The Dallas Cowboys and the Detroit Lions played on Monday night, a game that ended Week 16's NFL football action. The game is now over and the Cowboys came away with a victory, one that improved them to 13-2 on the season. They've already clinched the top spot in the NFC and all the game did for them was keep them on song. However, Detroit's playoff chances took a bit of a tumble while Washington's improved.

Detroit Lions' doomsday scenario playing out

Before Week 15 Detroit looked like a lock to win the NFC North. They had a two-game lead on the Green Bay Packers with three games to go. That lead has diminished now and the division title is up for grabs.

The major result of the Dallas Cowboys defeating the Detroit Lions from Washington's point of view is that they are now in complete control of their own destiny. If the Redskins win in Week 17 then they are in the post-season without any other qualifiers. If they lose then they are out without any team being able to save them. For a team with guts, that's the situation you want. Therefore the Redskins are looking forward to a sort of playoff game in Week 17, however unlike the real playoffs the team that they are up against, the New York Giants, don't have to care about the result as New York are the 5 seed no matter how things get sliced.

For the Detroit Lions, they are in a similar situation, however, there is a difference.

Detroit need to win against the Green Bay Packers next weekend to claim the NFC North. That brings an automatic bid for the Lions. However, if Detroit lose then they might get the last Wild Card if the Redskins lose. Meanwhile Green Bay must defeat Detroit to get into the post-season. If the Packers lose they would not still be ahead of a Washington team in any circumstance.

Washington/GB are do-or-die

So for Washington and Green Bay, if they win they are in and if they lose they are out. For Detroit, if they win then they are in, but the Lions might be in even if they lose. There will be no Thursday night game in Week 17 with all games played on Sunday (ie. no Monday nighter either).

The Redskins host New York at 4:25pm ET with the Packers and Lions playing in the night cap (8:30pm ET). After that, the NFL playoffs follow.

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