Dak Prescott Dez Bryant Cowboys
Dak Prescott of the Dallas Cowboys celebrates a touchdown with Dez Bryant in the fourth quarter against the New York Giants during the game at MetLife Stadium on Dec. 10, 2017 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Elsa/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys are still alive in the NFL playoff race, but they’re going to need some help if they hope to reach the postseason. The defending NFC East champions have been eliminated from the division race in Week 14, and they don’t control their own destiny with three games left on the regular season schedule.

Because the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers both won Sunday, Dallas remained the NFC’s No.10 seed with their victory over the New York Giants. The three teams are all one-game out of the wild-card race with 7-6 records. The Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks are both 8-5, but Atlanta is the No.6 seed because of win in Seattle a few weeks ago.

Dallas’ only hope of reaching the playoffs is winning their final three games and getting some help from the teams that are just ahead of them in the standings.

Green Bay and Detroit can’t both go 10-6 since the two teams are set to face off in Week 17. The Lions host the Chicago Bears and visit the Cincinnati Bengals in their next two games. With Aaron Rodgers expected to return, the Packers play consecutive games against the Carolina Panthers and Minnesota Vikings, both of whom are competing for a first-round playoff bye.

The Cowboys can ensure that they finish ahead of Seattle, whom they host on Christmas Eve. Dallas’ contest with the Seahawks is sandwiched in between road games against the Oakland Raiders and Philadelphia Eagles.

Oakland is a game under .500, and they are home underdogs against Dallas in Week 15. Philadelphia might not have anything to play for in Week 17 when they host the Cowboys, since they can clinch the NFC’s No.1 seed with wins over the New York Giants and Oakland in the next two weeks. Carson Wentz likely won’t play in Week 17 because of a knee injury.

If all of those scenarios work out in Dallas’ favor, the Cowboys still need a team that’s currently in the postseason to stumble down the stretch.

That could mean two losses by the Atlanta Falcons, who would probably own the tiebreaker over Dallas because of their conference records. After visiting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 15, Atlanta has two difficult games against New Orleans and Carolina.

The 9-4 Panthers could certainly lose two of their three matchups with Green Bay, Tampa Bay or Atlanta. The 9-4 Saints are likely to win at least 11 games since they face the Jets and Buccaneers before the season concludes.

The 9-4 Rams own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Cowboys. Los Angeles ends their season with games against the Seahawks, Titans and 49ers.

Ezekiel Elliott returns from his suspension in Week 16. The Cowboys have won two games in a row after going 0-3 without their star running back.

Remaining 2017 Schedule

Sunday, Dec. 17 at Oakland (8:30 p.m. EST)

Sunday, Dec. 24 vs. Seattle (4:25 p.m. EST)

Sunday, Dec. 31 at Philadelphia (1 p.m. EST)