Dallas Cowboys

McCarthy Doesn't Plan to Rest Cowboys Starters Saturday Against the Eagles

A loss doesn't hurt, but a win could have seeding implications

Mike McCarthy
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy said they'll play to win their final regular-season game on Saturday, even though a win will likely have little impact on playoff seeding without a little help.

According to Michael Gehlken, Cowboys reporter for the Dallas Morning News, McCarthy said they're going to line up to do what they need to do to win the game.

The Cowboys-Eagles matchup was flexed from Sunday at noon to primetime Saturday night. Both teams have clinched playoff spots, the Cowboys (11-5) are currently the No. 4 seed with the Eagles (9-7) at No. 7.

Let's get this ugliness out of the way. If the Eagles get the best of the Cowboys Saturday, Dallas finishes the regular season at 11-6 but their seeding won't get any worse than No. 4.

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Now, should the Cowboys beat the Eagles Saturday, they'll finish the regular season at 12-5 and would probably still hold on to the No. 4 seed and face the No. 5 seed in the Wild Card round.

But, a win does allow for some other possibilities if the Cowboys get some help.

If the Cardinals and Rams lose in Week 18, the Cowboys would move up to the No. 3 seed and face the 49ers in the first round. If Tampa Bay loses too, Dallas could jump to the No. 2 spot where they'd face the Eagles in the first round, though that seems unlikely since the Bucs aren't resting their starters against the 5-11 Panthers.

It's worth noting that if the Cowboys hold on to the No. 4 spot and if the Rams beat San Francisco on Sunday, or if the 49ers win and Arizona loses to Seattle, the Cardinals would be the No. 5 seed and would return to AT&T Stadium for a Wild Card game. Five out of nine possible playoff scenarios put the Cardinals against the Cowboys in the first round.

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