NFC Playoff Picture after Cowboys win fourth straight over Seahawks on TNF

Here's how the playoff picture looks in the NFC following the Dallas Cowboys bringing the Seattle Seahawks to .500 on Thursday Night Football.

Nov 30, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) throws a pass
Nov 30, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) throws a pass / Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Though Week 13's Thursday Night Football matchup played itself out much like a duel between two playoff teams, ultimately the result of the game had little immediate bearing on changing the playoff picture.

That's because even with a win the Dallas Cowboys remain behind the one-loss Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC East, and similarly the Seattle Seahawks, even with a win, would trail the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC West.

Though the picture doesn't shift much in the immediate aftermath, this win for the Cowboys and loss for the Seahawks could appear consequential a few weeks from now, depending on how other games play out. Though it feels like not much time is left in the year with December upon us on Friday, remember, teams play 17 games now. Each team has at least five more games to play. A lot can change between now and Week 18.

NFC Playoff Picture

Here's where things stand after TNF:

  1. Eagles: 10-1
  2. 49ers: 8-3
  3. Lions: 8-3
  4. Falcons: 5-6
  5. Cowboys: 9-3
  6. Vikings: 6-6
  7. Seahawks: 6-6

Nothing all that consequential from this game specifically. The Cowboys keep themselves in striking distance if the Eagles begin to implode, and the Seahawks fall a bit further away from competing with the 49ers for the top spot in the NFC West.

The Seahawks remain in the playoff picture currently, albeit down a spot to the Vikings despite having an identical record. Were the season to end today, the Seahawks would lose a tiebreaker to the Vikings because of a worse in-conference record (the de facto tiebreaker since the two teams have not played head-to-head).

The Vikings are 6-4 (0.600) in NFC games. The Seahawks, after Thursday, are 5-4 (0.556). Plenty of games for this tiebreaker to shift or for one of these teams to pull ahead or fall behind, though.

NFC Wild Card Standings

  1. Cowboys: 9-3
  2. Vikings: 6-6
  3. Seahawks: 6-6
  4. Packers: 5-6
  5. Rams: 5-6
  6. Saints: 5-6
  7. Buccaneers: 4-7

In the Wild Card, Dallas and Seattle stay No. 1 and No. 2. The Vikings trail behind, but a disappointing showing from Joshua Dobbs last week may have Seattle feeling relatively safe. The standings are pretty condensed here, though, so all of these teams must keep winning if they hope to have a shot at a postseason appearance.