This is how the NFC East looks tonight, with our Washington Redskins proudly perched atop after 16 weeks for the first time since 1999.
The easiest way for the Redskins to go to the playoffs [and for all of us to understand] is if they defeat the Dallas Cowboys, who visit FedEx Field on Sunday [or Sunday night if the game if flexed out of the afternoon.] If the Redskins beat the Cowboys, the Redskins will win the NFC East with a 10-6 record and the Cowboys make early golf plans with an 8-8 record.
If the Redskins lose to the Cowboys [shame on them], Dallas would win the NFC East because the two teams would have split the head-to-head matchups, would have identical 4-2 division records, but the Cowboys have the better record against common opponents. That's right, a team that is -14 in net scoring right now would win the NFC East and host a playoff game. Let's hope the Redskins don't let that happen.
The Redskins can make the playoffs as a wild card if they lose to the Cowboys, but they would need help from teams like the Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings. If one of those three teams wins and gets to 10 wins, the Redskins could still make the playoffs because they own tiebreakers with all three of them. However, if two of those three teams win the Redskins would be out of the playoffs because there would be two non-division winners with 10 wins and the Skins would only have nine.
In other words, win and they're in. Lose and they need help. To hell with help. Just win. The fact that Dallas is the opponent Sunday only makes it sweeter if the good guys win.