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NFL standings 2016: Cowboys are another game closer to clinching the NFC’s top spot

The Giants aren’t going away, though.

NFL: Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys took another step closer to clinching the top seed in the NFC. Jason Garrett’s team had a 31-26 victory over Washington on Thanksgiving, and thanks to a Seahawks loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, the Cowboys gained a game on their closest conference competition.

In the Dallas win, Ezekiel Elliott continued his stellar rookie season with 97 yards on the ground and two rushing touchdowns. Dak Prescott also impressed with 195 yards through the air and one touchdown, along with 39 yards on the ground and one rushing touchdown.

The Seahawks weren’t greatly affected by their loss to the Buccaneers, who showed out with great defense to put themselves a game out of the NFC South lead. Every team in the NFC West lost this weekend, so Seattle isn’t in immediate danger of losing its lead there. In the conference, the Seahawks also remain ahead of the Lions and the Falcons, who both won this week to improve to 7-4 on the year.

The Buccaneers now trail the Falcons by just a game in the NFC South at 6-5. Mike Evans continued his resurgent season with two touchdowns in the first quarter, which was all his team needed to pull out the victory. If they perform in similar fashion along the way, we could see them sneak into the top six and the postseason.

The New York Giants are 8-3, but hold a wild card spot because of the Cowboys’ 10-1 mark in the NFC East. The Giants knocked off the Cleveland Browns on the road by a final score of 27-13. Odell Beckham Jr. had 96 yards and two touchdowns for Ben McAdoo’s team, who is still hoping to catch the Cowboys. The two teams play for a second time this season on Dec. 11. The Giants got the best of the Cowboys in Week 1, by a narrow margin of 20-19.

Washington’s loss to Dallas on Thanksgiving dropped it to 6-4-1 on the season, but the team shouldn’t feel too bad about the loss. Kirk Cousins and Jordan Reed hooked up for two exciting touchdowns, and DeSean Jackson looked like his old self with another score.

Washington’s greatest threats in the wild card race appear to be Tampa Bay and Minnesota, but Green Bay and Philadelphia are still hanging around at 5-6. The Lions still lead the NFC North, but after the Packers beat the Eagles on Monday Night Football, you can’t count them, or the Vikings, of the NFC North race just yet.

With the Cowboys and Giants on a roll, the Eagles’ best shot at a playoff spot is going on a late run and grabbing a wild card bid.


  1. Dallas Cowboys (10-1)
  2. Seattle Seahawks (7-3-1)
  3. Detroit Lions (7-4)
  4. Atlanta Falcons (7-4)
  5. New York Giants (8-3)
  6. Washington (6-4-1)

Just outside: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-5), Minnesota Vikings (6-5), Philadelphia Eagles (5-6), New Orleans Saints (5-6), Green Bay Packers (5-6)

Odell Beckham Jr.'s LeBron celebration in Cleveland