Cowboys playoff hopes exist, what Dallas needs in order to keep playing

The Cowboys season is hanging on by a tread. Even with the return of running back Ezekiel Elliott, the Cowboys are going to need some help in order to advance to the playoffs.

Win and get some help.

First things first the Cowboys need to win. Wins in Week 16 and 17 are critical to making the playoffs for the Cowboys. Up first is a match-up against the Seahawks who just got shredded by the Rams’ Todd Gurley. A fresh Ezekiel Elliott could do the the same but it’s hard to envision Pete Carroll allowing his team to just lay down when they too are still seeking a playoff berth – a berth that can happen by winning and some help from others.

But if you came here you are thinking Cowboys. Week 17 could be a push over, the Eagles will have nothing to play for and may opt to try and avoid injuries.

Of course it’s not just as simple as win and you are in for the Cowboys. They also need some help.

The Falcons, Saints or Panthers would have to lose twice. If both teams win this weekend the Cowboys season is over. The Falcons are playing the Saints in Week 16 while the Panthers are up against the Buccaneers. Of the two the former seems most likely but stranger things have happened.

If one of those two teams lose, they must also lose the Week 17 head to head match up against the other for the Cowboys to have hope. IE if the Falcons lose in Week 16 they must also lose to the Panthers in Week 17 and vice versa.

In addition to the aforementioned, the Cowboys need the Lions to lose once. A loss to either the Bengals (queue laughter) or Packers (possible even without Aaron Rodgers) coupled with all the other stuff would get the Cowboys into the postseason.

Ok lets just make this really easy for everyone.

Cowboys playoff possibility:

Wild-card possibility No. 1: Cowboys win out, the Falcons lose out and the Lions lose at least once.

Wild-card possibility No. 2: Cowboys win out, the Saints lose out and the Lions lose at least once.

Wild-card possibility No. 3: Cowboys win out, the Panthers and Saints both lose out. (result of Lions winning out)

So what do I need this weekend if I’m a Cowboys fan?

  1. Cowboys win
  2. Falcons loss to Saints
  3. Panthers loss to Buccaneers
  4. Lions loss to Bengals (see below)
  5. Saints loss to Falcons (if you want the Lions to win…)