The Dallas Cowboys narrowly escaped disaster after securing a 27-23 win over the Houston Texans, courtesy of a 98 yard game winning drive in the waning moments of the 4th quarter. The Cowboys will now travel to Jacksonville to take on the Jaguars in what has turned into a must win game for both teams. In the case of the Dallas Cowboys they need this game to keep pace with the Philadelphia Eagles in their pursuit of the NFC East crown and the 1 seed in the NFC. By winning this game and then defeating the Eagles on Christmas Eve, the Cowboys give themselves their most realistic shot of ripping the division title and the 1 seed from their grasp. A win against Jacksonville would also clinch a playoff berth for Dallas Cowboys meaning at worst they would finish the at 7th seed and can even clinch the 5 seed with a little outside help as long as they handle business Sunday afternoon.
For the Jaguars this game is a must win to keep pace with the Tennessee Titans. Jacksonville is currently only 2 games back from the Titans and just beat them 36-22 in convincing fashion. If they are able to win out they have a great chance of taking the 4 seed from the Titans and securing themselves a home playoff game.
A loss to Dallas severely hurts their chances of doing so and may prevent them from making the playoffs altogether. Jacksonville will in essence be playing for their playoff lives and Dallas will be playing for a playoff berth and a chance to challenge for the 1 seed the following week. This match up will also feature two Super Bowl winning head coaches who both understand the gravity of this game in Mike McCarthy and Doug Pederson. While the Cowboys at 10-3 are favored over the 5-8 Jaguars make no mistake about it, this will be a dog fight from beginning to end and is as close to a playoff game as you can get in early December.