Playoff race in the NFC
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The Cowboys moved into the NFC East lead with Sunday night’s win over the Eagles, but they’re still going to need some help to avoid opening the playoffs on the road as a wild card team.

The 49ers are in control of the NFC playoff picture, while the Eagles remain in control of the NFC East.

The team with the simplest scenario in the NFC is the 49ers: Win out, and they get a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. The 49ers, Cowboys and Eagles are all tied atop the NFC at 10-3, but the 49ers beat both the Cowboys and Eagles head-to-head. That’s the first tiebreaker.

The Eagles are currently behind the Cowboys in the NFC East based on the division record tiebreaker, but that will change if the Eagles win out: Run the table to finish 14-3 and the Eagles will pick up one more NFC East win than the Cowboys to tie the division record, and the Eagles would win the division based on the conference record tiebreaker.

The Cowboys need help: Even if Dallas wins out to finish 14-3, it needs Philadelphia to lose at least one game to avoid a wild card. And Dallas would need both Philadelphia and San Francisco to lose at least one game for Dallas to be the No. 1 seed in the NFC.

It doesn’t help the Cowboys that they have the toughest schedule the rest of the way: They’re at Buffalo, at Miami, home against the Lions and then they finish the season at Washington.

The Eagles’ schedule is much easier: Philadelphia is at the Seahawks, then faces the Giants, Cardinals and Giants again.

The 49ers’ schedule is at Arizona, home against the Ravens, at Washington and home against the Rams.

It should be a good playoff race in the NFC, with three good teams vying for the No. 1 seed.


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Maddox Terner

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