The Dallas Cowboys got what they needed.
Having already disposed of the Seahawks on Thursday, all the Cowboys could do is sit and wait for the outcome of Eagles vs 49ers on Sunday Night Football to know their NFC East fate. Had the Eagles won, the Cowboys would have lost all hope of finishing ahead of their rivals in the division.
After jumping out to an early 6-0 lead and stymieing the 49ers offense on its first two drives, the Eagles crashed and burned at home. By the time it was over, San Francisco scored six touchdowns and routed Philly, 42-19.
The outcome was eerily similar to Cowboys vs 49ers in Week 5. How Dallas and the Eagles stack up against the 49ers is a topic for another day, however. All that matters is that next week's Cowboys-Eagles matchup matters a whole lot.
If Dallas wins, they'll return atop the division for the first time since the season's inception. Here's what the NFC playoff picture looks like after Sunday's action.
Updated NFC playoff picture: Who would the Cowboys play in the first round?
- Philadelphia Eagles (10-2)
- San Francisco 49ers (9-2)
- Detroit Lions (9-3)
- Atlanta Falcons (6-6)
- Dallas Cowboys (9-3)
- Seattle Seahawks (6-6)
- Minnesota Vikings (6-6)
In the hunt: Green Bay Packers (5-6), Los Angeles Rams (6-6), New Orleans Saints (5-7), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-7)
If the season ended today, the Cowboys would travel to Atlanta to play Desmod Ridder and the Falcons. The Vikings lost to the Bears last week, which allowed Dallas to extend its lead atop the wild card standings.
If Dak Prescott and Co. ultimately finish second in the NFC East, they've all but clinched the No. 5 seed, or the first wild card spot. That's admittedly a big deal, but the Cowboys have bigger fish to fry after the 49ers lended them a helping hand by beating (dismantling) the Eagles.
The kicker is that Dallas faces a much more difficult end-of-season schedule than Philadelphia. After facing the Eagles next week, the Cowboys play Buffalo (away), Miami (away), Detroit (at home) and Washington (away), respectively. Philly gets Seattle (away), the Giants twice and Arizona to close the year.
Additionally, the Cowboys would need another Eagles loss even if they beat their rivals next Sunday night at AT&T Stadium. All Mike McCarthy's side can do is continue winning and hope Philly slips up before the season ends.
Credit for the 49ers for coming through and humbling the Eagles. Luckily, we don't have to root for San Francisco again anytime soon.