints, with the Rams, then Packers being the most likely.
Possible Wild Card Round opponents with a Cowboys loss
Dallas Cowboys (5th, seed, 11-6) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4th seed, 9-8)
The most likely scenario if the Cowboys lose is that the Eagles would beat the Giants and take the NFC East crown. If they were both to lose, that would give the Lions a chance to take the No. 2 seed and open up a whole lot of scenarios. Those scenarios move the Cowboys to the No. 3 seed and have them facing the Rams or Packers at home.
The odds are that the Eagles win and take the East, which would move Dallas down to the 5th seed and have them playing the winner of the NFC South, which the odds favor being the Buccaneers.
Dallas Cowboys (5th, seed, 11-6) at New Orleans Saints (4th seed, 9-8)
Dallas Cowboys (5th, seed, 11-6) at Atlanta Falcons (4th seed, 8-9)
If the Buccaneers lose to the Panthers, that would set up the winner of the Saints-Falcons game as the NFC South winner, and the Cowboys would travel to face either the Saints or Falcons.
How have the Cowboys fared against these teams this season?
Week 8: Cowboys 43, Rams 20
The Cowboys have faced their most-likely opponent and beat them coming off the bye in Week 8. This was a big game by Dak Prescott, as he threw for over 300 yards for four touchdowns. The Rams were without star rookie RB Kyren Williams in this matchup.
Week 13: Cowboys 41, Seahawks 35
The Cowboys were down eight points in the fourth quarter, but rallied for the win at home on the back of Dak Prescott, who had a big game.