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Monday, December 19, 2011
Still slim chance Cowboys could be wild card

By Tim MacMahon

Jerry Jones declared weeks ago that if the Cowboys wanted to make the playoffs, they’d have to win the NFC East.

He’s probably right. However, there is still a slim chance that the Cowboys could end up as a wild card team.

Right now, the wild card spots belong to the Detroit Lions and Atlanta Falcons, who both have 9-5 records. The Lions own the tiebreaker over the Cowboys because of their historic road rally for a 34-30 win over Dallas, but there is a scenario in which the Falcons could end up as the odd team out.

The Falcons would have to lose their last two games. The Cowboys would have to beat the Eagles on Christmas Eve and lose to the Giants on New Year’s Day in what would essentially be the NFC East title game.

That would put the Cowboys and Falcons at 9-7, and the Cowboys would have the tiebreaker based on a better conference record.

But that’s extremely unlikely to happen. The Falcons have to travel to New Orleans in Week 16, but they get the bad, bad Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home to end the regular season.