Five teams are fighting for the two remaining playoffs spots in the NFC.
Three of them control their own destiny, including the Dallas Cowboys.
The Cowboys a chance to make the playoffs in Week 17 with a win against the Washington Redskins. The two will battle in Washington for the NFC East title. The game will end the 2012 NFL regular season on Sunday night.
At 8-7, the Cowboys are in the exact same position that they found themselves in a year ago. On New Year’s Day, they sat one game above .500, and visited the New York Giants for a shot at winning the division. The Cowboys hope the result is different this time around, as they lost to the Giants, who eventually went on to win the Super Bowl.
The Cowboys were blown out in the final game of last season, but their matchup with the Redskins is expected to be much closer. They are three-point underdogs on the road.
Washington won the last contest between the two clubs. Robert Griffin III threw four touchdown passes in the Thanksgiving Day game.
Despite their record, the Cowboys are playing much better than a team that is one game over .500. They have won five of their last seven, and their offense is playing very well. Tony Romo has thrown for at least 300 yards in five of his last six games. He’s completed 14 touchdown passes to just three interceptions in that time.
While the Cowboys control their own destiny, they can’t make the postseason with help from any other team. The Cowboys only way into the playoffs is with a division championship.
The Week 16 overtime loss to the New Orleans Saints ended any shot of Dallas winning the race for the final wild card spot. The Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears both won last week, putting them at 9-6.
The Sunday night game will determine the winner of the NFC East, but the Redskins can clinch a postseason berth before kick-off. Losses by the Bears and Vikings would put all three teams at nine wins on the year, with Washington owning the tiebreaker.