Dallas Cowboys Playoff Scenarios Week 18: Loss Means No Division Title

    What are the Dallas Cowboys' playoff scenarios this week as they look at an outside shot of winning the division and clinching the No. 1 seed?

    Dallas Cowboys Playoff Scenarios Week 18: Loss Means No Division Title

    Despite clinching a postseason birth a few weeks back, the Dallas Cowboys have intriguing playoff scenarios for Week 18. The Cowboys’ outcomes range from being a road team in Wild Card Weekend to an outside chance of being the top seed in the NFC.

    Let’s take a look through the Cowboys’ scenarios this week and what help they need in Week 18 if they are to improve their seeding from their current spot in the NFL standings.

    Update: Cowboys Will Be Fifth Seed in NFL Playoffs

    While the Cowboys needed some help to clinch the NFC East today, it became a moot point when it came to doing their own jobs. They’ll limp into the playoffs as the fifth seed in the NFC playoff picture after dropping one to the Commanders, 6-28.

    Cowboys Playoff Scenarios To Watch for in Week 18

    When it comes to the final week of the 2022 NFL schedule, there is a lot still at stake for the Cowboys, but they have very little control over it outside of needing to win and hoping they get some help. Right now, Dallas is the fifth seed in the NFC playoff picture, and if they fail to win this week, that is where they will remain.

    However, with a win, the Cowboys have a chance to host a playoff game. If they win and the Philadelphia Eagles lose, Dallas will clinch the NFC East. That will guarantee them at least the No. 2 seed and the chance to host at least two playoff games. However, if the Eagles avoid losing to the Giants, then they will take the division title and the No. 1 seed.

    MORE: NFL Playoff Bracket

    There is a scenario where the Cowboys can get the top seed in the NFC, a first-round bye, and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. For that to happen, they need to win and then hope both the Eagles and the San Francisco 49ers lose this week.

    With all of this in mind, that loss for the Cowboys against the Jaguars a few weeks ago looms extremely large. If that result had gone differently, Dallas would be in a position to secure the division and the top seed in the NFC with a Week 18 victory.

    What Are the Cowboys’ Chances of Clinching the Division or the No. 1 Seed?

    FiveThirtyEight does not give the Cowboys much chance of securing either the division or the No. 1 seed in the NFC this week. While they give the Cowboys a 75% chance of winning their game against the Washington Commanders, they also have the Eagles and 49ers heavily favored.

    With the Giants set to rest their starters this week, FiveThirtyEight gives Philadelphia a 96% chance of winning. Even if the Giants do manage to spring a surprise against the Eagles, FiveThirtyEight gives the 49ers a 92% chance of beating the Arizona Cardinals.

    Ben is the Managing Editor at Pro Football Network. He is also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA). You can read all of Ben’s work here and follow him on Twitter: @BenRolfePFN.