The Dallas Cowboys have been trying to reach the playoffs since their last appearance in 2018. After going 8-8 in 2019, and a disappointing 6-10 last season due to a multitude of injuries, the Cowboys were expected to make the playoffs in 2021 after a stellar offseason of additions during free agency and the NFL Draft.
Dallas won six of its first seven games before losing three of four in November. Currently, they are on a three-game win streak and have gotten much-needed breathing room with a three-game cushion in the NFC East. On Thursday, however, the Cowboys didn't even have to put on the pads to clinch their first playoff berth in three years as the Tennessee Titans propelled them to the postseason by defeating the San Francisco 49ers.
The Cowboys have recently gotten several key players back on defense as they look to make a deep playoff run. Defensive End's DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory along with Defensive Tackle Neville Gallimore are all back making the Cowboys already opportunistic defense, which leads the NFL in turnovers with 31, that much more formidable seeing as their pressure on the quarterback could lead to strip-sacks and interceptions. Also, Safety Donovan Wilson has made his return from a chest/shoulder issue.
Over the last three games, the Cowboys' defense has forced 12 turnovers and has established itself as the unit that sets the tone for the entire team. For the Cowboys to be successful in the playoffs though, their offensive teammates have to find a way to end their struggles and regain the production they displayed in September and October. If they can do so, the Cowboys have a chance with the immensely talented roster they have to be a serious threat in the NFC.
The Cowboys will clinch the NFC East and at least one home playoff game with a win against the Washington Football Team on Sunday. They can also wrap up the division with a loss or a tie by the Philadelphia Eagles.
With the division crown being a mere formality, the Cowboys are hoping to win out and finish with an 11-1 conference record and somehow draw even with the Green Bay Packers to gain the top seed.