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NFL playoff picture: What does Cowboys-Titans mean for NFC and AFC standings

The Cowboys face the Titans in Nashville on Sunday. We break down what the game means for the NFL playoff picture.

General view of the stadium in the game between the Houston Texans and the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium on December 24, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee. Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Results update: The Cowboys beat the Titans 27-13 to keep themselves in the hunt for the NFC East title. They still need the Eagles to lose their last two games for them to get the NFC East title, but they took care of their end of things against the Titans.

The Titans playoff path doesn’t change, as they need to beat the Jaguars next week to take the division and get into the playoffs


The Dallas Cowboys and Tennessee Titans open Week 17 on Thursday Night Football when they meet at Nissan Stadium in Nashville. Dallas has a playoff berth while Tennessee is battling for a spot in the 2023 NFL Playoffs. The game kicks off at 8:15 p.m. ET and the Cowboys are a 12-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Cowboys playoff picture

Dallas is 11-4, which is good for second place in the NFC East and fifth place in the overall NFC standings. They are two games back of the Eagles with two weeks remaining on the schedule. The Eagles can clinch the division with a win or tie or a Cowboys loss or tie.

The Cowboys have clinched no worse than the top wild card spot if they can’t catch the Eagles these final two weeks.

Titans playoff picture

The Titans have an outside shot at making it as the last Wild Card from the AFC, but it’s very unlikely. They are tied with the Patriots, Jets, and Steelers, all sitting a game back of the Dolphins, but they are behind enough in tiebreakers that their only chance at a wild card berth involves a Week 18 tie with the Jaguars and a lot of help. So, the most likely path in for the Titans is if they defeat the Jaguars in Week 18 to win the AFC South division. Plain and simple.

Tiebreaker implications

This game impacts the common games tiebreaker with the AFC South and NFC East having played each other.