For most of the league, the 2019 season is halfway over already. Eight weeks have come and gone and the playoff picture is starting, just starting, to form into shape.
The Dallas Cowboys currently sit at 4-3, with another huge divisional game with the New York Giants on the horizon next Monday. They are smack dab in the middle of a jumbled, competitive NFC playoff race, but remain in a favorable spot.
Dallas didn’t get any of the help they hoped for while idle on Sunday, but despite the Eagles evening up their record at 4-4, the Cowboys still have rather strong odds to win the NFC East.
According to ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI), the Cowboys have a 54.9% chance to end up as the four seed in the NFC come playoff time. This would give them a home game in the Wild Card round, but would likely require back-to-back road victories to clinch an NFC title. Certainly not an easy road.
Each NFC team’s chance to earn each playoff seed, per FPI.
ESPN’s metric also suggests that the Cowboys are most likely to play their week 10 opponent, the Minnesota Vikings, in that Wild Card game. Minnesota is off to a fast 6-2 start, with Kirk Cousins leading a somewhat surprisingly dynamic offense and their defense remaining stingy as well.
Unfortunately for the Cowboys, the fast starts of the 49ers, Packers, and Saints have put them behind the eight ball in terms of competing to earn a first round bye.
Even more upsetting for Cowboys fans, though, should be that two of their three losses came at the hands of NFC foes they are directly chasing for playoff seeding. It’ll take a small NFL miracle for Dallas to get themselves home field advantage in January, something that is extremely important for a Super Bowl run.
There is a long way to go this season, however, as it is still only October. The Cowboys need to take care of business these next couple of weeks to separate themselves from the Eagles and the rest of the conference before worrying about playoff seeding.
Go out and stack wins anyway you can, and then deal with the seeding as it ends up.