The Cowboys have a decision to make regarding Week 18. There’s an important piece of information they need before they can make it.
Will next week’s game potentially change their spot on the playoff tree?
Currently, the Cowboys are locked in at the No. 5 seed. If the Eagles beat the Saints on Sunday, the Cowboys can’t finish any better, or any worse. If the Eagles lose on Sunday, the Cowboys can still win the division if they beat the Commanders — and if the Eagles lose to the Giants.
Dallas still could finish as high as the No. 1 seed.
Not surprisingly, coach Mike McCarthy deferred comment on whether he’ll rest starters until he knows what happens on Sunday.
“I think I should probably answer that Monday for you,” McCarthy told reporters on Friday, via Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News.
And so, basically, the Cowboys will rest starters if the Eagles beat the Saints. The Cowboys will go for the win if the Eagles lose.
There’s another benefit to McCarthy from resting starters. If the Commanders beat the Browns on Sunday, a win by Washington over Dallas will slam the door on McCarthy’s former team, the Packers, and McCarthy’s former quarterback, Aaron Rodgers. Even though the Cowboys (at No. 5) wouldn’t cross paths with the seventh-seeded Packers and Rodgers until the NFC Championship, it’s always better to not have one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history in the postseason field.
On resting starters in Week 18, Mike McCarthy defers answer to Monday originally appeared on Pro Football Talk