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    #WASvsDAL: Why This Game Holds Increased Importance

    It feels incredibly cliche to call the week 7 match-up between the and a “must win.” Especially for someone like me who values statistics, logic, and in sports.

    But when the analytics agree with the narratives, those narratives do tend to get my attention. And this week that would appear to be the case.

    According to Brian Burke of , the Cowboys's week 7 game has the highest playoff probability leverage in the entire , and is second to only the ' big game with Jacksonville around the entire league.

    What does this mean? Well playoff probability leverage is pretty intuitive. Basically it is the difference between a win this week and a loss this week in terms of probability to make the .

    For the Cowboys that number is at 27%, with a win over Washington catapulting their playoff probability over 50%. On the other hand, a loss would take a big hit to their playoff hopes just 7 games into the NFL season.

    As you might expect, this game means a lot to the Redskins' playoff probability as well. Their playoff leverage this week is at 14%, but a win would mean “more” to Dallas than Washington based on the probabilities.

    Fellow foe, the , also have a lot to gain/lose this Sunday, with their leverage sitting at 22%. According to Burke's model, the Eagles and Cowboys have the best chances of making the playoffs at this point, but if each team wins Sunday the Eagles will still have a higher percentage.

    Of course a lot can and will change week to week, despite what the metrics say. The Cowboys still have two games remaining with the NFC East favorite Eagles this year, and will get another crack at Washington at home later in the season. Plus the Cowboys have a few NFC and playoff contenders remaining on their schedule, such as the and . (Yes, the 2-4 Falcons are very much alive in this crazy conference).

    Still, the difference between 4-3 (2-0 in the division) and 3-4 (1-1 in the division) is huge, as is shown by Brian Burke's playoff probability leverage metric.

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    Kevin Brady
    Kevin Bradyhttps://kevinrobertbrady.wordpress.com
    Die-hard Cowboys fan from the Northeast, so you know I am here to defend the 'boys whenever necessary. Began writing for a WordPress Cowboys Blog, and have been with ITS since 2016.

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