The Dallas Cowboys did their part, now they have to wait for the results of three different Sunday afternoon games to learn who they will be facing in the wild card round. By virtue of a 51-26 thumping of the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night, Dallas earned their 12th victory of the 2021 season and finished the NFC East at 6-0 for just the third time in club history.
The Eagles, already locked into the No. 6 or No. 7 seed and without definitive control over which seed it would get, put 12 players on the COVID list and then rested almost every other starter. Dallas had most of their offense intact, but was missing numerous defensive starters. It’s anticipated they’ll be whole once the playoffs start, however, so now it’s about who they will host at AT&T Stadium. Here’s how those possibilities are configured based on the Sunday games of importance. These three late-afternoon-window results are all that matter, everything else is noise.
Los Angeles Rams (12-4) @ San Francisco 49ers (9-7), 3:25 pm Central
This is the game with the best chance to end up in Dallas’ favor, but by itself a Rams’ loss is meaningless.
Currently the Rams hold the No. 2 position in the NFC, having the tiebreaker over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers by virtue of a Week 3, 34-24 win at SoFi Stadium. Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers have a decided advantage over Sean McVay’s Rams, San Francisco holds a 6-3 advantage head-to-head and have won the last five matchups.
That includes a road romp earlier in mid-November, 31-10.
Should San Francisco sweep the season series, that means the Rams and Cowboys would have identical records at 12-5 and would put Dallas ahead in tiebreaker scenarios due to superior conference record, 10-2 against 8-4.
If Los Angeles wins, Dallas is guaranteed to finish as the No. 4 seed, no matter anything else. A loss helps, but would also put the Rams in position to lose the NFC West, which would mean Dallas has another contender to tend with.