Cowboys vs. Bills: This Thanksgiving game is crunch time

The Dallas Cowboys continue to flirt with an NFC East fiasco. The only route left to the playoffs needs to begin being paved on Turkey Day.

The inconsistent Dallas Cowboys have tested the faith of their fan base one too many times this season. It all but seems like a deep playoff run, as many expected going in to the year, is no longer a likely possibility.

Dallas has lost all four games against teams with a winning record. Despite close scores, they looked outclassed in at least three of the losses. The truth is the Cowboys just aren’t as sound of a football team as the Packers, Vikings, or Patriots.

Even if the Cowboys go on to win the division, there is a good chance they would face the 5-seed wildcard team. As it stands now that would be 9-2 Seattle. But it easily could be a home rematch against a Minnesota team that physically owned them.

DIVISION RACE HEATS UP

But hey let’s not put the pumpkin pie before the turkey. Dallas only sits a single game above Philadelphia in the NFC East title race. A division title has already become the only path they can take to reaching the playoffs.

No game is a sure thing, but the smart money says the Eagles will improve to 6-6 on Monday night. The 2-9 Dolphins chances of stealing one from a motivated Philly team are slim to none.

In essence Dallas cannot really afford to take another loss this week and drop into a 6-6 tie with four games remaining. Aside from the rematch with Dallas, the Eagles play the 2-9 New York Giants twice and the 2-9 Redskins.

Philadelphia beating the Dolphins, Redskins, and Giants (twice) is no big stretch. That would give them nine wins aside from the remaining Cowboys showdown. Even if Dallas wins the second meeting, they’d still need nine wins to own the tiebreaker.

DANGER ON THE ROAD AHEAD

Dallas has a gimme in Washington for the finale. But other remaining contests are daunting. Who in their right mind is excited about playing in Chicago in December?  And doing so against the 4th best scoring defense (7th rushing, 9th passing).

And then there’s the pesky playoff rematch with the 6-5 Rams. A team that has no room for error if wanting to squeeze out a wildcard berth. Los Angeles will be in a must-win situation when the two teams collide.

The bottom line is Dallas cannot afford to lose a 5th time to a team with a winning record this holiday afternoon. The road ahead is full of major potholes. All the while the Eagles will cruise along a parallel river that’s smooth sailing.

Next: Dallas Cowboys 15 best free agent acquisitions of all-time

Happy Thanksgiving to all. Let’s hope the Cowboys hold up their end of the bargain today and begin paving a road to the NFC East title.