Win or lose there is a lot on the line for the Dallas Cowboys in the 2020 season finale. A victory in Week 17 against the New York Giants keeps them in contention for a playoff spot, whereas a loss puts an abrupt end to any postseason hopes.
Reaching the playoffs of course isn’t the only thing on the line for the Dallas Cowboys in Week 17. How high or low they end up being slotted in the 2021 NFL Draft will also be determined in the season finale against the Giants and that’s what I want to break down today.
Here’s how things currently stand for the Dallas Cowboys…
Current Record: 6-9
Current Spot: No. 11
Strength of Schedule (SOS): .465
Highest Range: No. 7
Lowest Range: Playoff Spot (19-32)
The current state of the NFC East still surprisingly gives the Dallas Cowboys a chance of reaching the playoffs. Because of that they could be slotted as high as No. 7 or as low as somewhere between 19-32 by reaching the playoffs. There’s a lot of factors that play into where they will pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, which I will attempt to explain better below.
Dallas Cowboys Land to Pick No. 7 if…
The Dallas Cowboys will need some help to lay their hands on the No. 7 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Not only do they have to lose to the New York Giants, but they also need the Detroit Lions to beat the Minnesota Vikings, the Carolina Panthers to beat the New Orleans Saints, and the Denver Broncos to beat the Las Vegas Raiders.
Here’s your Week 17 rooting guide:
- Giants win
- Lions win
- Panthers win
- Broncos win
If all that happens the Cowboys, Giants, Lions, Panthers, and Broncos would end the 2020 season with a 6-10 record. This is where Dallas’ strength of schedule (.465) comes into play. Due to their low SOS they would leapfrog all four of those teams for the No. 7 pick. That’s the best case scenario if Dallas want to land as high of a draft pick as possible.
Other 2021 Draft Pick Possibilities for the Dallas Cowboys
Surprisingly enough, the Dallas Cowboys are all but guaranteed a Top 10 draft pick if they do anything but beat the New York Giants in the season finale. If they do win in Week 17 though where they end up getting slotted depends on the outcome of the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Football Team game.
If both Washington and the Dallas Cowboys win to close out the 2020 regular-season Dallas would then be slotted anywhere between 11-16 as a non-playoff team. If the Cowboys win and Washington loses however they would make the playoffs as divisional winter and be slotted to pick anywhere between 19-32 depending how they do in the postseason.
As you can see, how all of this ends up playing out could be crucial to the Dallas Cowboys 2021 draft strategy. Picking within the Top 10 or lower down could be the difference between landing one of the top players on their wishlist and not.
I don’t know about you, but I’ll personally be paying closer attention then normal to how Week 17 plays out around the NFL and how it impacts the Dallas Cowboys draft position in the 2021 NFL Draft.