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Dallas Cowboys: Cowboys control playoff destiny

Despite a stunning loss to Packers on Sunday, Dallas can advance to the NFC playoffs by beating Washington and Philadelphia in the next two weeks.
BY MIKE BALDWIN, Staff Writer, mbaldwin@opubco.com Modified: December 15, 2013 at 11:14 pm •  Published: December 15, 2013
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ARLINGTON, Texas — For the third consecutive season the Dallas Cowboys might be headed for a win-or-go-home regular season finale.

Even after watching a 23-point halftime lead evaporate into a frustrating 37-36 loss to Green Bay Sunday on afternoon at AT&T Stadium, the Cowboys still control their destiny.


If Dallas wins next Sunday at Washington, the Cowboys are assured of playing for the division title Dec. 29 at home against the Philadelphia Eagles.

“They all count the same so it always feels like the (recent) loss is going to end up being the loss that hurts the most,” said Dallas quarterback Tony Romo. “But we still have opportunity ahead of us. Obviously if Philadelphia would have won it would have been an even worse feeling.”

Minnesota upset the Eagles on Sunday.

Dallas (7-7) owns every tiebreaker on Philadelphia (8-6). Win their final two games and the Cowboys make the playoffs for the first time since 2009.

If the Philly-Dallas game does decide the NFC East title, it will be the third consecutive year the Cowboys have played for their playoff lives the final week.

Last season, the Redskins went on a late-season run to win the division with a win over Dallas in the finale. In 2011, the New York Giants defeated the Cowboys in Week 17 to win the NFC East.

“We're in the same situation we were when we woke up (Sunday) morning,” said Dallas coach Jason Garrett. “We've got to put this one behind us, make corrections and learn from it.”