Who would the Cowboys play if they beat the Buccaneers?

It depends on who wins the other two NFC wild card games.

DALLAS — The Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers face each other in the Wild Card round of the NFL Playoffs on Monday night on WFAA.

The ‘Boys will be looking to do something they’ve never accomplished before: beat Tom Brady.

Brady is 7-0 in his career against Dallas, including the season opener where the Buccaneers won 19-3 at AT&T Stadium.

A win versus Tampa Bay also gives Dallas its first playoff win since 2018. The Cowboys enter the playoffs coming off a 26-6 loss to the Washington Commanders (8-8-1).

Should the Cowboys bounce back and finally get past Brady, Dallas’ next opponent will immediately be determined since Cowboys-Buccaneers is the final game of “Super Wild Card Weekend.”

Divisional Round matchups are determined by matching the No. 1 seed – the Philadelphia Eagles – with the lowest remaining seed.

So, here is a look at who No. 5 seed Dallas would play (assuming they win), based on the results of the other NFC matchups:

  • 49ers/Vikings win: Dallas plays the Philadelphia Eagles
  • 49ers/Giants win: Dallas plays the San Francisco 49ers
  • Seahawks/Giants win: Dallas plays the New York Giants

Who should Cowboys fans want to potentially face in the Divisional Round?

Looking at recent history, facing the Giants proposes the most-likely opportunity for Dallas to make its first NFC Conference Championship since the 1995 season when they won the Super Bowl. Dallas swept the Giants this year, beating their NFC East foes 28-20 and 23-16.

Dallas did beat the NFC East division winner … when quarterback Jalen Hurts was missing, and Gardner Minshew was under center in relief of Hurts. Dallas beat Philadelphia at home 40-34 on Christmas Eve, but lost 26-17 on the road in Week 6. Also, Philadelphia is the NFC’s No. 1 seed for a reason: they’re darn good.

Now for the San Francisco 49ers. The Cowboys did not play the 49ers this season, but Cowboys Nation surely won’t forget what occurred in the playoffs last year. After the 23-17 loss with the late game time management issues front of mind, getting revenge on the 49ers – especially with their 90s history – makes for a storybook road to the Super Bowl. However, the 49ers are arguably the hottest team in the NFL. San Francisco traded for running back Christian McCaffery days before losing to the Chiefs in Week 7. They’ve won every game ever since (10 straight – longest active streak in the league) with one of the NFL’s best defenses in that timeframe.

ESPN’s Football Power Index predicts the 49ers and Vikings will win their respective games, and the sportsbooks agree. Seems the most-likely scenario for Dallas is marching back up to Philadelphia for another crack at the NFC East champs.

Dallas is the only lower seed that ESPN’s FPI predicts to win.


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