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Cowboys-Patriots game offers playoff implications in Week 12

Patriots-Cowboys pits two teams atop their division vying for playoff seeding and security.

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott throws the ball during the second half against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The Patriots welcome the Cowboys to Foxboro this Sunday for a battle between two division leaders. The Patriots sit at 9-1, with a two-game lead over the Bills in the NFC East while the Cowboys are 6-4 and hold a one-game lead over the Eagles. Both teams have a win notched against their top competitor, which gives them even more breathing room.

The Patriots once again control their own destiny, as they have for many seasons now. Their remaining schedule isn’t as easy as their early schedule was, but facing the AFC East still has its perks. After the Cowboys, they head to @Texans, then vs. Chiefs, @Bengals, vs. Bills, vs. Dolphins — all winnable for the Patriots, but only two bottom-dwelling teams.

The Cowboys have had their ups and downs this season, with the biggest down coming as a loss to the lowly Jets, but their offense has been rolling of late. After this challenging matchup in Foxboro, they’ll go back home to face the Bills, then @Bears, vs. Rams, @Eagles, and vs. Washington. The Eagles, their closest competition, face off vs. Seahawks, @Dolphins, vs. Giants, @Washington, vs. Cowboys, @Giants. The Seahawks and Cowboys, their two toughest matchups, are both at home, while the rest come against weak teams. The race for the division could come down to Dallas at Philadelphia in Week 16.

The odds for the Patriots going forward aren’t going to give you much in return unless you feel great about another Super Bowl win. But the odds for Dallas, if you take the risk on them winning the NFC and possibly the Super Bowl, are quite rewarding if they come to fruition.

To Make the Playoffs

Patriots: Off the board
Cowboys: Yes (-167), No (+137)

Division winner

Patriots: -10000 to win AFC East (Bills next at +2000)
Cowboys: -139 to win NFC East: (Eagles next at +110)

AFC Champ

Patriots: -112

NFC Champ

Cowboys: +1100

Super Bowl Champ

Patriots: +270
Cowboys: +2000