Skip to main content

Cardinals Updated Playoff Scenarios After Cowboys Win

The Cardinals have a shot at the No. 2 seed on Sunday against the visiting Seahawks, but they will NEED some help from multiple underdogs.
  • Author:
  • Publish date:

The NFC playoff outlook found some clarity on Saturday. Two teams in the picture finished their season as the Dallas Cowboys defeated the Philadelphia Eagles. 

Dallas heads to the playoffs with a 12-5 record, while the Eagles are 9-8. 

The Arizona Cardinals have a chance to win their 12th game on Sunday when they take on the Seattle Seahawks. 

They could walk away with the No. 2 seed and in be line for multiple home playoff games, or the No. 5 seed and zero games at State Farm Stadium remaining. 

Let's take a look at how the chips can fall:

5 seed

The most direct path the Cardinals have to one slot is the No. 5 seed. 

It's the spot they will land in with either a loss to Seattle or a Los Angeles Rams win against the San Francisco 49ers. 

If Arizona does find itself in the top wild-card spot, a rematch with Dallas is probable. 

The Rams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers would finish ahead of the Cowboys with wins on Sunday, and they are both favored. 

However, if Arizona and Los Angeles fall, paired with a Tampa Bay win, the division rivals will face off in LA again in the playoffs. 

Scroll to Continue

Read More

If all three teams lose, Arizona would travel to Florida to take on Tom Brady and the Bucs. 

3 seed

The next most likely spot for Arizona is the No. 3 seed. 

The Cardinals would attain this slot with a win, paired with a Rams loss and a Buccaneers victory. 

This way, the 13-4 Bucs would be the No. 2 seed, and Arizona would lap Dallas on a head-to-head tie-breaker. 

This would pair the Cardinals with the 49ers in the Wild Card round, a team Arizona has beaten twice this year. 

2 seed

The best case for the Cardinals on Sunday is a win, and losses by LA and Tampa Bay. 

This would shoot Arizona to the No. 2 spot and pair it with the lowest-ranked playoff team, which is Philadelphia in this scenario. 

It would also give Arizona two home playoff games guaranteed if the Cardinals win next weekend. 

To explain further, if this scenario played out, the Cardinals, Rams, Bucs and Cowboys would all be 12-5. So, how do we get to Arizona at No. 2?

  1. Sort division winners first, and Arizona would have the NFC West record tie-breaker over LA. 
  2. The Bucs and Cardinals both beat Dallas this year, so the Cowboys go to the No. 4 seed. 
  3. The Cardinals would have the better conference record in this hypothetical than Tampa Bay, so that's the final tie-breaker here. 

Each of Sunday's games that mean something to Arizona is in the afternoon time slot, starting at 2:25 p.m. Arizona time.