Indirect effect on Green Bay Packers playoff hopes: Week 13

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Nov 23, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver

Cole Beasley

(11) scores a touchdown during the second half against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Win

Record with win: 9-3

Play Green Bay? No

Remaining Games: @ Chicago, @ Philadelphia, vs Indianapolis, @ Washington; 23-21 combined record

What it Means For Green Bay:

Dallas winning here puts them at the least at the same record as the Packers after Week 13 — if Green Bay beats New England of course. Unlike Philadelphia though, they would not be hampered by the Packers holding a tie-breaker over them.

That could be concerning down the line; while Green Bay doesn’t exactly have a rough schedule the rest of the way, they do have New England this weekend and Detroit at the end of the season — both of could be seen as potential losses. Even if Dallas loses a game or two from their remaining schedule, it could be tough sledding for the Packers to be assured of holding onto one of those top two NFC spots without having that head-to-head tiebreaker advantage to fall back on.

Fortunately, the Cowboys do have a bit of a more difficult remaining schedule to navigate. After this week they face Chicago and Philadelphia on the road, come home to face Indianapolis and finish things off on the road against Washington. As it states above, that’s a 23-21 combined record, one that could be even more difficult than they appear.

Chicago isn’t great, but they have won their past two games and Jay Cutler has the ability to make some big plays with his tall receivers and Matt Forte. The second Philadelphia game is on the road; even if they win this week against them, it’s hard to see them taking the road game as well in either case. Indianapolis has Andrew Luck and company, who can put up plenty of points. Washington already got a win in Dallas and seems to have a penchant for beating (and beating up) Tony Romo‘s crew lately.

And don’t forget: all of these games are in December, a time of the year that Dallas has been notoriously bad in during the recent past.

So even with a win this week, it’s well within reason to see Dallas end up at only 11-5 or 10-6 by the end of the season.