2021 NFL Playoff Picture, Standings: Cowboys face Washington on Sunday Night Football, look to clinch division title

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The Dallas Cowboys and Washington Football Team are set to face off in a division matchup that has important implications on the NFL playoff picture. The Cowboys could clinch the NFC East before kickoff on Sunday night (more on that below) or with a win over Washington at AT&T Stadium. Live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET with Football Night in America. The match-up will also be available via live stream on Peacock.

The Cowboys clinched their first playoff berth in three years on Thursday, thanks to the Tennessee Titans’ 20-17 victory over the San Francisco 49ers. The Cowboys’ 8-1 conference record ensures that they will not fall below the seventh seed.

Not only have the Cowboys not won their division since 2018, but they have not advanced beyond the divisional round of the postseason since 1995 – the same season in which they won their last Lombardi Trophy. Dallas is tied for second in the NFL in Super Bowl victories with five, but owner Jerry Jones wants to end the 26-year drought sooner rather than later.

Entering this season, the Cowboys were NFC East favorites and as the season has progressed, Dallas has fought its way into Super Bowl conversations. With a 10-4 record, the Cowboys occupy the No. 2 seed in the NFC behind the 11-3 Green Bay Packers. Clinching the No. 1 seed is crucial because it is the only spot in the playoff rankings that guarantees a first-round bye. In order to secure the top seed, the Cowboys not only need to keep winning but they need the other teams that share a 10-4 record – the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Rams to drop some of their next three contests.

When the season began, Dallas was expected to have an upper hand because of its offense. Quarterback Dak Prescott, who missed the majority of last season with an ankle injury, returned healthy and he had numerous elite receivers to throw to in CeeDee Lamb, Michael Gallup and Amari Cooper. But as the season has progressed, it has been Dallas’ defense that has stepped up in unexpected ways.

RELATED: NFL playoff clinching scenarios for Week 16

The unit, led by new defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, has held opponents to 20.9 points per game, which is seventh-best in the league. Last season, the defense allowed 29.6 points per game for 28th in the league. The unit has its weaknesses as it is still allowing 356.9 yards per game this season, which is 22nd in the league. But the defining characteristic of this defense has been its ability to force turnovers. The Cowboys are tied with the Indianapolis Colts for the most turnovers in the NFL with 31, including a league-leading 23 interceptions. Star cornerback Trevon Diggs has 10 interceptions alone, which is more than 13 NFL teams.

After the Cowboys defeated the New York Giants last week, Diggs said “We’re the best defense for sure.” The sentiment was echoed by Cowboys owner Jerry Jones who said of the defense: “I don’t know that we’ve ever, we’ll say in the last 10 years, had the players we’ve got.”

Meanwhile, the 6-8 Washington Football Team – which put together a four-game winning streak throughout Weeks 10-13 – has been hit hard with positive COVID-19 cases and injuries. Prior to the team’s crucial game against the division-rival Philadelphia Eagles in Week 15, Washington had up to 26 players on the reserve/COVID-19 list, including starting quarterback Taylor Heinicke and backup QB Kyle Allen. Due to the outbreak, the NFL moved Washington’s game against the Eagles to Tuesday. In the game, Washington was also missing key offensive weapons Logan Thomas and J.D. McKissic due to injuries.

Though Heinicke has since been cleared to return from COVID-19 and can play on Sunday night, Washington’s loss to the Eagles on Tuesday pushed the Football Team into the No. 10 seed in the NFC and effectively dimmed their playoff chances.

NBC News political correspondent Steve Kornacki is back on Football Night in America to trade election result breakdowns for NFL playoff picture scenarios. Kornacki will join the show for the remainder of the regular season and will be a part of NBC Sports’ coverage of Super Bowl LVI from SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles on Sunday, February 13.

RELATED: When do the 2022 NFL playoffs start: Dates, schedule, TV channels, live streams, format

Week 16 Division-Clinching Scenarios for Dallas Cowboys

As mentioned above, the cowboys could clinch the division before even taking the field on Sunday night. Below are the other scenarios in which Dallas can win the NFC East with the help of other teams.

  1. The Giants beat the Eagles OR
  2. Two or more of the following teams win:
    • MIN (vs LAR), LAC (at HOU), NE (vs BUF),
      JAX (at NYJ), ATL (vs DET), LV (vs DEN)

If two or more of the above teams win, that would give Dallas the strength of victory tiebreaker over Philadelphia should both teams finish at 10-7.

If none of the above happens, the Cowboys also control their own destiny and can clinch the NFC East with a win over Washington on Sunday night.

