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Dallas Cowboys Clinch 2016 Playoff Spot!

Sean Martin



Cowboys Headlines - Dallas Cowboys Clinch 2016 Playoff Spot! 1

The Dallas Cowboys are going to the playoffs! Winners of eleven straight games (an America's Team record), the Cowboys get to sit back today and watch the rest of Week 13 unfold, having secured their win in Minnesota on Thursday.

With the Cardinals 31-23 win over the Redskins at home, the Cowboys are officially going to the playoffs! The best part about all of this is that the playoffs have seemed like a given for this team over the course of this winning streak, as nothing has phased Dak Prescott nor Ezekiel Elliott.

With just the most basic of achievements hit for 2016, the Cowboys will look to lock up the NFC East in their next game at the Giants. With a Sunday Night Football win, the division will be there's again.

Also with a revenge win over the Giants, the Cowboys could look ahead to clinching a first-round bye and home field advantage for the playoffs.

With the Chiefs already defeating the Falcons today, a Panthers win against the Seahawks on Sunday Night Football will give Dallas a chance to play for this bye on the road next week.

With the Cowboys next game also coming on Sunday Night Football, they'll know before kickoff how the NFC division leaders fared once again - with two of the three losing creating the same scenario.

For a much more complete breakdown of what the Cowboys will be playing for the rest of the regular season, check out all of the scenarios on Inside The Star ✭ right here:


Sit back, enjoy the rest of this week's games, and know that playoff football is back in Dallas.

How sweet it is. ✭

Tell us what you think about "Dallas Cowboys Clinch 2016 Playoff Spot!" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Pleasant NJ, no we're not how you think we are. Host of "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. You may @ me: @SeanMartinNFL.

  • John Williams

    When Tony Romo was injured, I thought 2016 would become much like what 2015 was. A slow painful season leading toward elimination from playoff contention at some point in November or December. Since that week 1 performance against the Giants, the Cowboys have put together a stretch of games that haven’t all been pretty, but have all been wins. They are a special group of players and with the opportunity to clinch the NFC East in week 14, this team should no longer be doubted as a contender for the Super Bowl. Their have been a lot of firsts this season for the Dallas Cowboys and their rookie backfield, why not add first rookie quarterback to win a Super Bowl to that list.

    • Sean Martin

      Spot. On. Thanks as always, John.

    • Sean Martin

      Spot on as always, John. Appreciate the comment.

      • John Williams

        You’re Spot On.

    • Russ_Te

      Everyone thought Dak was a project with certain skills like strong arm, quick release and mobility. The book on him was bad pocket mechanics, which turned out to either be totally wrong, or Cowboys coaches got him out of those in 1 camp.

      1st preseason game against the Rams, before Romo was hurt the next week, Prescott was already showing a whole-package that had him looking like a 4th-round steal. Then it turned out that he had poise and maturity to go with the physical tools.

      Solving QB and RB in one draft cannot be underestimated. It shifts the balance of power in the league. Dak only gets better, and the Cowboys can load up on defense now.

  • Russ_Te

    Arctic blast across upper half of USA this week, reports to be gone by next Sunday. Normal December day around 40 is forecast for NYC. Dallas is lucky if so.

    Pierre-Paul injured his groin in the Steelers game today and did not go back in the game. Figures to either be out next week, or well less than 100%. Good news, since historically the Cowboys have not been able to block him. Makes up for Claiborne being out.

    The Giants defense did give the Steelers some problems in the 2nd half. They are the much-better 2016 unit that we also saw in Week 1. But I think the Cowboys will go in with the standard plan of beating them up with the ground game. I would actually get Morris maybe 10 1st half carries so that Elliott is entirely fresh for that second half.

    Even if they do a good coverage job on the Cowboys receivers, Dallas has 2 items they probably cannot handle: Dak’s run threat that showed up big in MN, and also this might be the week to deliberately toss it to Elliott in the flat or on a screen, etc. The Giants will be preaching run-stop all week, and a few of those hits could be back-breakers.

    The Giants kept using Beckham on short routes this week and it didn’t seem to make sense. If they show that again, my nickel DB might be Wilcox. Ka-Boom!

    • Sean Martin

      Thank you so much for your comments, Russ. I agree with mostly all of this. Unfortunately, I don’t expect to see Wilcox back this week. Except Jones to have to come down a bit more if the Giants want to use their quick passing game. As we know, they may be able to get their yards, but the Dallas defense won’t break entirely. As always, will be up to Elliott and Prescott again – this time with a bit of redemption in play. Can’t wait until Sunday!

    • Sean Martin

      Thank you so much for your comments, Russ. I agree with mostly all of this. Unfortunately, I don’t expect to see Wilcox back this week. Except Jones to have to come down a bit more if the Giants want to use their quick passing game. As we know, they may be able to get their yards, but the Dallas defense won’t break entirely. As always, will be up to Elliott and Prescott again – this time with a bit of redemption in play. Can’t wait until Sunday!

      • Russ_Te

        Just guessing Wilcox will be ready. 17 total days from when he got the thigh bruise to next Sunday.

