With a win on Thanksgiving, the Buffalo Bills are a virtual lock to make the postseason, while the Dallas Cowboys might miss out on the playoffs entirely.
In the second game of the Thanksgiving Day slate, the Buffalo Bills beat the Dallas Cowboys on the road in Arlington. Buffalo improved to an impressive 9-3 on the season, almost certainly guaranteeing the Bills to be one of the two AFC Wild Card teams. The Bills may not catch the division rival New England Patriots in the AFC East race, but Buffalo deserves to play January ball.
As for the Cowboys, they fall back to .500 at 6-6 and may not be good enough to reach the NFC playoffs. Dallas will be in a tight division race with the archrival Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC East. Though the Cowboys won the first meeting between the two on the year, Philadelphia’s schedule down the stretch is significantly easier than the Cowboys’.
Dallas’ final four games on the year are at the Chicago Bears, home vs. the Los Angeles Rams at the Eagles and on the road vs. the Washington Redskins. That’s not an impossible slate, but Philadelphia might very well go undefeated in its final five games. The Eagles play the New York Giants twice, Washington, the Miami Dolphins and host the Cowboys.
In short, this was a game that the Cowboys really needed to give themselves a more favorable chance to win the NFC East and they blew it. Could the Cowboys still win the NFC East? Sure, but if they don’t, then head coach Jason Garrett is surely gone. Frankly, if the Cowboys don’t win at least one playoff game, then Garrett probably won’t return as the Cowboys head coach in 2020 either.
Things are not going well for the Cowboys down the stretch. But things are looking up for Buffalo. No, the Bills probably aren’t capable of winning multiple playoff games, especially as a Wild Card team coming out of the AFC East. That being said, Buffalo plays great defense and has a solid, run-first identity on offense. The Bills can totally win a Wild Card game on the road.
But at the end of the day, what does this game at AT&T Stadium tells us more about: How good the Bills are or how underwhelming the Cowboys are? While Sean McDermott has done a marvelous job since taking over the Bills in Orchard Park a few years ago, this game is yet another indictment on Garrett as the Cowboys head coach. It’s not working and Dallas has to move on.