A season of firsts continued for the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday as they became the first team to clinch a playoff spot.
The NFC East-leading Cowboys (11-1), who have the best record in the NFL and the inside track to home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, secured at least a wild card playoff berth thanks to a 31-23 loss by the Washington Redskins to the Arizona Cardinals.
The Redskins, who opened the day with the final wild card spot, dropped to 6-5-1.
The Cowboys handled the first part of the equation with a 17-15 victory against the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday, getting them to 11 wins, while extending their franchise-record winning streak to 11 games.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Star-Telegram
The Cardinals finished the second part on Sunday.
Of course, the Cowboys’ goals are much bigger. They took a step closer to securing the NFC East title when the New York Giants (8-4) lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers 24-14 on Sunday.
The Cowboys now have a three-game lead in the division with four games remaining. They will have a chance to clinch the division title outright with a victory at the Giants next Sunday.
The Giants are the only team to defeat the Cowboys, having beaten Dallas 20-19 at AT&T Stadium in the season opener.
It’s the second playoff berth under coach Jason Garrett, who took over the team midway through the 2010 season.
Garrett led the Cowboys to the NFC East title in 2014.
Dak Prescott became the first quarterback in Cowboys history to lead his team to the playoffs as a rookie.