Week 16 NFL Picks and Power Rankings

Mike Florio and the team at ProFootballTalk have broken down their picks and power rankings for Week 16. They have Aaron Rodgers and the 11-3 Green Bay Packers at the top of the list. Click here to see where the rest of the league falls as the playoff race tightens.

RELATED: With three weeks left, 27 teams are still alive

Current 2021 NFL Playoff picture

2021 AFC Standings

Kansas City Chiefs (10-4)

Tennessee Titans (10-5)

New England Patriots (9-5)

Cincinnati Bengals (8-6)

Indianapolis Colts (8-6)

Los Angeles Chargers (8-6)

Buffalo Bills (8-6)

On the bubble:

Baltimore Ravens (8-6)

Pittsburgh Steelers (7-6-1)

Las Vegas Raiders (7-7)

Miami Dolphins (7-7)

Cleveland Browns (7-7)

Denver Broncos (7-7)

2021 NFC Standings

Green Bay Packers (11-3) – clinched division title

Dallas Cowboys (10-4) – clinched postseason berth

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10-4)

Arizona Cardinals (10-4)

Los Angeles Rams (10-4)

San Francisco 49ers (8-7)

Minnesota Vikings (7-7)

On the bubble:

Philadelphia Eagles (7-7)

New Orleans Saints (7-7)

Washington Football Team (6-8)

Atlanta Falcons (6-8)

For all the latest fantasy football news and insight, visit NBC Sports Edge.

Be sure to follow ProFootballTalk for breaking news, updates, and much more!

What channel, time is the NFL game tonight? TV, kickoff, live stream for Colts vs Cowboys

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It’s the Indianapolis Colts vs Dallas Cowboys tonight on NBC and Peacock. Live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET with Football Night in America before the game gets underway.

RELATED: 2022 NFL Regular Season Schedule – How to Watch, Live Stream, Dates, Times, Matchups

NBC has got you covered with all you need to know about the game including the TV channel, start time, live stream information, and more.

RELATED: FMIA Week 12 – Josh Jacobs Takes Heckling Personally, And A Banner Week For Two-Point Conversion Risks

Football Night in America will also feature a weekly segment hosted by former NFL quarterback Chris Simms and sports betting and fantasy pioneer Matthew Berry, which highlights storylines and betting odds for the upcoming Sunday Night Football game on NBC, Peacock, and Universo. Real-time betting odds on the scoring ticker during FNIA also will be showcased. Peacock Sunday Night Football Final, an NFL postgame show produced by NBC Sports, will also go deep on the storylines and BetMGM betting lines that proved prominent during the matchup.

RELATED: How to watch Colts vs Cowboys  – TV/Live Stream info for tonight’s game

What channel is tonight’s Sunday Night Football game on?

  • Where: AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas
  • When: Sunday, December 4
  • Start Time: 8:20 p.m. ET; live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET with Football Night In America
  • TV Channel: NBC
  • Stream liveWatch live on Peacock or with the NBC Sports App

          RELATED: 2022 Sunday Night Football Schedule: TV channel, live stream info, NFL schedule

Where to live stream Indianapolis Colts vs Dallas Cowboys online tonight

Tonight’s game between the Indianapolis Colts vs Dallas Cowboys can be streamed live on multiple platforms tonight including NBCsports.com, the NBC Sports App, and Peacock.

This NFL season, Peacock will stream all of NBC’s NFL games including regular season and playoff games. More from Peacock’s website:

If you have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can watch Sunday Night Football on your TV or with a TV provider login on the NBC Sports app, NBC app, or via NBCSports.com. Check your local listings to find your NBC channel. If you can’t find NBC in your channel lineup, please contact your TV provider.

If you don’t have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can stream Sunday Night Football with a Peacock Premium plan.  Sign up here.

Please note that selection of a Premium plan will result in a charge which will recur on a monthly or annual basis until you cancel, depending on your plan. You can cancel your Premium plan at any time in your Account.

Week 13 Schedule

WEEK 13
Thursday, Dec. 1
Buffalo Bills vs. New England Patriots, 8:15 p.m., Prime Video
Sunday, Dec. 4
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Atlanta Falcons, 1 p.m., CBS
Denver Broncos vs. Baltimore Ravens, 1 p.m., CBS
Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears, 1 p.m., FOX
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Detroit Lions, 1 p.m., FOX
Cleveland Browns vs. Houston Texans, 1 p.m., CBS
New York Jets vs. Minnesota Vikings, 1 p.m., CBS
Washington Commanders vs. New York Giants, 1 p.m., FOX
Tennessee Titans vs. Philadelphia Eagles, 1 p.m., FOX
Seattle Seahawks vs. Los Angeles Rams, 4:05 p.m., FOX
Miami Dolphins vs. San Francisco 49ers, 4:05 p.m., FOX
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Cincinnati Bengals, 4:25 p.m., CBS
Los Angeles Chargers vs. Las Vegas Raiders, 4:25 p.m., CBS
Indianapolis Colts vs. Dallas Cowboys, 8:20 p.m., NBC/Peacock
Monday, Dec. 5
New Orleans Saints vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 8:15 p.m., ESPN

RELATED: See the 2022 NFL Sunday Night Football schedule here

Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 NFL Season, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!

