The Cowboys picked up a game on the New York Giants on Sunday. They now are alone in second, one game out of first. Winning the NFC East will be their easiest route to the playoffs.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones believes it is his team's only route.
There are six teams with a better record than the Cowboys in the NFC. The Falcons have the same record. The Lions, who will be fighting for a wild-card berth, hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over Dallas.
Since the current playoff format began in 1990, the NFC East winner has won at least 10 games.
“It’s very early, and I wouldn’t dare to venture what can happen,” Jones said Sunday when asked how many victories it will take to win the East. “I wouldn’t dare to venture. I will say this: We’re going to need to win the division, I think, to get in the playoffs.”
The Giants are the only team left on the Cowboys' schedule with a winning record.
-- Charean Williams