Dallas Cowboys are stunned to be here, in a good way

OK. If you are a Dallas Cowboys fan and have never understood the old phrase "there is a reason they play the games," you will now. For several weeks, we thought the Cowboys had already clinched the fifth spot in the NFC playoffs

All logical paths forward headed in that direction. Dallas' losses to the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins only emphasized the situation. 

Given the Cowboys' last two games, as well as those against the Philadelphia Eagles, it was exceedingly unlikely that they would jump them for the NFC East title and number two seed.

The unthinkable turned out to be far from impossible. Dallas had some missteps, including a close loss to the Detroit Lions, but they won that game to improve to 11-5. 

At the same time, the Eagles had lost four of their last five games, prompting allegations that head coach Nick Sirianni had lost his players' trust. 

Most crucially, they lost to both the Seattle Seahawks and the Arizona Cardinals, tying the teams' records against common opponents, with Dallas holding the next tiebreaker, their record within the NFC. 

 All they have to do now is beat the Washington Commanders in the season finale to win the division. and, more significantly, a chance to play their first two playoff games at home if they win. 

It makes no difference what happens in the Eagles' game against the New York Giants as long as the Cowboys win. 

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