How to watch Indianapolis Colts vs Dallas Cowboys: TV, live stream info for tonight’s game

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It’s the Indianapolis Colts vs Dallas Cowboys this Sunday night at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock with Football Night in America. See below for additional information on how to watch tonight’s game.

RELATED: FMIA Week 12 – Josh Jacobs Takes Heckling Personally, And A Banner Week For Two-Point Conversion Risks

Indianapolis Colts

Matt Ryan and the Indianapolis Colts fell 24-17 to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday night in their 7th loss of the season and 2nd loss under interim head coach Jeff Saturday. Saturday, a former Colts center with no professional or college coaching experience prior to this season, took over after the Colts fired Frank Reich ahead of Week 10. Reich spent 5 seasons with the Colts, reaching the playoffs just twice (2018, 2020) and finishing with a 40-33-1 record in the regular season. Indianapolis’ offensive struggles have continued this season after ranking 10th in scoring last season at 26.5 points per game. Entering Week 13, the Colts are averaging 15.8 points per game–they’re tied with the Texans who are ranked 31st in the league. Ryan went 22-of-34 for 199 yards with a touchdown and an interception in Monday night’s loss. RB Jonathan Taylor rushed for 86 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries.

RELATED: Jeff Saturday on not using timeouts – “I thought we had plenty of time”

Dallas Cowboys

Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys completed the season series sweep with a 28-20 win over the New York Giants last Thursday evening. Prescott finished 21-of-30 for 261 passing yards with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. RB Ezekiel Elliot, who was playing in his second game since returning from a knee injury, rushed for a season-high 92 yards and ignited the Cowboys’ offense scoring the first touchdown of the game. On defense, the Cowboys had 3 sacks–two of them were from OLB Micah Parsons who ranks 2nd in the league with 12 sacks this season. Dallas currently has one of the best defenses in the NFL and leads all teams with 45 sacks this season. The Cowboys have won 4 of their last 5 games and enter Week 13 just two games behind Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles for the NFC East lead.

RELATED: Dak Prescott – I am as confident as I can be in this team


How to watch the Indianapolis Colts vs Dallas Cowboys:

  • Where: AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas
  • When: Sunday, December 4
  • Start Time: 8:20 p.m. ET; live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET with Football Night In America
  • TV Channel: NBC
  • Stream liveWatch live on Peacock or with the NBC Sports App

What time is kickoff for the Indianapolis Colts vs Dallas Cowboys Game

Kickoff is at 8:20 p.m. ET.

RELATED: 2022 Sunday Night Football Schedule: TV channel, live stream info, NFL schedule

For all your tailgating needs for the 2022 Fall season, click here!

Football Night in America will feature a weekly segment hosted by former NFL quarterback Chris Simms and sports betting and fantasy pioneer Matthew Berry, which highlights storylines and betting odds for the upcoming Sunday Night Football game on NBC, Peacock, and Universo. Real-time betting odds on the scoring ticker during FNIA also will be showcased. Peacock Sunday Night Football Final, an NFL postgame show produced by NBC Sports, will also go deep on the storylines and BetMGM betting lines that proved prominent during the matchup.

RELATED: 2022 NFL Playoff Picture Week 13 – Standings, clinching scenarios ahead of Colts vs Cowboys on SNF


How to watch Sunday Night Football on Peacock:

If you have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can watch Sunday Night Football on your TV or with a TV provider login on the NBC Sports app, NBC app, or via NBCSports.com. Check your local listings to find your NBC channel. If you can’t find NBC in your channel lineup, please contact your TV provider.

RELATED: What to know about Super Bowl 2023 – Date, location, halftime performance info, and much more

If you don’t have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can stream Sunday Night Football on Peacock with a $4.99/month Peacock Premium plan.  Sign up here or, if you already have a free Peacock account, go to your Account settings to upgrade or change your existing plan. 

Please note that selection of a Premium plan will result in a charge which will recur on a monthly or annual basis until you cancel, depending on your plan. You can cancel your Premium plan at any time in your Account.

RELATED: 2022 NFL Regular Season Schedule – How to Watch, Live Stream, Dates, Times, Matchups


 Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 NFL Season, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!