Updated NFC playoff picture: Eagles win spoils Cowboys' dream weekend

Dallas Cowboys v Carolina Panthers
Dallas Cowboys v Carolina Panthers / Kara Durrette/GettyImages

The Dallas Cowboys handled the Carolina Panthers on Sunday to improve to 7-3. That's all fans could've asked for, but the Cowboys were at the mercy of other results around the league in order to ascend up the NFC playoff standings.

The results haven't been friendly to Dallas in recent weeks. Despite riding a two-game winning streak, they've been entrenched in the No. 6 seed for a month, setting up a daunting first-round matchup against the 49ers, who continued their dominance of the Cowboys with a 40-10 drubbing in Week 5.

Finally, though, the football gods looked out for Dak Prescott and Co. in Week 11, as nearly every team surrounding them in the standings lost on Sunday.

With that, the Cowboys are moving on up the NFC playoff ladder.

Updated NFC playoff picture: Cowboys finally ascend up pecking order

  1. Philadelphia Eagles (9-1)
  2. Detroit Lions (8-2)
  3. San Francisco 49ers (7-3)
  4. New Orleans Saints (5-5)
  5. Dallas Cowboys (7-3)
  6. Seattle Seahawks (6-4)
  7. Minnesota Vikings (6-5)

The Seahawks blew a 13-0 lead against the Rams -- including a nine-point lead in the fourth quarter to drop to 6-4. They face the 49ers on Thanksgiving night, so they run the risk of falling a full two games behind the Cowboys if they lose that matchup and Dallas handles its business against the Commanders.

The Vikings' Josh Dobbs magic ran out of pixie dust on Sunday night as Russell Wilson orchestrated a game-winning drive that culminated with a touchdown pass to Courtland Sutton with 1:03 remaining in the fourth quarter.

The Cowboys now have breathing room over the Seahawks and Vikings and look like they'll cruise to a playoff spot barring an unforeseen collapse. The only question is whether that'll be as a wild cad team or the NFC East champs.

Week 11 was nearly dreamy for Dallas, but the Eagles outscored the Chiefs 14-0 on Monday Night Football to improve to 9-1 on the season. Kansas City pass-catchers dropped five passes from Patrick Mahomes, who made every throw to put the Chiefs in a position to win late.

There's something to be said about winning ugly in the NFL, but the Eagles have been treading water in terms of avoiding losses. Their luck in one-score games is bound to run out eventually, but that's wishful thinking at this point.

All told, Week 11 should be a huge moral booster for the Cowboys but it means nothing if they don't handle the free-falling Commanders on Thanksgiving.

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