The Cowboys could have enjoyed a very productive Sunday while idle. Instead, the Giants, Seahawks and Buccaneers all won close games, preventing the Cowboys from a) clinching the NFC East, and b) moving a step closer to clinching a first-round bye.
Nevertheless, a first-round bye, as one of the top two seeds in the NFC, looks very reachable with Dallas 11-1, Green Bay 10-2, Seattle 8-4, Tampa Bay 8-4 and four weeks remaining.
Which means Jan. 5-6, the weekend of the first-round of the playoffs, is a Cowboys fan’s “I’ll get to that weekend.” If you’re asked to do any chores around the house in December, you say, “I’ll get to that Jan. 5th and/or 6th.”
The playoff schedule:
Jan. 5-6: Wild-card playoffs (top two seeds sit out in each conference; two division winners play two wild-card teams).
Jan. 12-13: Division round playoffs (top seed plays the lowest remaining seed, etc.)
Jan. 20: Conference championship games.
Feb. 3: Super Bowl in Glendale, Ariz.