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NFC playoff picture: Cowboys, Lions help the Giants

Let’s look at where things stand in the playoff race

NFL: Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Like the fact that it looks like the Dallas Cowboys are going to roll to the NFC East title or not, the results of the two Thanksgiving Day games offered, in my view, the best-case scenario for the Giants.

Even had the Dallas Cowboys not beaten the Washington Redskins Thursday, they were going to be difficult to catch in the division. The Cowboys are 10-1 now after their 31-25 victory over the Washington Redskins. Now? Virtually impossible.

The win by Dallas, combined with the Detroit Lions’ 16-13 victory over the Minnesota Vikings, gave the Giants just a bit of breathing room in the chase for one of the two NFC wild-card spots.

The 7-3 Giants enter Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns as the NFC’s fifth seed, holding the first of the two wild-card spots. Washington (6-4-1) and the Vikings (6-5) are the next two teams in line. Both teams have head-to-head victories over the Giants already, especially important in the case of the Vikings since the Giants don’t play them again this season.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Philadelphia Eagles, both 5-5, are currently the only other teams behind the Giants who enter the weekend at .500 or better.