The Cowboys can clinch a playoff berth Sunday. A victory over the Vikings on Thursday combined with a loss by either the Redskins or the Bucs (or a tie by the Bucs) will assure the postseason for Dallas.
“It would be great, but I think the goals for this team are bigger than that,” Cowboys guard Zack Martin said. “We’ve got five weeks left, and we know that this season really starts after Thanksgiving here, so we’re ready to make a push here and finish strong.”
The Bucs play at San Diego. The Redskins play at Arizona.
In 2014, the Cowboys clinched the NFC East and a playoff spot in a Week 16 victory over the Colts. The Cowboys lost three consecutive Week 17, winner-take-all, NFC East championship games from 2011-2013.
The Cowboys sport a 10-1 record this season, holding a two-game lead over the Giants in the division. The Giants (8-3) are the only NFC team within two games of the Cowboys.
“The first goal is winning the division,” cornerback Brandon Carr said. “And we still have the division to take care of. A lot of football left. That’s great if we can clinch the playoffs this week, but win, lose or draw, we keep our heads down and keep grinding. This is the third quarter of the season. We want to finish out and get of the fourth quarter. That’s still down the road, still trying to get better every single day.”