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

The Colts face the Cowboys in Texas on Sunday Night Football. We break down what the game means for the NFL playoff picture.

A general view of AT&T Stadium is seen during the NFC Wild Card game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys on January 16, 2022 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Indianapolis Colts and Dallas Cowboys close out the Week 13 Sunday slate when they meet at AT&T Stadium on Sunday Night Football. These are two teams in decidedly different positions in the second half of the stadium, but both have something to play for in this inter-conference matchup.

The Cowboys are a 10.5-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Cowboys playoff picture

Dallas is 8-3 and looking to maintain pace behind the Eagles. Dallas is 2.5 games back heading into SNF, but has lost the first head-to-head game between the two squads, so can’t afford to fall further back. The Cowboys are in fifth place in the overall standings, a little under a game ahead of the Giants.

If the Cowboys win, they will remain a game back of the Eagles and improve to a little over a game up on the Giants. If the Cowboys lose, they’d remain slightly ahead of the Giants.

Colts playoff picture

Indianapolis is still alive in the playoff race, but they have their work cut out for them. They are a little over 2.5 games back of the Titans in the AFC South, but they’ve also lost the season series, so they lose the head-to-head tiebreaker. They’re also a little over 2.5 games back of the Jets in the AFC wild card race.

Tiebreaker implications

The only impact this has for the Colts is common opponents with the Bengals, whom they are unlikely to catch in the playoff standings. The NFC East faced the AFC South, so the common opponents tiebreaker would be impacted if it came into play. Record against common opponents is the third tiebreaker in division standings.