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Let The Games Play Out

North, does anyone know about the tiebreakers between Dallas and Chicago?  

Once upon a time when the world was young, there was energy to figure all this out. Remember just a few weeks ago in this space when Cowboys' receiver Keyshawn Johnson shared his secret wall chart with all the scenarios laid out? Keyshawn dropped by the office the other day to report he's still keeping that chart because you never know.

And you never do. Last week, Miami won at San Diego. That improbable result may keep the Chargers out of the playoffs, unless of course they beat Kansas City and Denver and the Chiefs lose to the Giants and Cincinnati plus the Chargers while Jacksonville . . . oh, wait, never mind that part. I just looked at Jacksonville's last three games: San Francisco, at Houston, Tennessee. They can't lose more than one of those if you and I suit up.

Meanwhile, it has occurred to some that in order to make the Kansas City gift/miracle/comeback mean anything, the Cowboys actually must not just win their next game, they must do so in the Resumption of The Rivalry. Just what we needed.

Some say the Cowboys-Washington rivalry has ebbed these last several years because Dallas has won 14 of the last 16 meetings. Others say what with the Redskins' stealing the Monday night game in Week Two, this is back to Rivalry status.

Research (done by others; I'm busy figuring out tiebreakers) shows this to be the most meaningful late-season game between Dallas and Washington for both teams since maybe 1992. You have to go that far back to find a time they played this late in the season and both had winning records. It almost calls to mind the classic 1979 season finale in terms of playoff implications for both teams. (That game was more dramatic because it turned out for the losing team, Washington, that there was no next week. Both teams have two more games after this one.)

Here's what we know for sure: If the Dallas-Washington rivalry has ebbed, someone forgot to tell the media and fans in the greater Washington area. The Cowboys might want to bring their big-boy pads.

And we know for sure if Dallas keeps winning, all the rest of that stuff is just an exercise, and if you're doing it, I'm guessing you also have about three fantasy teams. And if they don't win, who cares about it anyway?

I'm with Perkins. I know where I'm supposed to be the next three weeks. After that, if there's another game, someone will tell me where to go.

Although, come to think of it, if Minnesota loses to Pittsburgh and at Baltimore, and the Panthers lose the last game at Atlanta . . . .            

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