The Dallas Cowboys are a horrific loss to the New Orleans Saints in which they were utterly thrashed on both sides of the ball. The biggest problem is that wasn’t just on the field — Rob Ryan and the Saints’ coaching staff made Monte Kiffin and company look like a bunch of Pop Warner volunteers. So with a 5-5 record, the Cowboys’ upcoming game against the New York Giants seems like a season-defining one, and it will be, but it won’t decide Dallas’ playoff fate, even though it should.
In most any other season, this game would decide whether or not the Cowboys had a chance to win the NFC East, but considering the division is so pathetic in 2013, Dallas could lose this game — even in a blowout — and still have hopes of clinching the crown.
The Giants are winners of four straight after losing their first six games of the season, yet they’re one game behind the Cowboys, who are currently trailing the Philadelphia Eagles by half a game in the division. New York coughed up the ball six times in its Week 1 loss to Dallas, which proved right off the bat this year’s Cowboys aren’t any different than any other team in the past 17 years. So if the Cowboys lose this Week 12 contest, they’ll likely finish .500 just like every other season it seems, but the difference is 8-8 might just be enough to win the division, especially considering no division team will hold a tiebreaker over Dallas this year, regardless of what happens from here on out.
Now that doesn’t mean the Cowboys can just blow this game off, but considering there’s no way to predict how any of their last six games will shake out (yet it’s a virtual certainty they’ll finish 3-3 over that stretch), we could be looking at Dallas hosting a playoff game against a Wild Card team like the San Francisco 49ers. Let that sink in for a minute. Okay, now clean up your lunch off the floor and try to not to puke again on Sunday.