The Cowboys are atop the NFC, with room to spare.
At 8-1, the Cowboys have the best record in the NFL and a significant lead in the NFC. Dallas isn’t just aiming for an NFC East title down the stretch; Dallas is the favorite for home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
But it’s a crowded field in the NFC, with 14 teams that still have some semblance of playoff hopes. Here’s how it shapes up:
1. Cowboys (8-1): If the Cowboys can go 6-1 in their remaining seven games, they clinch home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs regardless of what anyone else does.
2. Seahawks (6-2-1): Seattle has a two-game lead in the NFC West.
3. Falcons (6-4): Atlanta has a 1.5-game lead in the NFC South.
4. Lions (5-4): Detroit has the head-to-head tiebreaker advantage over Minnesota; their Thanksgiving rematch looms large.
5. Giants (6-3): Two games behind the Cowboys in the NFC East, but the leader of the wild card pack.
6. Washington (5-3-1): Tying instead of losing in Week Eight gives Washington a half-game lead in the wild card race.
7. Eagles (5-4): Philadelphia is in a rough spot in the NFC East: They have the seventh-best record in the conference but the fourth-best record in the division.
8. Vikings (5-4): After starting 5-0, the Vikings appear to be in free-fall. But after facing the Cardinals on Sunday, they can jump right back into first place if they beat the Lions on Thanksgiving.
9. Cardinals (4-4-1): Catching the Seahawks in the NFC West is going to be a tall order. But despite a very disappointing start to the season, they’re still just a game out of wild card contention.
10. Buccaneers (4-5): The Bucs’ 4-3 conference record could prove helpful in a playoff race.
11. Packers (4-5): As ugly as they looked on Sunday in Tennessee, they’re still just a game behind the Lions and Vikings in the NFC North.
12. Rams (4-5): Jeff Fisher didn’t want to see any 7-9 bulls–t this season, but that’s exactly the trajectory his team is on.
13. Saints (4-6): The Saints have nothing but conference games remaining, which gives them a chance to climb up the NFC standings.
14. Panthers (4-6): Can the defending NFC champions get back to the playoffs? At this point they’ll likely have to run the table — and even that may not be enough.