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Cowboys playoff hopes remain alive in spite of another loss

The Cowboys are falling apart, but the Eagles are attempting to be worse.

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott is tackled by Chicago Bears linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis during the second half at Soldier Field. David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys lost 31-24 to the Chicago Bears on Thursday Night Football to fall to 6-7 on the season. They’ve lost three straight and four of their last five, and yet somehow they remain in first place in the NFC East.

The Philadelphia Eagles are 5-7 on the season and host the New York Giants on Monday Night Football to close out Week 14. It’s a winnable game, but with Eli Manning returning due to Daniel Jones’ injury, all bets are off in this one.

Even if the Eagles win and move into a tie atop the division, this will all come down to the final two weeks of the season. The Cowboys host the Los Angeles Rams next week, while the Eagles travel to face Washington. In Week 16, the Cowboys and Eagles face off. In Week 17, Dallas hosts Washington and the Eagles travel to face the Giants.

If the Cowboys win those final two games, they win the division. But there is plenty of room for things to get messy. Neither Dallas or Philly is showing any inclination to take the bull by the horns with the division there for the taking. Week 16 will probably be the deciding game in this one, and somehow a tie would not be the most shocking result.

Regardless, whomever stumbles across the finish line first will get the honor of likely hosting either the San Francisco 49ers or Seattle Seahawks with one of those two teams potentially having 12 or 13 wins. Quite the playoff structure in the NFL!