The Arizona Cardinals, now with a 10 and 5 record (10 wins and 5 losses) are set to play the Dallas Cowboys in Dallas on Sunday, Jan. 2. The Cowboys have a better record with 11 wins and 4 losses going into the game. Everyone expects fireworks and thunder for the game which could prove to be especially raw.
For one, Arizona is ranked second in its division (NFC West) behind the Los Angeles Rams (11-4). Arizona needs to pull out a win after losing three games in a row. However, the AZ Cardinals are still well ahead of the 3rd place San Francisco Giants who have an 8 and 7 record.
By contrast, Dallas has just won four games in a row. The Cowboys are ranked first in their division (NFC East), well ahead of the Eagles with an 8-7 record. Coming off of these four wins in a row could put a lot of pressure on Arizona's team to show their ability to rebound.
Arizona's Playoff Ambitions
However, Arizona fans can breathe somewhat easier this week. Their place in the playoffs has now been set for the first time since 2015. Although Arizona's seeding has yet to be set, the team could have won this earlier if they had won their last three games.
Dallas has now won a playoff placing, for the first time since 2018. With just 2 games left in regular-season play, their rank as #1 in the NFC East is now set.
This is because the number team, the Philadelphia Eagles have an 8 and 7 record. Even if Dallas lost both games and Philadelphia won both of their games, the Eagles could still only have 10 wins compared to the Cowboy's 11 wins now.
However, the Arizona Cardinals now still have a chance of clinching first place in their division, the NFC West. With 10 wins now, if they win both of their next 2 games and Los Angeles losses at least one of their next two games, they will win first place. If this happens their seeding in the playoffs will rise accordingly.
So, based on these stats, Arizona has more to gain by winning its upcoming game than Dallas does. On the other hand, Dallas has won five out of its 7 home games this season and it has a definite advantage in this sense. This could lead to fireworks on Sunday at 2:25 MST.
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