Want the 'Boys to Have a Bye Week and Homefield Advantage? Here's How They Can.
After the Cowboys took care of their last opponent, the Minnesota Vikings, in a 17-15 win on Thursday, the attention of Cowboys’ fans turned to other action around the NFL on Sunday. Entering the day, the Cowboys needed either a Tampa Bay loss to San Diego, or a Washington Redskins loss against the Arizona Cardinals, to formally punch their ticket to the postseason. With both of those games featured in the late afternoon time slots, Tampa Bay held on in San Diego to beat the Chargers 28-21. At about the same time that Bucs’ quarterback Jameis Winston took a knee in victory formation, Kirk Cousins threw a game-ending interception to Cardinals’ DB Patrick Peterson that made the inevitable, official. At 11-1, the Dallas Cowboys have clinched a spot in the playoffs. Now, their sights are set on other clinching scenarios for the NFC East, a first-round bye, and homefield advantage. All of the clinching scenarios will become clearer over the next few weeks, but for now, we take a look at the possibilities.
To Win the NFC East:
For the Cowboys to wrap up the NFC East Division for the 2nd time in the last 3 seasons, they need a win in any of their remaining 4 games, or have the New York Giants, who lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, lose in any of their remaining 4 games. Of course, the Cowboys can kill two birds with one stone by beating the New York Giants on the road next week on Sunday Night Football. That will send the Cowboys to 12-1, and will then allow the Cowboys to focus on securing a first-round playoff bye.
To Obtain a Bye Week and Homefield:
To secure the bye, the team will need a win next week, and a loss by either the Detroit Lions, the Cowboys’ week 16 opponents, or the Seattle Seahawks, in any of their remaining games. Furthermore, if the Lions and Seahawks both lose and the Cowboys win next week against the New York Giants, the team will secure home-field advantage for the NFC Playoffs.
Got all that? Besides scoreboard watching over the next few weeks, the team is in the driver seat to control their own destiny, as any 2 wins over the next month will clinch all the scenarios. As the team continues their playoff push, be sure to stay tuned to Pro Football Spot for all the latest news and information surrounding the Dallas Cowboys.
Jared Wingate is a local Dallas resident who is passionate about 'dem Cowboys! He is also a Broadcast Journalism major. Subscribe and follow him on Twitter @wingate_jared.