The Dallas Cowboys are 5-and-5.

Right on pace, obviously, for another of those ballyhooed 8-and-8 seasons everyone loves so much.

Looking at the remaining Cowboys schedule, finishing better than 8-and-8 certainly seems possible. There are many winnable games on the docket -- even as banged up as the Cowboys are right now.

But look at the playoff picture in the NFC. The Cowboys margin for error is razor thin.

Pending the Seahawks/Falcons result Monday night, Dallas will be either one or two games back of a playoff spot, with six games remaining.

And three of the teams tied with or above Dallas in the standings have the head-to-head tiebreaker on the Cowboys.

That is, in a word, precarious.

Lacking the tiebreakers they do, 9-and-7 probably won't be good enough to make the playoffs.

Which means, realistically, if the Cowboys are to have a chance to make the playoffs, they will have to go at least 5-and-1 down the stretch.

"We're just trying to be 1-0 this week, get six in a row, and be 11-5," Cowboys linebacker Anthony Hitchens said. "But it starts with being 1-0 this week."

"It's all in front of us, and it's just a matter of what we want to do with it. So, we can -- we're 5-5 right now, we can be anywhere from 11-5 to 5-11, and everywhere in between, so we just have a decision to make as to what we want to do."

Most of those landing spots in between aren't good enough.