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NFL playoff picture: What does Washington-Cowboys mean for NFC standings

Washington faces the Cowboys in Dallas on Sunday. We break down what the game means for the NFL playoff picture.

A general view at AT&T Stadium before a game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Arizona Cardinals on October 19, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Result: The Cowboys are thumping Washington in the second half, leading 42-7 midway through the third quarter. You can head to bed knowing Dallas is going to win this game. The Cowboys will improve to 11-4 with the win and move back into second place in the conference ahead of the Rams and Bucs due to the conference record tiebreaker. Washington drops to 6-9 and while not mathematically eliminated, is effectively done in their playoff chase.

The Dallas Cowboys host the Washington Football Team on Sunday Night Football in a key Week 16 NFC East matchup. The division title is all but decided, but both teams have a lot to play for in this contest.

Kickoff for the game is set for 8:20 p.m. ET and it will air on NBC. The Cowboys are a nine-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook. The most notable injury question is Washington running back Antonio Gibson, although he is expected to play.

Cowboys playoff picture

Dallas clinched a playoff berth on Thursday when the 49ers lost to the Titans on Thursday Night Football. They can now clinch the NFC East title with a win or an Eagles loss or tie. They can also clinch with a strength of victory that requires 1.5 or more combined wins from the Vikings, Falcons, Patriots, Jaguars, Raiders, and Chargers.

Dallas is currently in second place overall in the NFC standings. They are tied with the Rams and Bucs at 10-4, a game and a half back of the 12-3 Packers for the No. 1 seed.

Relevant Week 16 matchups

Titans 20, 49ers 17
Packers 24, Browns 22
Colts 22, Cardinals 16
Buccaneers (10-4) @ Panthers (5-9)

Washington playoff picture

The Football Team is 6-8 and a game back of the final wild card berth. They are officially out of the NFC East race. The Vikings hold the final NFC playoff spot a half game back of the 8-7 49ers, and are tied with the Eagles and Saints at 7-7. Washington is tied with 6-8 Atlanta.

Relevant Week 16 matchups

Titans 20, 49ers 17
Lions (2-11-1) @ Falcons (6-8)
Rams (10-4) @ Vikings (7-7)
Giants (4-10) @ Eagles (7-7)
Dolphins (7-7) @ Saints (7-7)