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NFL Playoff Picture: Cowboys Postseason Hopes Hinge On Week 17 Win

The Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants will face off on New Year's Day in both teams' final game of the regular season. The winner will be crowned NFC East Champ and head to the playoffs.

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The Dallas Cowboys will be taking on the New York Giants in Week 17. Sunday's game carries with it the final postseason hopes for both teams. While the AFC playoff picture has five teams battling it out for two spots in the postseason heading into the final week, the final NFC slot is down to the Cowboys and the Giants.

Week 16 losses by the Cardinals, Bears and Seahawks served to clarify the playoff picture. The only slot still up for grabs is the NFC East championship and the No. 4 seed that comes with it. The Giants and Cowboys hold identical 8-7 records and for the moment the Giants are technically in first place in the division due to tiebreak advantage over the Cowboys. Of course, the tiebreak will be a moot point following Sunday's game.

If the Cowboys pull off a road win over the New York squad, they'll get ready to host the Detroit Lions in the opening round of NFL playoffs. If they come up on the losing end against the Giants, they'll be watching the playoffs from home.

The Cowboys last played the Giants on Week 14 at home, where they came up short with a 37-34 loss. There's little doubt that that game is very much on the minds of the Dallas and New York players.

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Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.