Updated NFC playoff picture before Week 8: Cowboys were huge winners during bye

Dallas Cowboys v San Francisco 49ers
Dallas Cowboys v San Francisco 49ers / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages

The Dallas Cowboys were a team in desperate need of a win in Week 6. It wasn't pretty (that's an understatement), but they took care of business against an equally-desperate LA Chargers squad to improve to 4-2 on the season.

That record allowed the Cowboys to take a deep breath going into the bye. Though still looking up at the Eagles and 49ers in the NFC, moving to 4-2 keeps Dallas' hopes of winning the NFC East and nabbing the No. 1 seed afloat.

Despite not playing in Week 7, the Cowboys inched closer to the Eagles and 49ers in the NFC standings. In fact, they're nipping at their heels after Philadelphia lost to the Jets in Week 6 and the 49ers fell short against the Browns.

While the Eagles moved to 6-1 by beating the Dolphins in Week 7, San Francisco suffered its second-straight defeat in stunning fashion vs the Vikings. Oh, and the previously one-loss Lions were thrashed 38-6 by the Ravens.

In light of so many favorable results, take a gander at the NFC playoff picture entering Week 8, shall we?

NFC playoff picture: Cowboys can make big jump in Week 8

  1. Philadelphia Eagles 6-1
  2. San Francisco 49ers 5-2
  3. Detroit Lions 5-2
  4. Seattle Seahawks 4-2
  5. Dallas Cowboys 4-2
  6. Atlanta Falcons 4-3
  7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3-4

In the hunt: Minnesota Vikings (3-4), LA Rams (3-4), Washington Commanders (3-4), New Orleans Saints (3-4), Green Bay Packers (2-4).

Cowboys fans couldn't ask for a better week of results. Would it have been dreamy had the Eagles stumbled against the Dolphins? Obviously, but Miami has yet to beat a team with a winning record this season. They shouldn't be taken seriously yet.

That result notwithstanding, the Cowboys can jump as high as the No. 2 seed if they dispose of the Rams on Sunday and the reeling 49ers lose to the Bengals. While Cincinnati hasn't looked great this season, 49ers starting QB Brock Purdy entered concussion protocol Wednesday and is now unlikely to play in the game. If Purdy can't go, backup Sam Darnold, who's attempted one pass this year, would start.

Beyond San Francisco, the Lions get the lousy Raiders on Monday night, while the Seahawks are matched up against the 4-2 Browns and the Eagles play the Commanders, who took them to overtime back in Week 4 and ended Philly's unbeaten run last season.

Of course, this all means nothing is the Cowboys don't handle their business. They're -6.5 favorites against the Rams. Moving to 5-2 would (at worst) keep them in the Eagles and 49ers' shadow with the chance to leapfrog them in the standings with a future slip-up.

All things considered, Week 7 was a huge win for the Cowboys.

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