        I suppose using Beckham at times like a possession receiver is what they do, but it seems idiotic to me. More hits on him & less downs in which he’s pressuring the back line of the D. They probably look at Cruz to do that, but if I’m a DB I want Beckham in front of me, and I get a chance to ding him.

        Eli threw 39 times & force fed it to Beckham about 16 of those today. Every time Beckham didn’t catch it, he complained about not getting a call. The refs totally ignored him, which was comical.

        They didn’t target Cruz once. So I don’t know if that means they will emphasize spreading it around for next week, or if they are locked on at this point to featuring Beckham regardless. But Eli is not playing his A game this year and the offensive wheels are wobbling.

        A big game from a Cowboys DL’er like Lawrence or Collins or Crawford, will go a long way towards the W.

Player News

Report: Raiders Sign Former Cowboys LB Kyle Wilber

Kevin Brady



Cowboys Headlines - Dallas Cowboys Re-Sign Linebacker Kyle Wilber

A Free Agency period filled with departures continued for the Dallas Cowboys today, as the Oakland Raiders have reportedly signed the now-former Cowboys LB Kyle Wilber.


The Raiders have signed LB Kyle Wilber:

Wilber has been with the Cowboys since 2012, and has played in all 16 games four of the past five seasons. Most of his time has come on special teams, but he did provide solid linebacker depth for the Cowboys since joining the team.

Dallas has now lost both Wilber and Anthony Hitchens, depleting their linebacker depth even further over the last couple weeks.

The Raiders have now signed two key special teams contributors for the Cowboys in Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber this offseason. Hopefully Dallas can replace these types of "replacement level" players throughout the rest of the offseason, especially during the NFL Draft.

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Player News

Report: Cowboys Officially Release CB Orlando Scandrick

Kevin Brady



Orlando Scandrick

After requesting his release from the team just a few days ago, Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick has gotten his wish. According to ESPN's Josina Anderson, Scandrick has officially been cut by the Dallas Cowboys.

Josina Anderson on Twitter

I'm told the #Cowboys have informed CB Orlando Scandrick he will be released, per source.

This move will reportedly save the Cowboys roughly $1.4M against the salary cap, as we hope they finally look to make some moves during the Free Agency period.

Scandrick's release comes after an offseason in which the Cowboys totally overhauled the back end of their defense, specifically their cornerbacks. With the emergence of young, promising players such as Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis, and the health issues of the aging Scandrick, the move makes a lot of sense.

In fact, after the Cowboys drafted Awuzie in the second round of last year's draft it was rumored the Cowboys were looking to move Scandrick for extra draft picks. Instead, one year later, they have cut him to save some cap room.

Orlando Scandrick should have a market to find a new team elsewhere, but his time in Dallas has now come to a close.

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Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys Have Missing Piece at Offensive Line

Jess Haynie



Dallas Cowboys Have Big Hole on Offensive Line
Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News

There are a lot of positions being talked about right now for the Dallas Cowboys. Upgrades are needed at several spots, but one critical position needs even more than that. Left guard is completely unmanned, and that could be a big problem for the 2018 offensive line if it's not addressed soon.

Last year's starter, Jonathan Cooper, is currently an unrestricted free agent. So are backups Joe Looney and Byron Bell.

Right now, Chaz Green is the only other non-starter under contract who has any NFL experience at left guard. Nobody wants to see him on the field next year.

Dez Bryant may be a big topic but at least he's under contract. The same goes for safety, where we at least have options to turn to if free agency or the draft don't yield anything.

Left guard, though? The cupboard is bare.

La'el Collins' Position Flex Could Come in Handy for Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys OT La'el Collins

One option could be to move La'el Collins back to guard, where many feel he has the most upside, and then find a new right tackle. But that would be changing two positions to fill one hole, and Collins was playing well at tackle by the end of the year.

And obviously, we don't want to see Chaz Green playing that spot either. Or any spot. Ever.

No, at this point it makes sense for Dallas to leave Collins where he is and either sign or draft a starting LG. The question is how much do they want to invest?

The Cowboys are already shelling out big bucks to Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, and Zack Martin. Even Collins counts about $7 million against the cap. They have three first-round picks already tied up in the offensive line.

Some thought veteran free agent Josh Sitton would be a nice option, but he got picked up by the Dolphins today for about $8-9 million per year. That's more than Dallas can afford given their limited cap space and other needs.

No, the LG in 2018 is going to need to be a salary cap bargain. That means either re-signing Jonathan Cooper or Joe Looney on the cheap, or perhaps paying a rookie salary to a high draft pick.

Last year's 19th overall pick, O.J. Howard, counted just $2 million against the Bucs' salary cap in 2017.

There are some older veterans who could be cheap band-aid options, such as Matt Slauson or Evan Smith. But you don't get very far down some lists of available guards before you see Jonathan Cooper's name, and continuity is always a plus.

The point here is don't expect any big move, even with the enormity of the need. Dallas will likely reach an agreement with Cooper after he's tested the free agent waters a bit, assuming nobody else scoops him up.

If not, the need at left guard will become increasingly dire the further we get into the offseason.

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